Ken and I have checked out the dates, scheduled the events, contacted the likely cadre members, and welcomed others to the early September gathering in Vermont for workshops, visits, seeking, and learning the real roots of Alcoholics Anonymous in the boyhood days of Alcoholics Anonymous Cofounders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob.
It will involve a substantial stay in the beautiful village of St. Johnsbury, Vermont–where Dr. Bob was born and raised. It will include the Dr. Bob Core Library in the North Congregational Church where Dr. Bob’s entire family attended and Dr. Bob received so much of what he called his “excellent training in the Good Book” as a youngtser. It will include the archives. It will include the Fairbanks Museum across the Street. It will include Dr. Bob’s birthplace and family home on Summer Street. It will include the Courthouse where Judge Smith presideed as Probate Judge. It will include learning where the nearby Young Men’s Christian Association building was – when Judge Smith was YMCA president, where the YMCA conducted activities in Dr. Bob’s church and academy. It will include the Athenaeum – village library – where so many biographical and historical books and papers are lodged, including newspaper accounts. And it will include St. Johnsbury Academy just a block or two away where Judge Smith was an examiner, where Mrs. Smith attended and had been a teacher and was involved as an alumni worker and historian. Also, where Dr. Bob attended daily chapel, required weekly Bible study and church attendance, and religious curricula in this Congregational institution.
Then to Manchester, Vermont where Bill Wilson attended Burr and Burt on Academy; and where Bill Wilson attended daily chapel and may have attended the Manchester Congregational Church, the resources of the Manchester Historical Society, and the records of Bill’s presidency of the school Young Men’s Christian Association and his four year attendance at a Bible study course. Also the presidency of the school Young Women’s Christian Association by Bill’s girl friend Bertha Bamford.
Perhaps to nearby Rutland where Bill’s family lived for a short time before the parents separated.
And then on to the Wilson House. This was Bill’s birthplace. It is adjacent to East Dorset Congregational Church where Bill and the Wilsons attended; and where the family were founders, attenders, and funders. It is the church where the records and Sunday school teachings and sermons show the focus on salvation and the Word of God. It is the church where Bill’s parents were married. It is the church where the Griffiths (the family of Bill’s mother) attended and which they regarded as the family church. It is the location of the large A.A. history library in the Griffith House. It is near to the cemetery where Bill and Lois Wilson are buried.
We will be conducting talks, workshops, visits, and gathering of materials for two or three days in St. Johnsbury and will hold forth from the Comfort Inn and Suites in St. Johnsbnury which is located very near to all the village locations just mentioned.
Come join us. Contact me at 808 874 4876 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Plan to participate, gather facts and information, view important books and records, gain a real understanding of the extensive Christian upbringing of both Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob, and be able to learn and help us disseminate all the valuable story to those in 12 Step Fellowships and/or are seeking God’s help and will profit from realization of how solidly attached to First Century Christian principles and practices the cofounders were in their youth and in their early “old school” Christian Fellowship program they founded in Akron, Ohio, in June of 1935.
The International Christian Recovery Coalition needs hands-on leaders who are or will become well-versed in the strong Christian background of the entire Christian Recovery Movement and early A.A. and can help those who want it to see the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A. and the role they can play in recovery today.