A Neglected Mission Field — The City of San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the most influential cities in the world. Since the 1960’s our society has gone through tremendous changes away from God and Christian morality. To a large extent, these changes originated in San Francisco.
San Francisco was a leader in the drug movement, introduction of Eastern religions, gurus and cults, new-age thinking, occultism and satanism, radical left-wing political movements, sexual immorality and homosexuality, etc. It was the first US city to allow “topless” bars and have a “Church of Satan.” Militant homosexuals have obtained tremendous power in this city, which has become the first to officially endorse homosexual relationships.
San Francisco has been called “the smut capital of the world” because not a single pornographer has been prosecuted here since 1971. Teenage boys as young as fourteen work as homosexual prostitutes on the streets. Drugs are taking over many neighborhoods. Police believe that over half of the low-income housing projects in San Francisco are controlled by drug dealers.
Thousands of homeless people wander the streets, most addicted to drugs and alcohol. Meanwhile, the AIDS epidemic is sweeping through the homosexual population of the city. Thousands have died of this disease and tens of thousands are infected with the AIDS virus.
Twenty pastors and ministry leaders disturbed by the spiritual condition of San Francisco, and the lack of a visible Christian witness; met together in January, 1980. They organized the first SOS-San Francisco Outreach. We sent out an “SOS” distress, signal to Christians to come to San Francisco for a week-long evangelism outreach. That year, 1500 Christians from over 50 different churches joined us in witnessing to the people of this city. We planned large outdoor rallies, gave out 500,000 tracts, and saw hundreds respond to the gospel message.
In 1981, three thousand homosexuals and occultists demonstrated against us at two outdoor rallies. However, God showed us to praise Him in the midst of this opposition. As we did, those who were opposing us became confused and dispersed. Since that time, we have had great freedom to preach the gospel in this city. Since 1980, we have organized an SOS-San Francisco outreach each summer, inviting Christians from all over the United States to join us for an intensive, week-long evangelism outreach. Thousands of Christians have participated in these outreaches and had their lives transformed through them. Some have begun ministries in their own cities or been called to missionary work. Today, over a dozen cities have annual outreaches patterned largely after SOS-San Francisco.