Vineyard Stories is a collection of stories written to inspire you and build your faith. At VCC, one of our primary beliefs is that God is good—no matter the obstacle, circumstance, or challenge we face. The Bible tells us that overwhelming victory is ours in Christ and that we will overcome by the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. Let these stories build your faith and inspire you.
STORY SUBMITTED BY ANA HARMON
I wanted to share my story about the power of prayer. My family and I were handing out meals for the 2017 Turkey Outreach when we met a woman.
We asked her if she could use a Thanksgiving meal and/or prayer. She explained that she was the caregiver to her ex-husband and he was currently in the hospital with stage 4 cancer.
She gave us his name and asked us to pray for his situation. As a family, we continued to pray for him.
Two months later, I read a tragic story in the news.
It told of a man on his death bed with stage 4 cancer facing eviction from his home for not paying his rent. He only had a few days until he was being forced to move out. As I read this story, I recognized his name as the same gentleman we had been praying for during the Turkey Outreach. I was so upset that this was happening to him, so I continued to pray and follow
There was so much care in the community that his story went viral. A company in Franklin stepped-up and paid off his debt, enabling him to stay in his home. It’s so amazing to see God answer prayer in a practical way.
STORY SUBMITTED BY JAMIE CHAPMAN
My name is Jamie Chapman. When I was younger, I attended Catholic school in Massachusetts and even served as an altar boy, but I was never a practicing Catholic—it just never appealed to me. I only went to church on Christmas and Easter, but I always found myself watching movies and shows about Christ. I was interested in Christ but not in the Church. I always believed in something but wasn’t really sure, I just knew there had to be more when you die.
Later on in my life, I met my wife through online gaming. We became friends right away, and eventually developed a long-distance relationship until I decided to move to Indiana. I knew my wife was way more into her faith than I was. When I moved here I told her that even though she was a follower of Jesus—I wasn’t, and I didn’t want her to persist that I should go to church with her.
She had said OK—as long as I tried going a couple of times because it meant a lot to her. I agreed and we went to a couple of different churches but still didn’t feel connected. She could tell I was getting frustrated. She had heard of a church in town that wasn’t like the other churches around and said she wouldn’t ask me to go again if I didn’t like it.
So we came to The Vineyard! As soon as we walked through the doors, I knew something was different. There was even a café and we could take the drinks into the auditorium—that blew my mind! To me, this was unlike any other church I had ever been to.
I was amazed and a bit speechles when we walked in to the auditorium and I saw the stage and light set up. Being a musician, as soon as the band started I was hooked. Pastor Jim came out and spoke in a very real and down-to-earth way. He spoke about the Bible in a way that I had never heard before, in a way that I could relate to in my life now. So I told my wife that I would definitely like to go back and see what this is all about.
We went back the next week . . . and the next week . . . and the next week. Eventually I made the decision to follow Jesus and was baptized about a year later. Now, I know more about the Bible then I ever did growing up. We both decided that we wanted to get more involved with the church and I knew eventually I wanted to be on the worship team, but our lives were just too hectic.
But we wanted to serve where we could. We had just had a newborn, so we started volunteering in the nursery. From there we went and joined the Guest Services team.
But something was still missing. We wanted to get more plugged in.
We joined a LifeGroup and that group has lasted almost 2 years. Finally, I joined the Vineyard Worship Team just after Easter a year ago and I absolutely loved it. It finally felt that I had found the right fit where I could serve. When I play, I feel like I am helping people connect with God when I am up on stage and I feel like I am connecting and growing with God even more.
Just recently, my wife and I branched out started our own LifeGroup that is currently ongoing. I feel like when I do the things that I do for church, serving wherever I can, that I can help others encounter Jesus’ love and move people one step closer to Christ.
I know it was a God-thing for me to meet my wife and move out here, because if I had stayed where I was, I wouldn’t be following Jesus now.
I know now that God intervened in my life so that I would end up here as a follower of Jesus and serving others, so that other people can know God’s love and enter into a relationship with him.