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Our History

Pauline Fell.jpeg

In 1976, at the age of 60, a woman by the name of Pauline Fell began walking the streets of the DTES. Although she was a new Christian, she asked God what He wanted her to do with her life, and felt His prompting to befriend people in the neighbourhood. For the next 25 years, almost every day, she faithfully walked the streets and alleys, and visited the bars, prisons, local hospitals and hotels where her many friends could be found. She was known to many as “sister” or “mom,” and virtually everyone in the neighbourhood respected this elderly woman.

In November 2000, Pauline felt God urging her to give her inheritance away before she died. She pondered this, and believing that God wasn’t speaking to her about money, she asked what her inheritance was. Immediately she saw faces flashing before her, hundreds of faces of the people that she had become friends with over the past 25 years. She realized that the many friendships she had built were a rich inheritance, and that it would be squandered if she didn’t pass them on before the end of her life. Her love for God and for the people of the DTES compelled her to seek out others who would be willing to be friends with her friends, in the hopes of experiencing the love of Christ in community. Jacob’s Well was directly birthed out her diligence and obedience.

In June 2001, Pauline and a few friends opened the doors of the storefront at 239 Main Street. No one had any clear idea as to what  would happen at Jacob’s Well, but they had a lot of faith that God would help them sort it out. Indeed, God brought Joyce Heron (now Joyce Rees) to that first meeting, and Pauline discerned that Joyce should run Jacob’s Well.  Joyce began gathering a community of people to continue the friendship-building work that Pauline had begun.  Pauline chose to move into an assisted living building in 2008. Over the course of the next seven years, Pauline felt called to share the love of God with the men and women who lived alongside her at the assisted living facility. She was often seen praying over others in the dining hall and inviting her neighbours into her room for tea and biscuits. In 2015, Pauline passed away at 99 years of age. While she is sorely missed, we strive to keep her legacy alive through the Jacobs' Well community.

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