Memories of Pauline Bartosch


On April 7th, 2019, our co-founder Pauline Bartosch went to be with the Lord. We welcome your prayers as well as short memories, stories, or how the founders and their ministry have impacted your life.


  1. Good morning thanks for having the tools of overcomers outreach for us on line, since I’ve been back here in California, I have been telling people about my experience strenght and hope in my recovery journey through Jesus Christ who is Lord!

    Pauline and I met in 1979 or 1980 at an Al-Anon meeting, where else? I believe Pauline attended more Al-Anon meetings than anyone I know! We hit it off immediately as we had two crucial things in common: we were both faithful women of God, and we both had husbands battling with alcoholism. Shortly after meeting her, I ran into her and Bob at my church, Whittier Area Baptist Fellowship (WABF), and in our conversations, we thought it would be a great idea to start a Circle of Concern specifically for alcoholics and family members. Circle of Concern was the name of our church’s in-home small group ministry. This was at a time when NO ONE even whispered that alcohol was a problem in their life, home, or the lives of others they loved! To admit that you ‘might need a little help’ was unheard of! So this was a big deal!
    As I was a charter member and very active at WABF, it was decided that I should be the one to promote and obtain approval from the church leadership for this unheard-of new “Christian AA Group”. Pauline, Bob, and I were thrilled when this new group was granted the church’s blessing and several alcoholics from our church, including my husband, Dick, met in my family’s home for our very first meeting. I was so excited to host a group of “real people” sharing “real problems” and provide the space and grace for all of us to journey this new pathway together. To have a room full of Christian alcoholics in my living room, along with some of their spouses, friends and our children – laughing, crying, praying together, studying the Word and fellowshipping was an amazing experience for everyone!
    Dick and I were very close to Bob and Pauline for many years; Bob was Dick’s Sponsor during one of his recovery journeys. They were both so good to us and for us!
    As the group’s membership gained momentum, it became obvious that there was a need for a stand-alone Christian AA group. Our Circle of Concern had grown so big; friends, fellow AA’ers and family members just kept coming in! We were thrilled with the possibilities of expanding this ministry so that more people with dependency issues and their families could be a part of what we had nurtured in our Circle of Concern. The “movement” was growing larger than our living rooms could hold so we started meeting at WABF.
    We (primarily Pauline, Bob and I) thought it was time to take on our own identity and mission separate from the Circle of Concern. I can distinctly remember the three of us in their home strategizing our mission statement when we realized we needed a name! We began to brainstorm names for our group. We didn’t want any reference or phrase that would scare anyone away, nor did we want a ‘Pollyanna’ name that indicated ‘sunshine and flowers’, a façade that everything was wonderful, which we knew isn’t an Alcoholic or Al Anon’s view of this journey! I came up with the name “OVERCOMERS”, because it tells who we are, who we are becoming, who we want to be — in Christ and with Christ’s help! Pauline and Bob agreed excitedly – we are now OVERCOMERS! It was at this point that OVERCOMERS expanded to meet the needs of people with various addictions. Similar groups were formed at other local churches and this new Christian addition-related help group “OVERCOMERS” spread throughout the West Coast and beyond!
    That was just the beginning, thanks to Pauline and Bob who continued carrying on this amazing life-saving ministry for many, many years. They dedicated their lives to this ministry, and it expanded beyond our Circle of Concern at WABF, beyond the Whittier area. God blessed this ministry so greatly, and I am so thankful to have been a part of the Overcomer’s Outreach journey from the point of conception! This all happened because Pauline and Bob carried on this very important ministry to those struggling with addictions. The life goal and passion of both of them was to reach all who wanted help and were willing to ‘work the program’ to have a life of sobriety.
    Overcomers Outreach has been a lighthouse for my family and I. I am blessed to have been a part of it from the very, very beginning! I know God is pleased with what we started, and the journey the ministry has taken: affecting those with addiction in a way that directs them to the Great Physician!
    Pauline was a dear friend and confidante to me. She greatly influenced and mentored me for many years before and during this founding of Overcomers season. I am so blessed to have had Pauline in my life during such an important, difficult time.
    I have lost a very special friend in Pauline. And, the world has lost a wonderful lady: a giver, a doer, a ‘say it like it is’ person, and the biggest fan and cheering section of thousands of men, women and children all over the world!
    May Pauline joining Bob and all the other Overcomers in Heaven be the greatest celebration ever!
    Jeannette Underwood
    (My memory of 30+ years ago)

  3. The news of Pauline’s passing on to a higher realm saddened my wife, Patty and I. At the same time I knew she was celebrating her reuniting with her beloved, Bob, and other family and friends. For those closest to her, loved ones, family and her many OO friends, her departure is full of grief and her absence is irreplaceable. My wife and I enjoyed many times of ministry and fellowship with Pauline and Bob. When I first saw them in 1985 on TBN introducing themselves and their ministry, I connected immediately with them. I totally identified with Bob as I, too, was a recovering alcoholic with similar behaviors. Since I was also a professional in the addictions field I immediately felt the desire to become involved in the work of Overcomers Outreach. I sent for their booklet and more information and became a supporter. I was living in Arizona then and went over to their first OO conference in LA area. Got to meet them both and it was the beginning of a long friendship. It was an incredible honor when they asked me to be on the OO Board and to speak at the annual Conferences. Later I wrote my story for the Bridge To Recovery book, which I refer to as our OO Big Book. Over the years we always stayed in touch and when my wife and I moved back to Virginia we were invited to speak at a OO conference in Pennsylvania. After our dear Bob’s passing Pauline and I had our annual Christmas card and yearly message of our life’s journeys. My heart goes out to her husband, family, friends and the OO community throughout the world on the loss of our dear Pauline. She was an amazing wife, mother, grandma, ministry director, visionary, but most importantly, a beautiful, intelligent, caring, loving, deeply spiritual and devoted Christian and follower of Jesus. Pauline was also one of our dearest friends since 1985. We’ll see you again and have plenty of time to debrief our individual lives, from a heavenly perspective. Until then, Pauline, enjoy the fruits of you and Bob’s labor; as these words come to mind: “Well done good and faithful servant, for you there remains a Crown of Glory.” Lovingly, Jack and Patty Jones Warrenton, Virginia

  4. I had the pleasure of meeting and receiving great encouragement from a retired doctor who’d written chapter 7 or 8(?) of the original book and he absolutely loved Bob & Pauline and talked at great length on some of their original meetings about putting OO together.

    My deepest condolences to the entire family.

  5. We met Bob & Pauline personally after we had started a group in Portland, Oregon over 30 years ago. Judy Luther, (who first initiated starting our group), and I first met them at a conference in California. After about 5 years we then started another group in Scappoose. Bob & Pauline personally visited our group which meets in our home now for 25 years. They both inspired and encouraged us both. Their stories and dedication will always be a great memory to us.

  6. Our condolences to Pauline Family & Friends. Overcomers Outreach is a God sent recovery program, and Pauline carried the message of a new way of living. I did not know Pauline but I believe she was called to serve, what an honor is to serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thank you Pauline for your service, you made a difference one life at a time. God Bless , Still Steve OO-CCF Davidsonville MD USA

  7. Even if we didn’t meet Pauline f2f in this life she and her husband Bob, and other friends of Overcomers Outreach US, had an immense impact on the lives of many of us. So we will give thanks, prayers and blessings to our LORD for Pauline and all she has done for so many friends in need around the Globe.
    Praise the Lord and Amen.

    But life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love. Acts 20:24 Living Bible (TLB)

  8. Oh my, we go way back to the beginning in my 1st year sober in 1985. We were meeting
    in each others homes at the time, in and around Whittier, CA. We worked out of Bob and Pauline’s home. Folding flyers and doing whatever needed to be done. Later I became the bookkeeper at the office in Whittier in 1993 when Pauline called me to see if I could help out. I am celebrating 35 years this month. My motto is Freed from our first logo and our Freed book. In sobriety God has surely set me Free.
    My prayers are with her family
    Thanks for the Memories, Pauline, such a sweet friend and encourager and fun to work with. God has received a special, sweet spirit.

  9. 1st met Bob and Pauline at an OO conference in Oklahoma City in 1989. We immediately developed a friendship that took me to California numerous times, which resulted in serving on the board x Watched her go through some hard times with dignity and grace. Thank you Pauline for never giving up

  10. Thank you for sharing this. We cannot know the full extent of the positive impact Overcomers Outreach has had for people and their connection to our Higher Power Jesus Christ. Bob and Pauline were faithful in doing their part at the urging of the Holy Spirit to reach those suffering in addiction. We have the assurances from God in the Bible that he continues to reach out to us through his Son. Our prayers go out to the family. God Bless

  11. I never met her personally but I loved that she found our Overcomers page and would like and sometimes comment on the posts. It meant a lot that she took the time.

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