Carol Wimber-Wong and eight former members accuse Dwelling Place pastors of $62 million fraud.
The widow of a legendary Vineyard leader is suing the pastors of a Southern California church for fraud and the alleged misappropriation of $62 million.
Vineyard Anaheim, the “mother church” of the Vineyard movement since it was planted by John Wimber in 1977, left the charismatic denomination without much explanation in March. The current senior pastor, Alan Scott, told the church that the Holy Spirit just led them to split. There were no big disagreements with the national organization, no disputes about direction, and no personal conflicts.
“We don’t really understand why,” Scott said in a recording of a Sunday service obtained by CT. “I wish I really could sit before you today and say, ‘Here are the six reasons,’ ‘Here’s our issues,’ ‘Here are our grievances,’ or whatever. … We don’t always know what’s on the other side of obedience.”
But Carol Wimber-Wong, who cofounded the church with her late husband John Wimber and remained an “active and tithing member” until the church left the Vineyard, has a simpler explanation for what happened. There were not six reasons, she and eight other former members and leaders allege, but 62 million.
The former members claim Alan and Kathryn Scott knew they wanted to leave Vineyard USA but lied about it when applying for the leadership positions at the Anaheim church so they could take control of the $55 million mortgage-free building and $7 million in the bank.
“The Scott Defendants concealed their true intentions,” the lawsuit claims. “Defendant Scotts sought the position as Senior Pastors of Vineyard Anaheim with the deceitful motive of controlling tens …