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How I came to the Vineyard By Pastor Ed McGlasson

A Beautiful Girl from the Vineyard

In 1982, little did I know that my life was about to change drastically. I met a beautiful blonde named Jill who later became my wife. Jill was a member of the Santa Monica Vineyard and I was a member of Evangelical Church of Fullerton. 

I remember my first visit to a Vineyard. It was very strange to me; people were raising their hands and singing. At first I thought there was a robbery going on, but I knew it must just be their particular form of worship. I was a conservative evangelical, and in the church I came from, if we sang the fourth verse over again, it was revival time!  I was touched by the intimacy of worship, their commitment to preaching and doing the Word of God, and their compassion to the sick, broken and poor. It was a church were everyone was s crucial part of the community. was no bench,

High School Revival

A number of months later, I flew to San Antonio , Texas to join Milton Carroll and a group of professional athletes who were holding evangelistic meetings at the local high schools. Milton and I went to one high school together and something happened there that changed my life. There were 1300 attending this meeting, including teachers. As I was getting ready to stand up and speak, I distinctly heard a voice say to me, Let me do it this time.” I thought Milton had spoken to me and I asked him, “What did you say?” He had said nothing to me. Again the voice spoke in my head and said, “Let me do it this time.” I thought to myself, Lord, is that you? What do you want to do?” I heard him say, “I want to save all of these children.”  I started thinking to myself, But what is my part?” All I heard from the Lord was, “Just stand there.

I walked up to the podium and as I started to speak I began to weep. The more I tried to hold back the tears the more I cried. I know now that it was the compassion of the Lord. My sobs turned into sobs as the presence of the Lord filled that gymnasium and it was so thick you could see it.  I rubbed my eyes, thinking that my tears were causing this vision,  but God's presence began to descend upon the students and I started hearing the sobs of young people being touched by the love of God.  It was at that moment that the Lord then, “Now, ask them if they want to be saved.”

My next words were, “If you've never received Jesus as your personal savior and you would like to come forward today in front of your friends to receive him, come.” I will never forget the sound of the wood bleachers rumbling as the students moved in response to God's love.   Kids were jumping over the railing and running to be in the first row and sound of sobbing filled the air.  I was standing in the Fathers delivery room, as children were being born again. Is there anything more powerful than seeing the love of the Father descend and change a life?  God put me in that Gym that day to show me a picture of what I believe the church of Jesus Christ will se in the future.  I believe we have entered the most amazing time in the history of the church and the stadium Vineyard is just one of hundreds of thousands of communities where God is on the move.  If yo want to be a part of a community that loves the broken and is committed to making Jesus Christ famous.  You might has just found your church home.

John Wimber

I had begun to attend the Vineyard with my wife and later that year, I attended a Vineyard conference in San Diego , California . John Wimber was speaking at this conference, and I wanted to hear him. In the middle of one of his sessions, the Lord spoke to me and said that John had a word for me and I was to go see him. I thought to myself, “Ah! That probably is just my ambitious heart wanting to get close to him.” So I prayed, “Lord, if that is true, have John run into me, and I will know that he has a word for me.” I thought no more about it and left the session. The conference was over and as I was getting off the elevator and rounding a corner, John Wimber came around at the same time and literally ran into me. As he fell backwards, he looked at me and said, “I almost went to heaven!” I laughed and said, “John, I think this is a divine appointment. Could I come in and see you?” He said, “Call my secretary and I'll pray about this. If I'm supposed to meet with you, I'll call you.” I had never met anybody who prayed about who he was supposed to meet!

A week later my telephone rang; it was John's secretary. She said “John will see you tomorrow at 3:30.” I went to a place called the Wagner House to meet with John and after a few moments together John looked at me and said, “Ed do you remember that conference in San Diego? I think the Lord rd spoke to me about you, and I want to tell you what He said. In the Book of Acts, when Paul started his ministry, he didn't have much success because of his history. So Barnabas came and trained him to be a Pastor. Ed, what I'm saying to you is that I know that the Lord has called you as an Evangelist; but you don't love the church yet. He wants to make you a Pastor, so that you'll lay down your life for her.”

“You see Ed, God has called us to three commitments: He has called us to Christ personally, to His Church, and to His Cause. There are many who minister in Jesus' name, but they don't love His bride ‘the Church'.  Ed, you could spend the rest of your life on a bus or a plane, traveling from place to place, with little or no accountability. Or, you could build what Jesus is building, His church. Many of those who have chosen the former have paid dearly and lost their families in the process. If you follow me I will teach you to lay down your life and be a servant. Or, you can continue to pursue your own ministry and I will bless you in that.” His words pierced my soul. I was so touched by his love, his wisdom and how genuine he was.  There has been many things written about John Wimber, but the man I came to know love and respect taught me to love the bride of Christ and serve her for the rest of my life.  God used John that day to speak wisdom to me and within two weeks I joined a church plant in Newport Beach with Pastor John McClure.

A Dream

Later on that year I had a dream about a great church. I found myself walking around this massive building waiting for the service to begin. People were filling up the seats and the service was soon to start. It had three tiers and three kinds of balconies. I walked around with my mouth open just saying, “Wow!” I'd never seen such a building. All of a sudden I was walking around and wondering, “Who's going to pastor this church?” I saw that it was a church that worshipped God with all their heart; preached God's Word with power and gave the Holy Spirit freedom to change their lives . I knew that in this church God's love would grab you, shake you and change your heart. It would be a community that follows Christ and make Him Visible to the world.

I thought to myself, “Boy, somebody has got a lot of work to do in order to pastor this.” Then the Lord spoke to me in this dream and said, “You will be the pastor.” I remember waking up and crying out, “Oh, no! Not me!

I decided to ask the Lord to confirm this dream by giving my Pastor, John McClure a dream. I had not heard him talk about having many dreams, so I thought I was safe. I asked the Lord in prayer, “Lord speak to John about this”. I even asked to have John directed to call me and say specifically, “Ed, I had a dream last night about you planting a church, and that you would know where it's supposed to be.” I left this with the Lord and continued to pastor. Three years later I got a phone call. It was John McClure. He said, “Hey Ed, can I come over and talk to you?” He had never come over to my house like that before. I didn't know if I was in trouble or what? When he arrived he said, “Ed, I had a dream last night about you planting a church. And the Lord said you would know where it was supposed to be.” Oh, no! Here we go, Jill.

Eight weeks later on April 1, 1988 , the Stadium Vineyard Christian Fellowship was born. We started with 11 people meeting in my living room. We began an early morning prayer group and prayed about the church that Jesus wanted to build here. We started our first Sunday services at the Jordan School in Garden Grove , California . After five years we out grew that building and moved to our present location here in Anaheim . This church was birthed to display the extravagant heart of the Father towards the lost.

Are you looking for family, a place to join, to learn about who God is and to make a difference with your life.  Then come and check us out!  Come and visit on Sunday and come up and introduce yourself.  There have been thousands of people who have come and met a guy named Jesus and started a whole new life.  He changed mine here!

In His Smile,

Ed Tandy McGlasson


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