Thank you. We just completed a huge series of talks, meetings, and conferences in Portland Maine and in St. Johnsbury Vermont. There are tremendous A.A. history resources in this new era of A.A. history in Vermont and New England. The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference was just held in Portland–the home of Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, in which Dr. Bob and his parents were very active. St. Johnsbury has hardly been recognized for its important A.A. historical treasures. Yes, Dr. Bob’s boyhood home is there; but the historical resources are not there. So is his Summer Street School on the same street where a huge St. Johnsbury history–including our work–is aborning. Also, North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury on Main Street houses our Dr. Bob Core Library which contains thousands of books and papers about the Smiths, Congregationalism, Christian Endeavor, Rescue Missions, Salvation Army, The Great Awakening of 1875 in Vermont, and the evangelists like Moody, Meyer, and Folger, the North Congregational Church, the YMCA, the Athenaeum, the Museum, the Courthouse, the St. Johnsbury Academy, and the remarkable parallels between the Christian upbringing of Dr. Bob in St. Johnsbury and of Bill Wilson in East Dorset, Manchester, Emerald Lake, Northfield, and other areas in the Vermont scene. To ignore Vermont, as has been done for so long, is to short change yourself on the real spiritual roots, origins, history, and successes of the old school Akron AA Christian Fellowship program
Early Akron A.A.’s true religious and spiritual history is just now coming alive. It involves the conversion and cure of Bill Wilson’s grandfather in East Dorset; Bill’s family’s participation in East Dorset Congregational Church, Bill’s reading the Bible with his grandfather Fayette and his friend Mark; Bill’s attendance at conversion, temperance, and revival meetings; Bill’s membership in the church and Sunday school; Bill’s four-year Bible study course at Burr and Burton Seminary, Bill’s presidency of the school’s Young Men’s Christian Association, Bill’s daily attendance at chapel at the Seminary, the required visits of the students to Manchester Congregational Church activities, Ebby’s roots in Manchester, Rowland-Shep-and Cebra connections with Ebby and with Bill in this area, Bill’s training at Norwich University. And the almost exact parallel between Bill’s Christian training in East Dorset, Manchester, and Northfield and Bob’s in St. Johnsbury. We have just published a book on these parallels — “Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont.” It’s an eye opener for those in the recovery arena who seek and receive the help of the Creator in their path to victory.
We have conducted four research tours with qualified archivists and tem members now, and they have blanketed the Vermont area. The whole biblical picture of A.A. roots is coming to the for–in the historical community, the TV community, the residential treatment community, the Christian churches, the court system, the academies, the required chapels and Bible studies, and the immense emphasis on church and Sunday school attendance, prayer meetings, YMCA cooperation, academies, Christian Endeavor, and the long history of Congregational and evangelistic influences in Vermont and New England.
Richard G. Burns, J.D., CDAAC
Author and A.A. historian, retired attorney, Bible student (pen name “Dick B.”)
46 published titles & over 1,450 articles on A.A. history and the Christian Recovery Movement
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
Christian Recovery Resource Centers – Worldwide
Christian Recovery Radio
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837
Ps 118:17 (NJB):
I shall not die, I shall live to recount the great deeds of Yahweh.