In 1982 God gave young pastors Lance and Cheryl Pittluck a vision for a new kind of ministry on Long Island. Two years later, after having trained under the tutelage of Vineyard movement founder John Wimber, they left the staff of Vineyard Ministries International in Anaheim, CA, to come to New York and plant a church.
The vision was for a church that could help people meet God without the barriers that sometimes come with religion. It was for a church that that helps people become ‘disciples’ of Jesus through worship, thoughtful & practical approach to the Bible, healing, care for the poor, building community & relationships, reaching out to the world around us and launching other churches around the metro area that would do the same.
The church began by meeting in small groups, which led to Sunday services at a lodge in Baldwin.
By 1989 we had begun looking for a more permanent space to meet. Lance strongly felt the Lord say “provide a home for the poor & I’ll provide you a home”. By 1990 we had purchased a home in Freeport for single mothers (the Parish House) & God made the way for our current Rockville Centre facility (which was an old Baptist church building).
In July of 1997 Lance was asked by John Wimber to assume leadership of the Anaheim Vineyard. In October of that year Lance handed the leadership of The Vineyard Church here in Rockville Centre over to Randy and Pat Larson.
Since that time we are now about 450 regular attenders have started a Lynbrook Campus, planted 4 churches, The North Brooklyn Vineyard, Open Door Vineyard in Port Jefferson(this church has since closed), Vineyard Community Church of Woodbridge, VA and Mosaic Vineyard in Central Islip. Some of these churches have in turn planted other churches. Our church is significantly involved with churches in Brazil and Honduras helping to train leaders and encourage church planting.
On October 1 of 2015, Randy and Pat retired after 50 years of ministry. They handed over leadership of The Vineyard Church to Ray and Julie Longwood.
We’re excited for what the future will bring!
Brief History of the Lynbrook Campus
With the high price and maintenance costs of huge church properties, many congregations these days are opting for a more practical “multi-site” model. These sites receive the same preaching and pastoral oversight and share the same vision and resources as the mother church. (Think of one church with many overflow rooms.) Each site has its own site-pastor who is responsible for facilitating the service and providing pastoral care to its members, but essentially there is one congregation and one senior pastor.
In 2009, after years of searching for a new and larger facility to accommodate our growth, the Lord worked a miracle. One of our interns was riding his bike and saw a man standing in front of Trinity Evangelical Free Church, a historic church building in Lynbrook.
The man, Rev. Celso DeGuzman, was the pastor of the church. As the two got to talking, the intern shared that we were looking for another building, and Pastor DeGuzman revealed that he had been praying for God to send workers for the church. After further discussions, it was arranged that the two congregations would merge.
So because of the prayers of God’s people and his faithfulness, we now have a second building (our Lynbrook Campus) to accommodate more people, and the Lord has sent more workers for his harvest!