Our Story

The Well began to form in February 2011 when a small group of people longing for new expressions of church met for dinner & conversation. The conversation centered around imagining a new community of faith rooted in the life-giving, love-centered way of Jesus. This new community would be inclusive of everyone & would be a safe space for those who’d been left out or who’d left church.

This new community would also begin meeting in Springfield, a neighborhood just north of downtown Jacksonville. Springfield seemed to be a good fit for us because this part of Jacksonville was (& still is) experiencing its own renewal & was quickly becoming a dynamic intersection of rich & poor, black & white, young & old, gay & straight.  We could easily imagine joining in & practicing the way of Jesus here.

Our first year together was spent gathering weekly for potluck dinner & scripture exploration at Carl’s Main Street Diner. We listened & learned about the neighborhood. We became involved in opportunities for service & getting to know our new neighbors. We spent our first Easter together serving at the Clara White Mission. This would set the tone for many other ways we would move beyond boundaries to be present with people in a variety of community spaces.

In the months & years to follow, we’ve continued to listen, dream, serve, partner & invite others to form this new spiritual community with us. We are becoming:

A community who is learning how to love each other, ourselves & God together.

A refuge offering a safe, welcoming space, especially for the down & out & the left out.

A hub for caregivers, activists & advocates to receive spiritual nourishment & be sent back out to do the work we feel called to do.

We are a collection of believers, non-believers, activists, skeptics, saints, gay, straight, young, old, black, white, brown, churched & church-averse folks. We ask questions, have difficult conversations, share needs & resources, eat together often & try our best to practice the way of Jesus together.