We are a community of volunteers.
Everyone you’ll meet on Sundays, from our pastors Bud & Melody to the worship leader to the people running the various ministries and teams, all of them are volunteers. It’s not about making a statement or “changing the status quo” or anything like that. We’re just doing ministry the way God has called us to do ministry right now. We’re committed to the mission that God has given us, we’re in this for the long haul. And you know what? It’s pretty fun!
We are kingdom-focused.
We talk about the kingdom of God because Jesus talked about it. It’s something that takes more space than a simple paragraph to really explain, but it comes down to proclaiming the words and doing the works that demonstrate the rule and reign of God in both the extraordinary and the everyday. That means praying for the sick, seeking justice, listening to the Holy Spirit, and inviting people into a relationship with Jesus Christ so that they can do the same! To find out more, check out the Vineyard USA Core Values & Beliefs.
We are a worshipping community and an active community.
In addition to the music on Sundays , you might see people painting, drawing, or dancing. You’ll also hear us talk about outreaches or community events. We believe church isn’t a spectator sport – it’s a community of believers doing the stuff that Jesus did, together, beyond an hour or so on Sunday. You’re invited to be a part of that!
Bud & Melody Winderweedle
Steve & Kathy Duggins
Elders, Outreach, & Prayer
Jon & Melissa Meek
Elders & Creative Arts
Andy & Melissa Sarabia
Elders & Kids Ministry
Our story starts in June of 2000, when our founding pastor and his young family found themselves planting a church in Chattanooga. Since then, we’ve seen and done a lot. We’ve planted several churches throughout the US and been part of long-term missions partnerships in Mexico and India. We’ve even written a bunch of songs and put out a few records.
Probably the most unusual thing is that, until August of 2014, we didn’t meet in our own building. For several years, we rented space from a local Adventist church. But in 2009, we felt God calling us to get uncomfortable and go portable. So, we moved into one of the older high schools in town, hoping to make a connection with a part of the community that doesn’t always get a lot of attention. It was a big change, bigger than we thought at the time, but we began to make those connections. After our move to the middle school across the street in 2011, those connections in the community became stronger. And now, even through we’re in our own space, we’ve worked to keep those relationships that we built over 5 and a half years.
In 2015, we went through our first-ever pastoral transition as our founding pastor and his family were commissioned to plant a church in Texas. We love them, we miss them, but we’re excited about the future with Bud and Melody as our pastors.
So, come on a Sunday morning, and you may get a chill, meditative worship set followed by a message from Melody. Or the next week, it might be a bunch of energetic tunes with a different worship leader, and Bud or one of the other members of the speaking team might be bringing the message. It’s not about putting on a show, and it’s definitely not about trying to be the cool thing in town. We’re just a community of folks trying to “Love God. Love People. That’s All.”
The Vineyard Movement
“…are you guys some kind of cult or something?”
Seriously. We’ve gotten this question before. Yes, we admit, it’s kind of a funny name. No, we are definitely not a cult. Check out the Vineyard USA Core Values & Beliefs, as well as the Vineyard’s history page for a comprehensive look at what the Vineyard is and where it came from. The Vineyard in Chattanooga is part of a network of over 700 churches in the US, and 2400+ worldwide in 95 countries. We’re one piece of a much larger and very exciting puzzle, the #vineyardglobalfamily!
How should I dress for a Sunday Service?
Well, that’s up to you. Most people will be dressed very casually – jeans, t-shirts, stuff like that. But if you want to put on your Sunday best, no one’s gonna stop you.
I have kids. Is there programming designed specifically for them during the Sunday morning service?
Absolutely! For Infants-K, it’s Kindgom Kids. For elementary-aged kids, it’s Kids ROCK. You can find out more about those programs on our Kids & Students page!
What are your core values?
It seems like every organization has a list of 15 core values, and most of them read like “We value water because it is wet.”
…Yeah. When we sat down to outline our values, we wanted to keep it simple and practical:
We proclaim the words and do the works of the Kingdom of God.
In other words, we invite and include people, train them to read and understand scripture, equip them to participate in the work of the Holy Spirit, and empower them to minister in their communities.
We believe that everybody gets to play.
When we look at the church at the New Testament, we don’t see a handful of professional clergy doing the ministry on their own through a bunch of strict programs. The church we see in scripture is a community, with people ministering to people. We believe it’s the pastoral staff’s job to oversee, teach, and encourage all of us to be active in the ministry of the church.
We seek to be an authentic, Biblically-centered, faithful community without pretense.
We want what we preach to be based on sound doctrine. We try to practice what we preach. Sometimes we don’t live up to it, because we’re human. But we believe that God can even use the broken stuff in our lives, and demonstrate His remarkable grace. (If you’d like to hear more, check out our series on The Power of Ugly.)