Our History

“Where There Is No Hope, People Will Die.”
My name is Reverend Joe Foster. I’d like to tell you about our goal to improve the quality of life for youth at risk and of low social economic status through Self Esteem Building, Character and Leadership Development, and Education Enhancements.
The Fountain of Hope was born out of a vision of God and my own experiences in the ghettos of Dayton, Ohio. On a daily basis I watched fighting, stabbing and shootings that sometimes resulted in loss of life. My home life was a mirror of the violence and vices displayed on the streets.
As the middle child of 5 children, I felt compelled to uphold my image at home and on the streets. Many of the activities of my youth carried forward into my adult life and as a result I found myself exposed to life and death situations. Fortunately I met a wonderful God inspired woman who later became my wife, and through her prayers and the help of God I was able to turn my life around. I graduated from Ohio State University with a BS in Social Work, background in mental health; I attended Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio in their master program of Corrections.
My first pastor ship was in 1983 in a community of middle class God fearing people at Mifflin Church of the Nazarene. Although I felt comfortable sharing the Word with these of Gods children, I felt something was missing. As I waited and listened for God’s direction, I accepted a position as a counselor at an open shelter. Those unfortunate men and women who came to the shelter for assistance were experiencing the pits of hopelessness and despair. All were homeless and most were hopeless. I saw men, women and children who had given up on life and were just trying to survive one day at a time.
In the late 1980 the vision began to come into focus, it was Gods Will that I start an inner-city compassionate ministry.
I presented the situation to my congregation and in 1989 resigned my pastorate with the church. For 1 year I pondered how I was to take this ministry to the inner-city of Columbus.
Rev Newell Smith, pastor of Shepard Church of the Nazarene, gave me his support spiritually, emotionally and financially, as I ventured out on faith to establish this ministry. In 1990 I ask members of Shepard Church, who felt the way I did about this type of ministry, to walk with me, pray with me and work with me. I set up planning meetings, set out to sign-up list, one for the people who would pray with me and one for the people who would dream and work with me. I received commitments and went forward.
The original supporters of this ministry are as follows: Cheryl Wooten, Kevin Sweet, William Snyder, Bonnie Parish, Clara Foster, Evelyn Felwellen, Mary Cherry, Panell Carter, Bud Bennet and the District Advisory Board of the Church of Nazarene.
With seed money from the Shepard Church, this core group began to formulate plans for our ministry. In 1990 working from my home, we fed and clothed people with donations, putting homeless people in hotel rooms and a lot of praying.
In 1991 our new interdenominational board wrote our by-laws, set in motion the process for incorporation and tax-exemption. Incorporation status was granted on July 8, 1991 and on July 30, 1992 the Fountain of Hope received their 501 (c) (3). With our qualifications in order we went about our Fathers business of helping people.
Shortly after Bill Bethel, owner of Bethel Sign Company, donated $5000 for the down payment on our present structure.
The history of the Fountain of Hope is being written each day. To those who believe in what we are doing we welcome your support and input.