A.A.—Dr. Bob’s Bible—A.A. Group No. 1
© 2010 Anonymous All rights reserved
When I first went to Founders Day in Akron, Ohio, in the early 1990’s, Dr. Bob’s daughter Sue Smith Windows took me to the Wednesday meeting of the King School Group. This the first A.A. Group. Bill Wilson called it Akron Number One. And it was Dr. Bob’s group.
There for many years—and at the meeting Sue and I attended—Dr. Bob’s Bible was brought to the podium before the meeting started. It was returned to its place of safekeeping after the meeting concluded. I looked in the front of the Bible and saw three inscriptions, each signed, and each containing a dedication by the first three AAs—Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Bill Dotson. And here is what they say:
It is the hope of the King School Group whose property this is that this book may never cease to be a source of wisdom, gratitude, humility & guidance as when fulfilled in the life of the Master. Dr. Bob Smith.
Dear Friends at Akron Group # 1 This is the anniversary of the founding of AA-the 24th. As I stand here in King School, memory is at flood tide. On behalf of all AAs I give thanks for the gifts of grace beyond [?] that had their beginning here. Gratefully Bill Wilson. Akron, June/59.
It is a great pleasure and privilege to be permitted to extend to the King School Group my deep appreciation of their very dear friendship and fellowship and to hope that we may all grow in grace and brotherly love. Bill Dotson
Thus were the respects paid by first three AAs to their first group, to the Bible, and to its significance in A.A.—particularly as it was quoted and taught by Dr. Bob.
The following three remarks by Dr. Bob about the Bible are now recorded in A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature:
In the early days. . . our stories didn’t amount to anything to speak of. When we started in on Bill D., we had no Twelve Steps, either; we had no Traditions. But we were convinced that the answer to our problems was in the Good Book. To some of us older ones, the parts we found absolutely essential were the Sermon on the Mount, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and the Book of James [The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1972, 1975), 13]
I didn’t write the Twelve Steps. I had nothing to do with the writing of them. . . . We already had the basic ideas, though not in terse and tangible form. We got them, as I said, as a result of our study of the Good Book [The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, 14]
[Dr. Bob was always positive about his faith, Clarence said. If someone asked him a question about the program, his usual response was:] “What does it say in the Good Book?” [DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1980, 144]
See Dick B., The James Club and The Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials, 4th ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2005); www.dickb.com/JamesClub.shtml