Two Christian Men Founded Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Christians. The Two Christian Cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous were Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Together, Bill and Bob founded the Christian Fellowship of Early A.A. in Akron, Ohio, in June of 1935.

Dick B.

Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved.

The Christian Cofounders of A.A.: The Alcoholics Anonymous Christians who founded A.A. were William Griffith Wilson (Bill W.) born and raised in East Dorset, Vermont; and Robert Holbrook Smith (Dr. Bob) born and raised in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Dr. Bob: Dr. Bob (Robert Holbrook Smith) was a Christian from his earliest days in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Bob’s parents Judge Walter P. Smith and Mrs. Susan H. Smith were Congregationalists, were stalwart members of the North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury, were active in that church (Judge Smith was a Deacon and Mrs. Smith was superintendent of Sunday School and church education. And both taught Sunday School). The church, in its creed, confessions, sermons, literature, instructions to parents, and teachings (as well as the Sunday school) emphasized to members and parents and younsters salvation and the need for study of the Word of God. The entire Smith family (Judge Smith, Susan H. Smith, Susan’s mother, young Robert [Dr. Bob], and Bob’s foster sister Amanda Northrup) all regularly attended the church. The family went to church services three times on Sunday and to a prayer meeting during the week; and Dr. Bob was active in the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor of that Church–where confession of Christ, conversion meetings, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and the Quiet Hour were required of the young people. The documentation was established by Dick B. and Ken B. on their investigations over periods of three weeks in St. Johnsbury and was made available to them and inspecred on the North Congregational Church premises. Dr. Bob continued his association with Christian churches throughout his life–West Side Presbyterian Church in Akron and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron–the latter, one year prior to his death when he became a communicant.

Bill W.: Bill W. (William Griffith Wilson) had a Christian upbringinjg from his earliest days in East Dorset, Vermont; and was or became a born again Christian when he went to the altar at Calvary Rescue Mission in New York and, in the words of his wife, “handed his life over to Christ,” and–in his own words was “for sure, born again.”

Bill’s parents, Gilman Wilson and Emily Griffith Wilson were Congregationalists when Bill was born in East Dorset. The Wilson side of Bill’s family were among the founders of of the little East Dorset Congregational Church which was located on the green between the home of the Wilsons at what is now called “Wilson House” and the home of the Griffiths at what is now called the “Griffith House Library”–part of Wilson House today. The Wilson family owned Pew 15 which is recorded in church records and which we have seen. Bill’s grandfather “Willie Wilson” was cured of alcoholism at a mountain top spiritual experienc on Mount Aeolus adjacent to East Dorset. Willie rushed down to the church pulpit, announced he was saved, and never drank again for the remaining 8 years of his life. The Griffiths–Bill’s maternal grandparents–were Fayette and Ella Griffith. The Griffiths attended the East Dorset Congregational Church and Sunday school also. They regarded this church as the family church. Fayette enrolled Bill in the East Dorset Congregational Sunday school, and Bill attended the church, its Sunday school, heard its sermons, attended its revivals and conversion meetings, and also the Temperance meetings held at the church. Bill’s parents were married in the East Dorset Congregational Church where they attended until they were separated. When ready for high school, Bill was enrolled by his grandfather Griffith in the Congregational-dominated Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont. There Bill attended daily chapel. He took a four year Bible study course there. And he became president of the school YMCA. Bill had previously studied the Bible with his grandfather Griffith, and also with his friend Mark Whalon.

A few have quarrled about Bill’s Christian status, but they provide no evidence of ever having visited, inspected, or even researched the altar calls at Calvary Rescue Mission, the testimony of the witnesses to Bill’s conversion to God through Jesus Christ there, or Bill’s own statements that he was there born again. Likewise, their comments about his boyhood and his supposed lack of belief in Jesus Christ at any time are totally lacking in documentation, save the opinion years later by a secretary to Bill’s wife–who also gave no evidence of having researched the history and records above.

Once again: Bill W. and Dr. Bob were born again Christians, and the evidence and records and confessions of these two men prove that fact beyond doubt.

dickb@dickb.com; http://www.dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml; http://www.dickb.com/conversion.shtml; http://www.dickb.com/newlight.shtml. et. al.

Gloria Deo

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About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement. www.dickb.com
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