Danny and Penny Meyer
Danny was raised in a Jewish home on Long Island, New York. Even though his family observed Jewish tradition and ceremony, he often wondered if there really was a God. By the time he reached college age, he had become an agnostic. Attending Ashland College in Ohio, he enjoyed spending time debating Christians over the existence of God.
In October of 1971, Danny met a young man named Meredith who was known as the campus "Jesus Freak." Meredith was trying to convince Danny that Jesus was the way to truly know God. Danny found himself mocking Meredith and challenging his every word. Meredith continued talking of a personal relationship with Jesus which struck something deep in Danny's heart. Danny said he would like to believe in God and even in Jesus, but he could not just switch his thinking because it sounded nice.
By this time, the crowd had gathered listening to Danny and Meredith's conversation. Meredith suggested that they leave the group behind and go outside the dormitory where "he could introduce Danny to Jesus." Oddly, Danny found himself accepting that invitation. When outside, Meredith said, "I am going to pray a certain prayer inviting Jesus to reveal himself to you. If this is what you want, why don't you repeat after me?"
When Danny prayed that prayer, it was as though a light switch was turned on inside. In that moment, he had a profound encounter with Jesus that changed his life from that day forward.
Almost immediately he desired to serve Jesus and learn all he could about the Jewish Messiah that he had denied all of his life. Danny would hitchhike to a place outside of Mansfield, Ohio called Grace Haven Farm (a Christian Commune) where daily Bible Studies were being taught to young people like Danny.
Meanwhile, Danny began to have a growing sense that God was calling him into the ministry. He left Ashland and moved to Southern California to attend an intensive Bible Training Program. While attending the school, he met a girl from Texas named Penny. She was also attending the school to prepare for full-time ministry on the mission field. Penny grew up in a strong Christian home. At age 6, she asked Jesus to come into her life. Her mother and father provided a model of faithful service in the church as well as bringing a valuable Christian faith into the day-to-day life of the family. In high school, Penny's faith deepened, and there was a growing conviction that God had a call on her life. Even at that age, Penny was teaching Bible Studies and discipling other young Christians. After graduation, Penny also felt the need for more formal Bible training and found herself at the same school in Southern California.
After over a year of dating, they were married in August of 1974 and moved to Columbus, Ohio to become a part of a home church movement that was sweeping the country.
Meeting the Vineyard
In 1985, Christ Community Church crossed paths with the Vineyard movement led by a man named John Wimber. In 1987, Christ Community Church adopted into the Association of Vineyard Churches and became Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Columbus. Rich Nathan, who was serving as one of the elders, became Senior Pastor and Danny Meyer took on the role of Associate Pastor. Between 1987 and 2002, Vineyard Columbus grew to more than 6,000 members.
The Birth of Vineyard Church of Delaware County
In the spring of 2001, God began stirring Danny and Penny's hearts about the need for a Vineyard Church in the Delaware County area. Several attempts to plant a Vineyard church had been made without success. God continued speaking to Danny and Penny and confirmed their growing conviction with various dreams and prophetic words through a number of individuals. After receiving the "amen" from Vineyard Columbus, on Palm Sunday, March 21st of 2002, the Vineyard Church of Delaware County held its first service with approximately 250 members.
About the Vineyard
The Vineyard Church of Delaware County is part of the Association of Vineyard Churches. The Vineyard is not a denomination but rather a community of churches that share essential elements of Christian doctrine and practice (which can be further explored at the Vineyard USA website). Each local Vineyard Church is autonomous and governed locally, but for the purpose of accountability the Vineyard is divided into eight regions. Each region has clusters of churches grouped together by relationship and location facilitated by an Area Pastoral Care Leader who, together with the Regional Overseer, provides leadership and encouragement to the local Vineyard Churches.
In our local congregation, Michael Hansen (Senior Pastor), Danny Meyer (Pastor),
Bill Carpenter (Executive Pastor), JT Meyer (Associate Pastor) and Sandy Hutcheson (Pastoral Liaison) comprise the Senior Leadership Team. It is their responsibility to seek and follow God’s leading and, in so doing, to set direction for the church. In addition to their leadership, an Advisory Council made up of members of the congregation meets regularly with the Senior Pastoral Team to provide advice, counsel, input and accountability on all matters within the church.
At Vineyard Church of Delaware County, the primary connection to the life, communication, vision and values of the church occurs in the relationships developed through Small Groups. We believe that connecting in Christian community is basic to what it means to be a Christian. The Bible teaches that once we accept Christ, we are not only reconciled to God, but we are also relationally united with other Christians in what is called the Body of Christ. Our Small Group leaders are the first line of pastoral care within the church and are charged with caring for and equipping the church for ministry. To ensure that the vision and values are being advanced in our Small Groups, the Senior Pastoral Team meets regularly with all of our group leaders. These meetings provide an opportunity for feedback from the groups, as well as vision casting from the pastors.
Because we hold relationships in high regard, the Pastoral Team wants to provide ample opportunities for communication with the church as a whole. Each winter, the Pastoral Team holds a congregational meeting. This event provides an opportunity for the church to both ask questions and to hear more about what God has done and the future direction of the church, all done in an atmosphere conducive for intimacy and relationship. There are also regularly scheduled chats for those not yet involved in a small group, as well as our quarterly regular VCDC Connect classes for those who are new to the church, where specific questions about the Vineyard movement, our local church, our theology, or our philosophy of ministry can be addressed.
VCDC celebrated its fourteenth anniversary on Palm Sunday of 2016. Over the years, VCDC has planted four other Vineyard Churches:
River Valley Vineyard
Vineyard Church Morrow County
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