About SOS Ministries
Sending out a SOS - SOS is a call for help!
Over five million people and growing rapidly. Yet the evangelical churches have not kept pace with this growth. Multitudes are turning to the new age movement, the occult, drugs, and sexual immorality. Most Bay Area children grow up in broken homes with no Christian influence. We have sent missionaries around the world, but neglected our own backyard. We desperately need to reach our neighbors, both in the suburbs and the inner cities.
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.
History of SOS Ministries
Disturbed by the spiritual condition of San Francisco and the lack of a visible Christian witness, twenty pastors and ministry leaders met together in January, 1980 to organize 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.
SOS Ministries also organizes "Church on the Street" outreaches throughout the year. We invite local churches to bring their worship group and conduct a church service in a downtown park. We have found this a very effective way to bring the gospel to people and also to get whole churches involved in evangelism.
SOS Ministries operates a ministry house in Oakland. We have a yearlong evangelism training program for Christians who want practical experience in evangelism. We also have a weekly evangelism team that witnesses on the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley. Like San Francisco, Berkeley is a trendsetter with great influence worldwide. The University of California trains many of the future leaders of this and other nations.
Statement of Faith
• We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
• We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
• We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
• We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
• We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
• We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
SOS Ministry Director
Raised in a Jewish home, Larry Rosenbaum studied psychology at Yale University (B.A.) and Brandeis University (M.A.) before receiving Christ in 1970. Two months after he was saved, Larry started witnessing on the streets. He has been witnessing on the streets consistently since then. He is the author of the book You Shall Be My Witnesses: How to Reach Your City for Christ. Several thousand copies have been sold nationwide, helping many to start outreaches in their own communities. He has taught at churches and evangelism conferences throughout the country. Larry attends New Life Christian Church in Castro Valley, California
SOS Board of Advisers
Paul was born in San Francisco and is founder and director of Firefall Ministries in his hometown of Angels Camp. Paul and his wife, Noreen have been doing street ministry for over twenty years. Paul is an active board member with a hands on approach. The Coca's provide about 70% of our music out on the streets during the course of a year. Besides SOS Ministries, the Coca's own and operate 3 jewelry stores in the Angels Camp area. When they are not busy doing that, they are with their grandchildren or making a professional music CD. Check it out at: www.paulcoca.com
Scott Crawford - Director, Evangelism for Jesus Ministries, Colby, KS.
Scott began doing street evangelism with Resurrection City in Berkeley in the early 1970’s. In the late 1970’s, he organized an annual outreach to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, which today is the largest annual evangelism outreach of its kind. In 1980, he helped bring together pastors and evangelists to form SOS Ministries. He also helped start the National Street Ministry Conference and the International Street Ministries Association. Today, he is involved in small town evangelism and teaching evangelism in local churches.
Dennis McNally - Missions & Founding Pastor, New Life Christian Church, Castro Valley, CA
In 1980, Dennis began pastoring a storefront church in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco that was founded by David Wilkerson. He was head pastor of New Life Christian Church from 1983-2007. Today he is a Senior Presbyter of Life Links International, a fellowship of non-denominational churches. He travels around the world, particularly in undeveloped nations, ministering to local churches and training Christians in the exercise of spiritual gifts.
Doug Shearer - Founder and Pastor Emeritus, New Hope Christian Fellowship, Sacramento, CA
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Doug began bringing teams of Christians from Sacramento to evangelize San Francisco. In the early 1980’s, he founded TAV Ministries, which promoted dialog between Jewish rabbis and evangelical Christian leaders, and joint worship services between Jews and Evangelical Christians. Doug is currently involved in witnessing in housing projects in Sacramento.
SOS Volunteers & Supporters
We especially want to thank all the volunteers and supporters who join us on outreaches, pray behind the scenes, and contribute financially to the ministry. Without your help, SOS Ministries would not exist. Thank you for helping us bring the gospel to the people of San Francisco and Berkeley.