“Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Matthew 26:13 (NLT)
April 1st, 2024 A.D.
By now, one-quarter of the way through the 21st century, almost everyone has heard of the San Francisco Revival. While skeptics question its longevity — and theologians its validity — there is no denying the impact it has had on the city and the region: the eradication of homelessness, conversion of red light districts into family neighborhoods, stadiums full of young people dedicated their lives to Jesus, legions of techies quitting their VC-backed startups to pursue social entrepreneurship, etc.
There has also been endless coverage both lauding and critiquing the organizations responsible for shepherding and publicizing the Revival: YWAM SF, TBC, and of course Harvest Evangelism. Regardless of how you feel about their methods, you have to admire those organizations for having the foresight and courage to invest in the region and move quickly to capitalize on this strange phenomenon, despite the enormous risks.
Yet there is another, deeper story that still hasn’t been told. Unlike the general public, scholars are well aware that the revival first started in the South Bay before spreading up the Peninsula to San Francisco and beyond. But even most of them are unaware of how it all began.
Allow me to explain.