In 1995 God brought a number of people, led by David and Anita Ruis (Vineyard Canada’s current National Directors), to begin a community of faith in the core area of Winnipeg. WCV was born out of a desire to create an authentic community of followers of Jesus Christ, devoted to worshiping him with their whole lives, and extending God’s justice to the poor and those who are weak.
For us worshipping God is much more than singing a few songs on a Sunday morning. It is a whole lifestyle that includes offering everything that makes us human to God – our minds, bodies, emotions, spirits, cultures, as well as social and economic dimensions.
Our worship of Jesus does not stop there. It demands a practical outpouring of love to those around us… especially to those on the margins of society. Our worship lacks integrity if we are not expressing our love for God through loving our neighbour. Likewise, everything we do is worthless if we are not doing it from a foundation of being loved by God, and loving him back. James, Peter and John had only one requirement for Paul and Barnabas when they were sent out on their first missionary journey… that they “remember the poor” (Gal 2:10). We do not want to forget or neglect the poor… in fact Jesus said that when we care for “the least of these” we are actually caring for Him! (Mt 25:40)
God has called WCV to be a community where many people from all walks of life, ages, cultures and economic backgrounds can find a place to be loved, to become strong, and to help others become strong. We are a small part of the beautiful mosaic that makes up the entire body of Christ in Winnipeg.
A Brief Timeline
We know that any timeline will do a disservice to the numerous big and small things God has done in our life together. Many people have contributed to WCV over the years – too many to list here – yet we’re grateful for them all! This is simply a brief overview of significant events, incidents and leadership over the past 20+ years.
1994 – David and Anita Ruis – The heart in the heartland! They meet John and Violet Rademaker at a worship event in BC.
1995 Summer – A small group begins to meet in the Ruis’ living room in Winnipeg to pray and articulate vision.
1995 Fall – 960 Main St. is acquired for office space and a Ministry Centre. Weekday prayer meetings and Drop-in begin.
1995 Oct – First public Sunday morning gathering at Living Bible Explorers.
1995 Nov – Sunday gatherings begin at Jubilee Place @ MBCI. During this period the Pastoral/leadership team includes various combinations of: David & Anita Ruis, Jan & Coral Steffan, John & Violet Rademaker, and Brian & Shannon Creary. Colin & Cynthia Lees later join the pastoral team. Many others were also involved in various capacities, coming and going throughout the years.
1996 Sept – The Fragrance of Justice conference with John Wimber & Jackie Pullinger.
1996 – Sunday gatherings begin in Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship’s building on Burrows and Charles.
1998 – Noel & Dona Isaacs visit for 3 months and are sent out to plant the Kathmandu Vineyard in Nepal. “Fragrant Oil” worship album released.
1999 – Andy & Beckie Wood start the first Vineyard School of Justice. “Shake off the Dust” worship album released. Jan & Coral Steffen plant Brandon Vineyard.
2000 – Sherry McConnel spearheads Student Revival & Downpour Youth gatherings.
2001 – “The Mystery” & North End Artist’s Collective “No Fixed Address” albums released.
2002 Spring – David and Anita move to Los Angeles.
2002 Summer – WCV moves out of Burrows and meets in David Livingstone School, 960 Main St. and Winnipeg Christian Centre on Provencher while we search for a permanent home.
2002 – 782 Main St. is given to WCV after giving our building fund to the Kathmandu Vineyard for them to purchase their home. Renovations to main floor and ½ of 2nd floor.
2003 Spring – Move to 782 Main St. & sell 960 Main St.
2005 – Mike & Jodi join pastoral team as Children’s Pastors. A group led by Brian Creary starts Sanctuary House of Prayer.
2005 – Robb & Christa Massey plant The Vineyard in Elmwood
2006 – Andy & Beckie Wood join Pastoral team.
2007 Mar – Flatlanders Inn opens (1st phase on the 2nd floor)
2009 Mar – Flatlanders Inn expands (2nd phase on the 3rd floor)
2010 Dec – Flatlanders Inn expands (3rd phase on the 3rd floor)
2011 Spring – Flatlanders Studio opens
2013 – Suhail Stephen reboots the Vineyard School of Justice
2015 April – Earthquake hits Himalayan Region – WCV coordinates world-wide response.
2015 – Suhail Stephen joins staff team as Drop-in Pastor.
2015 – “Within and Without” worship album released.
Of course there are many other people who could be listed who have served and led in various capacities over the years. We are grateful for the rich heritage of leadership and service in WCV. Thanks to all and thanks to God! Here’s to the Kingdom Come!