John grew up in Syracuse, New York without much interest in spiritual things. Right before his senior year in high school he had a dramatic encounter with Jesus after a late night of partying. From that night on the Holy Spirit has instilled a passion in John to see others connect with Jesus in life changing ways. John and Gwen first connected with the Vineyard in 1984 in Santa Monica, California. In 1988, after spending a year in Bangkok living in a squatter’s settlement, John returned to California and went on staff at the Santa Monica Vineyard. In 1991, John and Gwen felt called by God to return to Syracuse to plant a church. The Syracuse Vineyard has developed into a great team of people who are passionate about developing a community with a “come as you are” atmosphere that empowers people to walk out their calling. John and Gwen are energized by hanging out with their children and grandchildren, coaching leaders, helping people connect with Jesus for the first time, as well as watching the Yankees win!
Chris Honess is the Site Pastor of the Westcott Site of the Syracuse Vineyard. Chris was born and raised in Syracuse. After studying a bit in NYC and traveling throughout South and Central America, Chris returned to his hometown to study at the SUNY-ESF where he received a degree in Environmental Engineering. After finishing his degree, Chris felt called to lead the Westcott Site where he is looking to grow a healthy church in the Syracuse University and Westcott neighborhoods. Chris is married to his amazing wife Angie and they just had their first son, Jack. In their free time they most enjoy eating, reading, and adventure.