Interviews of Recovery Leaders on ChristianRecoveryRadio.com a Knockout
A Report on the First Three and Two on Their Way
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Today’s Interview of Father Bill W. of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Recovery Committee
All the ongoing International Christian Recovery Coalition interviews of Christian Recovery leaders are immediately posted on the interview page of http://www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com.
They have been an instant hit and joy. The station makes the task easy. Those many Christian recovery leaders and workers and concerned public personages interviewed can be introduced from their own offices, homes, and locations. And each has about 25 minutes of the half hour show to enlighten alcoholics, addicts, those with life-controlling problems, and the concerned public on just how much God can help them, how much the early AA Christian Fellowship in Akron did help such folks, and how the leaders are helping roll the Christian Recovery Movement forward in their areas of recovery expertise. And dozens will follow right away!
A Brief Report on the Father Bill W. Interview Today
Father Bill W. of Texas has been very active in Alcoholics Anonymous, in the treatment field, in therapy and marriage counseling, as President and CEO of Austin Recovery—the largest treatment program in Texas, and now as Chairman of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Recovery Committee—which is very active in Houston and in Austin. He has also been a valued participant in International Christian Recovery Coalition http://www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com
Here is a brief synopsis of what he said today, but you will only get the full value and import of the interview if you go at any time to the interview page of http://www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com.
Here in brief sketch form are some of the highlights of Bill’s talk:
1. He had Jesuit education, began working in the recovery field almost at once, got sober and recovered some 40 years ago, became an Episcopalian Priest about seven years ago, has written for Recovery Today, and has a particular interest in Quiet Time, prayer, and meditation as they were introduced into A.A. through the Oxford Group.
2. We quoted the following by Bill W. from A.A. General Services Conference-approved DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, at page 178:
Bill Wilson remembered a time when four drunks still shaking and not knowing what it was about, were staying with Wally and Annabelle (of the Akron area). “They would start out in the morning reading from The Upper Room and say the prayers,” he recalled.
Bill found it odd that Wally and Annabelle G. helped sober up a lot of people and Lois and Anne didn’t have that many successes. “A few people sobered up in later years, but never while they were living in our [the Wilson’s house],” Bill said. “And we had a good 20 of them.
At the G___ ‘s house, they did, and I don’t know why. Maybe they just hit the right cases. There certainly wasn’t any difference in the treatment. I think there may have been times when we attributed it to their morning hour of meditation,” Bill said. “I sort of always felt that something was lost from A.A. when we stopped emphasizing the morning meditation.” (Bill and Lois themselves, however, continued the practice together until his death in 1971.)
Father Bill got his real A.A. infusion at about 20 years of sobriety when he visited Earl Husband (now deceased), who was the Oklahoma A.A. Archivist and emphasized the Big Book, the Twelve Steps, and the Bible. Earl pointed Father Bill to: 1) The Oxford Group as “A First Century Christian Fellowship.” 2) The Bible and the three important segments—the Book of James, 1 Corinthians 13, and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, and 7) the early AAs considered essential to their program. 3) The vital important of “conscious contact with God.”
Earl Husband taught Bill what he believed was the three-part heart of the Twelve Steps:
1) Connection—Steps 1-3—where the surrender to God was paramount.
2) Correction—Steps 4-9—where the “wreckage of the past” was unveiled, confessed, placed in God’s hands to be removed, and then corrected with restitution and amends.
3) Direction—Steps 10-12—where listening to, and following the guidance of God enables a transformed life, conscious contact with Him, and a new way of living.
Vital in recovery, said Father Bill, is the transformation by God, the 11th Step practice, and the Quiet Time – where the “God that speaks” transmits directions to the “servant that listens and obeys.” (See 1 Samuel 3:9: “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.”)
Bill may have formed the very first James Club—something we urged for those in A.A. who wanted to learn, practice, and apply the practices and principles of early A.A.—when there were no Steps at all.
In this respect, Father Bill heeded the common procedure by A.A. historian and leader Earl Husband who gathered AAs together and had them read and study one of the three A.A. Bible segments that were considered essential. For example, Earl would have them read 1 Corinthians 13 where Professor Henry Drummond had point out that “love” is kind, does not envy, thinks no evil, and is truthful. Earl would then tell the group to go home and practice kindness, etc. and return the following week to these challenges: “Were you kind at home? Where were you not kind?” In other words, Husband was pointing to the real “principles” of A.A.—at set forth in James, 1 Corinthians 13, and Jesus’ Sermon. Then he was insisting that the “practice” of these biblical principles was essential, was to be guided by God, was to be checked (for example, against the Four Absolutes—Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love) to make certain the biblical principles were being practiced, and then for the AAs to correct the failures, if any.
We are tremendously grateful to Father Bill W. for adding another link to the effective practice of the old school, First Century Christian, early Akron A.A. fellowship program essentials.
To Hear Today’s Interview of Father Bill by Dick B.
The “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” Show:
Dick B. Interviews Christian Recovery Leader Father Bill W., June 7, 2012
Please use the following URL address(es) to listen to this interview:
The First Three ChristianRecoveryRadio.com Interviews and the Two to Come
Already now, we have heard the interviews by Dick B. of long-time Christian recovery leader and Non-profit organization consultant Rev. Michael Liimatta; then of Ray G., retired archivist and former board member at Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, Ohio, and AA historian; and today Father Bill W., priest, treatment recovery expert, and Quiet Time advocate.
The next two interviews that follow immediately are devoted to highlighting the June, 2012 AA Founders Day events in Akron, Ohio—particularly as they relate to Dr. Bob’s Home and to the Gate Lodge visits at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. The first speaker is Ron Glosser—who is largely responsible for the restoration of Mrs. Henrietta Seiberling’s Gate Lodge home where Bill W. and Dr. Bob first met and which today is filled with historical memorabilia and exhibits. The second speaker is Edward Grinnan, who is flying into Akron for the Founders Day event and is both an author and the editor-in-chief of Guideposts Publications and will help show the important links between Akron A.A. and Bill Wilson’s Big Book A.A. and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Guideposts in Pawling, New York