San Francisco Landmarks
The Great Cloud of Witnesses, a collage‐mural, contains thousands of newspaper and magazine clippings, posters, framed prints, painted murals and other objects that tell the stories of inspirational African Americans. It encompasses portions of the lobby, basement, second floor offices and the entire gymnasium.
The Cloud of Witnesses began in 1980 when Roland Gordon. a young student pastor, glued a newspaper clipping Muhammad Ali to the gymnasium wall to inspire the youth who played basketball there. In a 2015 interview, Reverend Gordon said: ʺThese guys might not read their Black history book, but they’ll read the wall.”
The title of the work derives its name from Hebrews Chapter 12:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Source: Adapted from San Francisco Landmark Designation Application for Ingleside Presbyterian Church & Community Center and The Great Cloud of Witnesses, 15 November 2016