In 1865, William Booth, a Methodist preacher in England, had a vision of a church that ministered to those not cared for by other churches, the ‘down and out’ of society. He founded The Salvation Army, a part of the universal Christian church, which quickly grew into an international movement serving the spiritual and social needs of man in over 103 countries today.
In 1886, The Salvation Army opened a church in San Francisco’s Chinatown area, home to the largest population of Chinese outside of China. The church continued to minister to the community decade after decade.
The Chinatown church branched comfortably into two congregations in the 1970’s: the Chinese-speaking, overseas–born congregation; and the English-speaking, American-raised congregation. Every Sunday, the two congregations came together to worship in a bilingual service.
In the 1990’s, The Salvation Army appointed pastors to the English-speaking, second-generation congregation and the Asian American Corps was joyfully born.
In 2002 the Yerba Buena Corps joined the Asian American Corps to form the Asian American Yerba Buena Corps (AAYBC). The Corps is located on Fourth Street in the South of Market district.
The AAYBC holds worship services in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and has many ministries serving people ranging from children to seniors.
While welcoming all persons into our fellowship, the AAYBC feels the calling to reach out to those in our midst who identify with the ever-expanding Asian American community. The AAYBC is part of an international, multi-cultural family of God around the world, known as The Salvation Army.
Who is the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian Church, although distinctive in government and practice. The Army’s doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasis God’s saving purposes. Its objects are ‘the advancement of the Christian religion… of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.’
The Salvation Army Asian American Yerba Buena Corps’ mission is to:
* Save Souls
* Grow Saints
* Serve Suffering Humanity
The Salvation Army is a Christian organization and part of the universal Christian Church.
Its message and the lifestyle it advocates are based on the Bible’s teaching. Its work is to make known the good news about Jesus Christ and to persuade people to become his followers.
Everything The Salvation Army does is rooted in the faith of its members. The confidence Salvationists have in a loving and caring God finds outward expression in their love for humanity and their practical response to human need.
Doctrines of The Salvation Army
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.
We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience, they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall, all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
We believe that repentance toward God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation.
We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, in the general judgement at the end of the world, in the eternal happiness of the righteous, and in the endless punishment of the wicked.
The SOMA Corps welcomed corps officers Majors Fred and Debora Wong to pastor and lead the church family in August 2008.
Fred and Debora entered The Salvation Army Training School and were commissioned as officers in 1994. They have served in appointments as corps officers in Santa Monica, Eastmont, CA, Sierra Vista, AZ, and Rome, Italy. Major Fred and Debora left their current appointments in Italy as youth, candidates and training officer and War Cry editor/assistant youth officer, respectively.
Major Fred and Debora have seven children: Xavier, Desiree, Shante, Jaene, Demiree, Alisee and Josue.