The Vineyard Movement emerged out of the Calvary Chapel Movement

Calvary Chapel was founded by Chuck Smith in the mid-1960s. Its primary membership base was countercultural dropouts who rejected established denominations and sought a strong relationship with Jesus.

The Vineyard Church has emphasized healing while Calvary Chapel places the most importance on evangelism and growth.

Chuck Smith advocated a more fundamentalist stance in his churches and thus did not encourage expression of tongues, prophecy, and healing in public worship.

In 1982 two pastors of Calvary Chapel congregations in Los Angeles (Kenn and Joanie Gulliksen) decided to adopt the name Vineyard church because, in contrast to other Calvary Chapel congregations, they emphasized gifts of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy in their services

The Vineyard Movement has employed a variety of names through its history – Power Evangelicalism, Signs and Wonders Movement, Vineyard Christian Fellowship and the Association of Vineyard Churches, and Third Wave

The Vineyard Movement considers itself to be the third wave of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The first wave occurred during the Asuza Street, Los Angeles revival in 1906, the second wave with the charismatic movement during the 1960s.

In 1982 John Wimber, pastor of another Calvary Chapel church, and the Gulliksens decided to merge their churches.

Wimber  established the Anaheim Vineyard church, which is the headquarters for the Vineyard Movement, and became the public spokesman for the Vineyard Movement until his death in 1997.

Wimber suggested the idea of denominationalism at a pastors conference in 1988.

The Vineyard churches currently claims 500 churches in the U.S. and another 250 abroad with a total membership exceeding 100,000



The Toronto Blessing derived from the ministry of Rodney Morgan Howard-Browne, a charismatic preacher from South Africa, was born June 12, 1961

Howard-Browne says that he committed his life to Christ at age 5, and was filled with the Holy Spirit at age 8. In 1979, while praying for hours seeking a deeper spiritual experience, he challenged God:
"'Either You come down here and touch me, or I will come up there and touch You,' he prayed in desperation. Suddenly, his whole body felt like it was on fire. He began to laugh uncontrollably. Then he wept and began to speak in tongues."
Howard-Browne claims he first experienced holy laughter in his meetings in 1982

Howard-Browne pastored for two years at Rhema Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, prior to moving to the United States in 1987. He became an itinerant preacher, with small engagements, throughout the country.

In April, 1989, while Howard-Browne was preaching in a church near Albany, New York, that the holy laughter outbreak began. Browne claims that he felt a sensation like a heavy blanket coming over him. Soon people began falling out of their seats, some laughing, others crying. From that point on, his reputation began to grow.

He established the Rodney Howard-Browne Evangelistic Association in Louisville, Kentucky. In the spring of 1993, Karl Strader, pastor of Carpenter's Church in Lakeland, Florida, invited him to preach. Scheduled for a one-week appearance, he was carried over for three more weeks.

Randy Clark visited the Carpenter Church during this time

The Toronto Airport Vineyard Church/Fellowship(TAVC/TAVF)

The TAVC began as a “kinship group” in 1987 and named a full-time pastor in 1992

The Toronto Blessing began on January 20, 1994 at the TAVC

RandyClark delivered a message at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church during a nightly prayer meeting. After he finished speaking people began to cry, laugh, leap, dance, and even roar as a result of what the church calls "a move of the Holy Spirit.” 

Unlike more traditional Pentecostal behavior (i.e. speaking in tongues, dancing, falling out) people began to make animal noises, see spiritual visions, and laugh hysterically.

In December, 1995 the TAVC was expelled from the Association of Vineyard Fellowships and became the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF)

Myth and Ritual

TAVF draws on biblical passages from Acts 2:6 & 12: "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them...Some, however, made fun of them and said, 'They have had too much wine.'

Physical manifestations (shaking, laughing, jerking, crying, prostration, jumping, rolling, inebriated in the spirit, resting in the spirit, “birthing,” speaking in tongues, roaring, shouting, barking) are understood as Blessings coming from the Holy Spirit and are simply the external manifestation of internal blessings that are going on inside the person. Most often the signs are interpreted as God healing the person (being drawn closer to God, being able to forgive past injuries, improving personal relationships, healing physical and mental problems, healing emotional injury)

Services run three or four hours

Major Roles in TACF Services

Master of Ceremonies – Plays the role of an interviewer and tries to elicit the “fruits” (the changes that God is making in the interviewee’s heart).
Music Team  – Contemporary rock music is used to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” The opening music is loud and proclaiming what God is about to do; later music is quieter worship songs, and during payer time the music is intimate love songs to Jesus
Preacher/Speaker  – Delivers a sermon for 20-30 minutes on a biblical topic
Prayer Teams  – Trained members of the TAVC minister to those who are exhibiting the gifts


Opponents, including many Pentecostals, argue that the activities taking place at the nightly services are demonic, strange and should not occur in the church.  Others argue that the "Toronto Blessing" is a genuine manifestation of God's Holy Spirit, in which people are receiving healing, joy, peace, and faith.