WHY WE EXIST
We are a growing church community filled with people that grew up in church, and others that didn’t; with people who come from broken homes and marriages, and others that don’t; with people that have charted a defined course through life, and others still trying to figure life out; with people that would say they have a lot, and others that would say they have little; with people that would say they are rough around the edges, and others that would say the opposite, with people that would define their past as jaded, and others that wouldn’t, and with people that are searching for God, and others that have been following him for years.
But, we all have one thing in common. We all find ourselves being drawn to Jesus. We are getting more and more captivated by the Bible, we are growing in our desire to get to know Jesus more, we are mystified by the fact that he loves us so much, and we are watching him change our lives for the better, right before our eyes. We are learning to love, to be generous, to have joy, to forgive, and to be real.
We are liking who we are becoming.
Our community has been described as being a place for people that have given up on church, but not on God—and we exist to help others find a place where they can learn to love God, love people, and experience and give away all that comes from that.
We want everyone we meet to experience God’s love, guidance, and capabilities.
We want everyone we meet to find a place where they truly belong— where they can develop honest, meaningful, and lasting relationships.
We want everyone we meet to be prepared to make a real difference that produces beautiful and lasting change in this Region for generations to come.
Extending God’s Kingdom together… everywhere and in every way.
The Vineyard Story
With over 2,600 churches worldwide, the Vineyard Church movement has a rich history and you can read about it here.
Great River Vineyard's Story
God began planting a vision for the Great River Vineyard inside the founding pastors, Wade and Lynne Wilson, during the summer of 2005. Two years later, the Wilsons packed up their lives in Rolla, Missouri and moved to La Crosse with a small team of people to join God in starting this church. Wade served nine years as the senior pastor of the Rolla Vineyard, and he is thankful for the continued love and support of this sending church. Wade and Lynne stepped down as Lead Pastors in 2015 because they felt God call them to invite Wes and Lesley Patterson to assume leadership of Great River Vineyard.
Wes and Lesley arrived here in 2015 with their three children (Gwyneth, Oscar, and Everett) after living in Ireland and working in Belfast City Vineyard Church for 7 years. They thoroughly enjoyed their time spent overseas but were equally excited to move back to the Midwest, where they were born and raised. They absolutely love La Crosse and leading Great River Vineyard Church, where they are passionate about becoming a community filled with people that love God, love people, and change this region with the love and compassion of Jesus.
Wes & Lesley Patterson
Wes and Lesley are our lead pastors here at Great River Vineyard. Wes is originally from Bloomington, Minnesota and Lesley is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They came back to the United States after spending seven years in Ireland leading and serving on staff at Belfast City Vineyard Church. Wes loves working with his hands, drinking good coffee, and reading books about church growth, leadership, and history. Lesley really enjoys being a mom to their 3 children–Gwyneth, Oscar, and Everett–and she loves biking, hiking, and everything outdoors. They each come with a passion for introducing people to Jesus and growing a healthy community that reflects Jesus' goodness.