Birth of a Ministry

The official launching of Overcomers Outreach, Inc., took place in May of 1985, when Bob and Pauline Bartosch abandoned their jobs and stepped out on faith to start the ministry. Through many TV and radio appearances and speaking engagements the message has spread to other needy people, until there are now close to 1,000 Overcomers Outreach groups in nearly every state, as well as in 10 other countries.

The Founders

Bob and Pauline Bartosch pioneered the first Overcomers 12-Step support group in their church in Whittier, CA in 1977. This unique lay ministry was born out of an expressed deep need of individuals and families within the church who were wrestling with chemical dependency and accompanying problems. Bob had found help for his alcoholism in 1973 when he walked into his first 12-Step group in the community. A few weeks prior to that, Pauline had begun to attend a companion 12-Step group for the family and was finding recovery she never dreamed possible.

Both Bob and Pauline have been Christians since childhood, in fact, at one time Bob studied for the ministry. Even so, they went through a period of rebellion early in their marriage which later evolved into alcoholism for Bob and prescription drug use for Pauline. They took their three sons to church regularly, appearing to be the model Christian family, all the while covering up their desperate problems. After years of denial they finally got help, but it didn’t come through the church. Instead, God led them to available help within traditional 12-Step programs, where they were rescued, and given a whole new life in recovery!

Bob has his Master’s Degree in Counseling, and was formerly Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism in Long Beach, CA. Both he and Pauline took extensive courses in Chemical Dependency at the University of Utah and have facilitated after care groups and in-service training for many treatment facilities.

Who We Are Today

President and Executive Coordinator: Chris Jordan
Program Consultant: Ken Sundelin
Vice President: Mark Kleinsasser
Treasurer: Pete Gerbrand
Men’s Ministry: Willie Froese
Secretary: Joan Griffith-Parker
Book/Resources Manager & Women’s Ministry: Joan Griffith-Parker
Accountant: Rey Schellenberg
 

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More About Us

Overcomers was launched in 1985 in response to people within the church who were wrestling with chemical dependency and accompanying problems. We provide help and hope to people in need. More about our history.

Every Church can Benefit from a Recovery Ministry

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Meeting Locations

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12 Steps in 12 Months

News

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Listen to an interview with our founders Bob & Pauline with Dr. James Dobson

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