Grace Vineyard was planted in April 1999 and is now spread across a number of Campus locations in Christchurch. It was planted by David and Lis MacGregor and a small group of friends and began at Thorrington School. We had a vision to build a church that could effectively reach people who had not come from a church culture.
We are part of Vineyard Churches Aotearoa New Zealand (VCANZ). VCANZ is an association of the New Zealand Vineyard churches in which we share our common sense of calling and mission to the overall betterment of the kingdom of God. Each Vineyard church has its own trust and leadership structure is autonomous and free to make its own decisions and minister in the way the Holy Spirit leads.
Dave and Lis started Grace Vineyard Church with a group of friends in their twenties. With a passion for families, children, youth and people who are marginalised, Grace Vineyard Church grew very quickly and after a short stint at Cashmere High School, began to lease premises at 150 Ferry Rd in Phillipstown.
Here we continued to grow fast, and ministries spread quickly into the community and overseas. Often having to turn people away for lack of room, we began multiple services, and in 2008 adopted a church in New Brighton, Seaview Christian Centre, which is now known as our Beach Campus.
Beach Campus was well established in time to be a great help to the community when Christchurch was hit by the September 2010 earthquake. It also helped us to be even better prepared to help the community for the more devastating earthquake of 22 February 2011. We had great teams and great leaders ready to jump in and be an active and positive presence in New Brighton. Beach Campus set up a Welfare Centre which was quickly overwhelmed by the needs of the community. A large group from Grace Vineyard was mobilised, and together with other church teams, local volunteers and volunteers from across the nation and the world, we were able to quickly start providing vital supplies for the local community.
The February earthquake also made our Ferry Rd building unusable because of severe liquefaction. In the years following the earthquake, while we waited for repairs to be done on our Ferry Rd building, our City Campus shared a building with South West Baptist Church. We had only an afternoon service and established a young adults evening service at CPIT. We were incredibly grateful for the hospitality of these two organisations and developed wonderful relationships with the SWBC community while we shared their building. That said, we were very excited to get back into our own building on Ferry Road early 2014.
Despite setbacks, our church has continued to flourish. Beach Campus put on extra services, and Plains Vineyard in Rangiora became part of our church family in September 2013. We have come from a few families meeting in a school hall to being one of the biggest churches in Christchurch! Though we have three campuses, we are all closely connected and enjoy having whole church events when we can. These are great to develop community across our wider church family. We now have eleven pastors, an even bigger operations team, and a church full of amazing volunteers.
We are planted Pegasus Campus in August 2015 as a wonderful addition to the Grace Vineyard family! And in 2019, Rocky and Alexis Stock planted West Campus. With the growing population on that side of the city, we felt it would be a perfect fifth location.
We are so thankful to God for His hand in our story and are excited to see how He will continue to use us!
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