Church Plant Thrives Within San Francisco's Marina Community
Canvas SF (AG)
San Francisco, California
Canvas SF church is a growing body of believers located in a part of San Francisco, California, called the Marina — a place known for its unique culture, thriving tech industry, and arts community.
AGTrust, in partnership with Church Multiplication Network, provided the Matching Funds that helped Canvas SF Church launch in October 2013 and have been critical to its growth. Thank you, friends of AGTrust!
Canvas SF church opened in October 2013 with 23 people in the Presidio Theatre in the city’s Marina district,
walking distance from the Golden Gate Bridge. The church has grown to more than 350 people today.
San Francisco, Calif., might be known in some circles as a hostile environment for people of certain political or religious affiliations. But Assemblies of God church planters Travis and Jena Clark have experienced quite the opposite.
Canvas SF church opened in October 2013 with 23 people in the Presidio Theatre in the city’s Marina district, walking distance from the Golden Gate Bridge. The church has grown to more than 350 people today.
After months of building relationships in the community and closely studying its cultural pulse, the Clarks (with a dedicated team of volunteers) formed a plan for reaching the community that emphasized love, service, and cultivating the “community and family” atmosphere that locals enjoy.
In every service a significant number of seekers, skeptics, and even atheists come to observe, experience and question. Canvas SF welcomes every critique and piece of feedback from visitors.
“Often what we call a ‘graveyard,’ God calls a ‘garden.’ I was told San Francisco was a graveyard for previous churches. But it’s actually a garden bursting with life and wonder and a future. God does not give up on anyone, and neither should we.”
—Church Planter/Pastor Travis Clark
“What God has formed here is a growing family of believers and non-believers who are discovering what it means to be fully alive in Jesus,” Travis says. “’Unity even if there isn’t uniformity’ has been the most common comment from people in our community; they say that Canvas SF is diverse, and yet people seem to genuinely love one another.”
In illustration, the church’s strongest financial partner for two years after its launch was an individual who was an atheist. “In the past he didn’t believe in God,” Travis says. “But he found something to be very real and powerful about what was happening at Canvas SF, and he wanted to invest personally. He is now a believer. God is good!”
Canvas SF needed to be a “mobile church” in order to find such a prime location in its community. Before every service, church staff and volunteers set up portable sound equipment and musical instruments. After service, everything is packed up until next time. AGTrust matching funds were a major factor in helping the Clarks purchase the equipment needed to launch and sustain Canvas SF.
“Thank you for not just praying for a movement of God, but deciding to be the movement of God through your generosity,” Travis says in reference to AGTrust members who provided the matching funds for Canvas SF church. “By contributing matching funds, you are literally impacting the world from where you are.”
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