Probably the least known fact about personal stories is why they became part of the A.A. fellowship in the first place. If you read the Co-Founders Pamphlet P-53 and DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, you will see that stories at meetings were not important. On the other hand, Dr. Bob sent the Akronites to the hospitalized newcomers in order for them to meet–one at a time–those who had already recovered and with home they could relate prior to their formal entry into the program. Dr. Bob talked to the new person each day. And then, prior to discharge, the newcomer professed a belief in God and got out of bed and on his knees and prayed–also accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
When Bill decided to formulate the Big Book which was published 4 years later in 1939, the stories had a new purpose. Almost all those stories have been removed in subsequent editions. But Dr. Bob devoted a lot of time getting those in the Akron fellowship to write stories as to how the found or rediscovered God. And those stories have a real whack because they show how the old school 7 point Christian Fellowship program worked and the principles the Akronites practiced. In other words, those stories were old fashioned testimonies by Akronites as to how the program had worked for them and enabled them to establish a relationship with God.
An entirely new and refreshing understanding of the importance can be obtained from the newly reprinted First Edition Big Book–with a substantial introduction–that can make the stories and the early A.A. program come alive for you.