Christian Residential Recovery Care in Dr. Bob’s Boyhood Village-St. Johnsbury VT

Christian Residential Substance Abuse Care in Dr. Bob’s St. Johnsbury Village
“Covered Bridge” at 184 Pearl St., St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is a Vital Recovery Treasure in the Quest for A.A. Cofounder Dr. Bob’s Christian Upbringing and for Authentic Data on the Origins of Early Akron A.A.’s “Christian Fellowship”
Dick B.
© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved

More and more suffering substance abuse people are becoming aware of the importance of the State of Vermont and its influence in the Christian origins, ideas, practices, people and institutions which played an important role in the Christian upbringing and later founding deeds of and influences on the two Vermont cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous—Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, born and raised in St. Johnsbury, Vermont; and William Griffith Wilson, born and raised in East Dorset, Vermont. And the awareness of Bill Wilson’s Vermont experiences has been heightened over some 30 years due to the hard work of Ozzie Lepper (now deceased) and his widow Bonnie Lepper Burke.
Take a look at the website of “Covered Bridge Therapeutic Communities,” on 184 Pearl Street, Saint Johnsbury, VT 05891. See http://www.covered-bridge.org. The House Manager is Bruce Laferriere. The mail address is PO Box 569, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. The phone is 802 748 6948. The email is blaferriere@covered-bridge.org.

We have made four extensive investigative trips to St. Johnsbury to see where Dr. Bob received his excellent training in the Bible as a youngster in Vermont. We have researched at the library and archives and campus of St. Johnsbury Academy where Dr. Bob attended and graduated; where his mother had attended, taught, and was an historian; and where his father Judge Walter Smith served as an examiner.

Of course, we visited Dr. Bob’s house on Summer Street, but there is little there that would educate students of A.A. and of Christian recovery. We spent many hours at nearby North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury where we established the Dr. Bob Core Library with thousands of books and materials germane to Dr. Bob’s Christian upbringing.

Records made it clear that the church expected parents to inculcate their child as to salvation and the Word of God. It conducted four services each week—which were usually attended by the entire Smith family. These were the Sunday service, Sunday school, Sunday vespers, and Wednesday prayer meetings. In addition, the church had a vibrant Christian young people’s group—the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor—in which Dr. Bob was a member and his parents were involved.

Bob’s father, Judge Walter P. Smith, was a deacon, on the church executive committee, and a long-time Sunday school teacher. His mother, Susan A. Smith, was in charge of the entire church education program, sang in the choir, headed the woman’s group, and helped write the church history. All the records are there, and the pastor and archivist generously let us pour over the year books, sermons, membership records, and other important memorabilia.

Our visits to St. Johnsbury also included the following important historical sites and their records: (1) the town library known as the “Athenaeum.” (2) the courthouse across the street where Bob’s father served as Probate Judge. (3) the portion of Main Street devoted to city offices, to several churches, and to several Academy buildings and residences. (4) the location of the Young Men’s Christian Association building (now destroyed by fire) where Bob’s father served as President, which was active in North Congregational Church events and St. Johnsbury Academy events, and where Bob himself was active. (5) the Fairbanks Museum which contains thousands of records about St. Johnsbury schools, churches, libraries, community leaders, and much more.

Thanks to archivist Jim H. from Washington, we have hundreds and hundreds of pictures of the St. Johnsbury scene, the welcome center, the new heritage project, hotels, and banks where Bob’s father was an executive.

You can find all these historical treasures in an easy walk on Main Street to the academy, library, court house, YMCA’s former location, village offices on Main Street and, a block up, to the grammar school and boyhood home of Dr. Bob on Summer Street.

We visited extensively at the Covered Bridge House—located very close to all these places and events. We learned of its beliefs about the Creator and about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the attention given to Bible and prayer. The House Manager and staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and top Christian “family” recovery leaders who know the St. Johnsbury scene and the importance of the Smith family quite well.

We cover much of this scene in Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont. http://www.dickb.com@drbobofaa.shtml. And we have posted in other places a great deal on the strong Christian training and leadership of Dr. Bob. See, for example, http://www.drbob.info, http://www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com, http://www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com; and we strongly recommend two A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature pieces: DR.BOB and the Good Oldtimers and The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches: Their Last Major Talks.

Visitors to Dr. Bob’s home village will find an effective and compassionate Christian recovery residential program at Covered Bridge; people who live right where A.A. history was first made in Dr. Bob’s youth; and who can guide you around this delightful village.

Christian Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation at Celebrate Hope addresses all aspects of substance abuse http://www.christiansdrugrehab.com and the ways to live a Drug and Alcohol free life, plus so much more.

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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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