遠在九零年代之後期，位於唐人埠的母會，三藩市播道會，已看到福音的異象，計劃在日落區開始教會植堂的工作。按照當時的調查，日落區已成為繼唐人埠以外華人最為聚居的區域。其人口接近五萬，當中亞裔人口約為三萬，並以華人為主；然而超過九乘以上的人口未有經常參與教會聚會﹐其中絕大部份是非信徒。日落區的Irving街及Noreiga街，更是華人商舖、超市及餐店林立的地方，可見華人在這區作息作業之多。因此，福音的工作是逼切的。「… 所以你們當求莊稼的主﹐打發工人出去，收衪的莊稼。」( 太 9：37-38)
植堂事工開始時聚會人數約為八十多人。神是信實的和滿有恩典的，衪看到弟兄姊妹對傳福音的熱誠和給予尋道朋友的關愛，大大地使用和祝福他們。三年後聚會人數已增長至二百二十人。蒙神的帶領，教會在二零零三年四月一日獨立，並名為三藩市恩福播道會。二零零四年五月本會獲悉，Judah夾46街物業業主選中本會，可以購買該物業。神為我們行了大事，感動弟兄姊妹上下一心，為神家禱告，並願意以金錢捐獻或借貸，讓本會在不足兩個月內，籌足款項購下物業。 神又預備各類人才，促成購堂建堂事工。本會亦於十月三日遷入新址，繼續 神托付我們傳福音的使命。「那報佳音，傳平安，報好信，傳救恩的，對錫安說：你的 神作王了！這人的腳登山何等佳美！」(賽 52:7)
Our Beginnings …
Near the end of the 90's, our mother church, San Francisco Evangelical Free Church, had a vision for evangelism in the Sunset district and planned its church planting project. According to their survey, Sunset was the second-most Chinese-concentrated region in San Francisco, aside from Chinatown. Fifty thousand people lived in Sunset. Among them, thirty thousand were Asian, a majority of who were Chinese. Irving and Noriega Street were and are filled with Chinese businesses and supermarkets. And yet, 90% of this population was not Christian. The Gospel needed to be heard in this community. Matt 9:37-38 says: “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” (NIV)
According to the study of church growth, for every two thousand people, there should be a church providing spiritual nourishment for the community. If this is our standard, there should be at least 15 Chinese churches in Sunset. More importantly, church planting is the most effective means for outreaching and evangelism. Therefore, to fulfill the vision and Jesus’ Great Commission and to respond to the need of the harvest field, San Francisco Evangelical Free Church started the Sunset campus on Noreiga Street and 34th Ave. The church plant formally began with a Gospel outreach event called “The Lost” on a Saturday evening on April 15 of 2000.
It started with eighty people. God has been faithful with abundant grace. When He saw our brothers and sisters’ passion in the evangelistic work and their genuine care for the seekers, He blessed the church plant greatly. Three years later, the congregation grew to 220 adults. Under God’s guidance, on April 1st, 2003, the church plant became independent and was named Grace Evangelical Free Church of San Francisco. In May 2004, the owner of 4114 Judah Street chose our church to be eligible to purchase their property. God worked a great miracle for us! Within two months, we raised adequate funds to purchase the property. God also inspired our people to heartily participate and renovate our facility according to their talents, skills, knowledge and strenuous effort. Finally we moved into our new facility on October 3rd to continue the Gospel mission which God has entrusted to us. Isaiah 52:7 says: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’" (NIV)
May all the glory be given to our highest almighty God!