Allen and Jennie Hodges moved to Billings in 2005 to plant the Billings Vineyard Church.
Allen has been pastoring since 1983, and has been part of the Vineyard movement since 1986. Allen has a B.A. from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In addition to pastoring, he was a writer for Jet Propulsion Lab’s Magellan Mission (mapping the surface of Venus) and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska where he taught, among other things, critical thinking and entrepreneurship. He also started an Economic Development Corporation for the Medicine Valley in Nebraska.
Allen served the Vineyard as an Area Pastoral Care Leader for the Northern plains for several years before moving to Billings. He now serves as the Regional Overseer for Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas and Idaho.
Jennie is involved with the church outreach programs.
Though Allen has wanted to live in Montana his entire life, he never thought he could pursue living here simply because God kept calling him elswhere. In May of 2004, his Regional Overseer (Tri Robinson of the Boise Vineyard) suggested he and Jennie plant a Vineyard in Billings. After a summer praying about it, they both sensed God saying to “Go.” When God says that He gives us the desires of our hearts, it means less that He gives us what we want and more that He puts into us the desire to do what He is saying. In short, Allen wasn’t born in Montana, but he got here as soon as he could!
At the end of the first summer here (2005) they gathered a group of people to help plant the church and taught them the Vineyard core values. October 9, 2005 was the church’s first open meeting in the Hodges’ home. By the spring of 2006, the church began to grow steadily and has continued to grow ever since. Each season of growth has led to different locations, from warehouses, to parks, school buildings and store fronts (our current location is in the North Pointe shopping center at the far north end of town). In June 2011, we purchased land on Hwy. 87N where we intend to build a permanent home in the near future.
As a church, we long to be a safe place where people come to grow, heal and become more like Jesus. We hope to be organic, meaning we do the things that God calls us to do (not what we "should" be doing). Some reaccuring programs have been Financial Peace Univeristy, watercolor classes, open mic nights/coffee house events, dinner groups and various bible studies.
We have been working at learning to serve the poor and were the first group in Montana to offer "Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin by World" a part of Bridges out of Poverty. We are committed to the Ecuador Partnership and are helping to plant Vineyard Churches there. We have kid’s ministry, called the Great Adventure, with a goal of fully integrating our kids into the work of the Kingdom and the life of the church.