THE HISTORY OF CITYTEAM
Cityteam has grown dramatically from 1957 when Lester and Pauline Meyers began sacrificially serving the homeless of San Jose, California. Our dedicated donors, volunteers, and staff enable Cityteam to serve over 500,000 people in the United States each year and more than a million more people globally. How did we get here?
1957 – Lester and Pauline Meyers began a feeding program for homeless men in downtown San Jose.
1961 – The ministry, then known as the San Jose Rescue Mission, moved to a larger facility where it began providing shelter as well as meals to the homeless.
1964 – Pauline opened the New Hope Home for Women and Children. Today this program is known as Heritage Home for pregnant homeless women and newborn babies.
1969 – The San Jose Rescue Mission merged with May and Mac McLean’s boys ranch in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains and summer camp in Lake Tahoe for boys from broken homes.
1983 – San Jose Rescue Mission changed its name to Cityteam, a name which more accurately represented its expanding urban focus.
The same year, the summer camp was relocated to 172 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the name was changed to Camp MayMac in honor of May and Mac McClean, who dedicated their lives to providing a safe haven for children.
1987 – Philadelphia churches called upon Cityteam to start their national expansion to the East Coast by serving people in need located throughout the Greater Delaware Valley. During this time period, Cityteam started a long-term recovery program for men. Cityteam is now located in the heart of Chester, Pennsylvania where more than 33 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
1989 – Cityteam’s Disaster Response Team started by responding to and sheltering the victims of the Loma Prieta earthquake that hit Santa Cruz County.
1994 – Cityteam started three new programs: House of Grace and Heritage Home in San Jose and the Well Baby Program in Philadelphia. With the rate of women and children living in poverty situations rapidly increasing each year, Cityteam saw the importance of helping those women suffering from addiction, abuse, abandonment, crisis pregnancy and homelessness.
1994 – Cityteam’s International Division was started and began ministering and partnering with other organizations in South Africa, Cuba, Ireland, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other locations. Today, we specifically are catalyzing disciple making movements in 51 countries as we train and equip local leaders in church planting.
1998 – Cityteam expanded its locations by acquiring the Peniel Missions in Oakland, San Francisco, and Portland. Many of these locations have been serving the poor since the late 1800’s.
2005 – Cityteam’s Disaster Response Team was put into action to compassionately serve thousands of people affected by Hurricane Katrina. We continued to help for four years.
2007 – Cityteam celebrated 50 years of offering help and hope to the poor.
2012 – iDisciple was launched to train and equip disciples to make disciples, meet the needs of their community, and plant churches.
2012-2013 – Cityteam published two books with Thomas Nelson Publishing. Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale and The Father Glorified by Patrick Robertson & David Watson. These books are now available in multiple languages.
Present – Cityteam is meeting the needs of over 500,000 people each year in five US cities. Across the United States and in 51 countries around the world, we are training, equipping, mentoring, and coaching local leaders to care for those that are lost and in need in their own communities.