Yorktown Vineyard is the product of a merger between two churches, Light of the World (LTW) and Living Word Fellowship (LWF).
Light of the World began in the early 1990's and was originally known as Peekskill Fellowship. The fellowship moved to Yorktown in the 1980's and first met in the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center, but soon needed its own building. Dave Diggs became the pastor of LTW.
Living Word Fellowship (LWF) began in 1990 and was located in Peekskill on Locust Avenue. It was orginally Christian Church of Peekskill. Graviano Sanzo was the Pastor. In 1988 Rick Smail became the pastor of Christian Church of Peekskill and changed the name to Living Word Fellowship. Rick and Dave were very good friends and Dave would often ask Rick and the LWF congregation to join in their Friday night services in Yorktown. After many years of meeting together, both pastors and congregations made the decision to become one church.
In 1993 both churches merged and was governed by the two pastors, Dave and Rick. LWF sold their building and joined LTW in Yorktown, The church continued under the name Light of the World for several years but after the five churches who were in the Light of the World organization disbanded, we started looking for another church organization to become our covering. We looked at a number of church organizations and finally settled on The Vineyard because our church was very similar in many ways to the Vineyard and we had spent years fellowshiping with them and saw that we were a good fit.
In mid 2000's, Light of the World was adopted into The Vineyard Community of churches.
The Vineyard Story
The first Vineyards were planted in 1975. By 1982, there were at least seven “Vineyards” in a loose-knit fellowship of churches. Kenn Gulliksen, a soft-spoken, non-assuming leader who had a passion to know and walk with God, started a church in Hollywood in 1974.
In 1975 he, believing that God had instructed him to do so, gave the name “Vineyard” to this association of churches and provided leadership for these churches for about five years. In the early eighties, Kenn felt led to ask John Wimber to assume leadership for the emerging movement. The official recognition of this transition took place in 1982, and thus, the emergence of what was to be called, “The Association of Vineyard Churches."
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 1,500 Vineyard churches worldwide, 550+ in the US, with 8 regions actively planting churches across the country. Vineyard worship songs, documented by Vineyard Music, have helped thousands of churches experience intimacy with God. Many churches have been equipped to continue Jesus' ministry of proclaiming the kingdom, demonstrating the kingdom and training disciples.