Monday, June 21, 2010

"alcoholics anonymous" christ: A.A. Christian roots

Alcoholics Anonymous sprang from Christian organizations who were successful in the 1800's in helping alcoholics get cured by the power of God. We cover this extensively in our new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" The information is also extensively covered in such new titles as Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. ( and Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous(

In short, the Christian roots included: (1) Evangelists like Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey, and Allen Folger. (2) The rescue missions like Jerry McAuley's Water Street Mission, later headed by S. H. Hadley. (3) The YMCA lay workers who conducted conversion and revival meetings in Vermont, particularly following the Great Awakening of 1875. in St. Johnsbury. (4) The Salvation Army gained wide notice for its work with derelicts and drunkards in the slums. (5) The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor--founded in Williston Church, Maine, in 1881 and in which Dr. Bob became active in his North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury.

Add to these influences the Christian upbringing of Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in Vermont--Bob at North Congregational Church and St. Johnsbury Academy as well as the YMCA in St. Johnsbury, and Bill Wilson at East Dorset Congregational Church in East Dorset, Vermont; and Manchester Congregational Church, the YMCA, daily chapel and a four-year Bible course at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester.

Finally, it was Dr. William D. Silkworth's advice to Bill Wilson that the "Great Physician" Jesus Christ could cure him; Bill's friend Ebby's decision for Jesus Christ and rebirth at Calvary Mission, and Bill's own subsequent decision for Jesus Christ at Calvary Rescue Mission that seemed to propel the subsequent Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship requirement that every member must believe in God and come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

When founded by the first three AAs, who were Christians, the Akron Fellowship was studying the Bible, holding prayer meetings, observing Quiet Time, and leading members to Christ, as well as praying for their cure.

Much much more is available in our new book The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010. (

Despite this clear and overwhelming evidence of the importance of God's help in early A.A., some recently, and apparently persistent and well-financed, campaigns have appeared on the search engines, facebook, and similar venues. These lambaste A.A. They lambaste Christians in A.A. They devotedly attempt to persuade people that A.A. is evil and must be avoided by Christians. And they use such ridiculous labels as Alcoholics Anonymous christ, Christians Alcoholics Anonymous, Christian Alcoholics Anonymous--all the while vainly attempting to drive folks away from recovery fellowships based on the power of God.

Fortunately, most of these efforts drive visitors to our websites which lay out the comprehensive picture of A.A. as it was and as it is. And today, it is not a Christian Fellowship. It has some two million members of all faiths, no faith, and no religion at all. Yet there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Christians in A.A. today who stick to their faith, turn to God for help, seek it in the name of Jesus Christ, get well, and carry that message to others. Our websites are;;;;; and more.

When you see the phony labels on the web, think "Christian Recovery," "Christians in Recovery," "Christian Recovery Fellowships," "James Club," "A.A. Bible Study Groups." Obtain and enjoy the new class "Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery" (

God Bless, Dick B.

1 comment:

shannon said...

I heard this in a sermon at my church, the Christian foundation to A.A, and you know what? It is the reason why I have formed a suicide outreach program based on a 12 step challenge list centered around the word of God.

It works, God's help is available, you just have to want and need it that bad.