A.A. and Christian Recovery Resources
100 Years of Stories about Drunkards, Conversions, and Jesus Christ
© 2010. Anonymous. All rights reserved
An Account of Exciting Quest over the Past Two Years
My son Ken and I have just finished a draft of the First Edition of our new title, The Dick B. Handbook for Christian Recovery Resource Centers Worldwide.
This new work grew out of several major undertakings in the last two years. The first was convening The First Nationwide Conference of Christian Recovery Leaders at Mariner’s Church in Irvine, California. There, men and women from all over the United States and Canada gathered to share their concerns about how to deal with the seeming opposition among some in the anonymous and Twelve Step fellowships to God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, Church, and religion—as well as to those who expressed themselves on such subjects.
As a result, we met, and there was interchange and enthusiasm among, all kinds of folks in the Christian recovery arena.
The next phase was to gather and publish as much material as we could to help inform and arm these leaders and the public with information about the real Christian origins and history and program of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship founded in 1935 at Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron, Ohio.
The result, after many meetings and conferences, was the publication of two resources: (1) “Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery”—a class with four DVD’s and a Class Instructor’s Guide and Class Guide for Students—www.dickb.com/IFCR-Class.shtml. This visual presentation is now in wide use. (2) The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010—www.dickb.com/Christian-Recov-Guide.shtml. This resource is not only in wide use. It accompanies the Class, and it has been distributed at many of the conferences that followed its publication.
The final phase involved a series of 17 individual meetings, seminars, and conferences around the State of California and the Island of Oahu in Hawaii. And these showed the dramatic interest that has arisen in restoring Christian recovery, its history, variety of resources, and successes to the 12-Step, church, and recovery arena for those who really want God’s help.
With that, we began work on the idea of Christian Recovery Resource Centers—all over the world. And the first step was to roll up our sleeves and study. We studied the need. We studied the existing facilities, approaches, and programs. We studied the gaps in information. We studied the potential demand for more. And we began reviewing the resources that Christian leaders and workers in recovery could and should be making available, in their own work and in company with others carrying on the same type or even different and supplemental types of Christian recovery elements.
The facts, results, and conclusions will shortly be published in the forthcoming The Dick B. Handbook for Christian Resource Recovery Centers Worldwide.
A Brief Story of the Exciting Conversion Resources We Found
A.A. Cofounders Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith both were born and raised in a Vermont atmosphere of Christian conversions. The conversions existed in the work of evangelists like Dwight Moody, F. B. Meyer, and Billy Sunday. They existed in the huge revival meetings convened by YMCA lay workers. They were a dramatic part of St. Johnsbury history because of The Great Awakening of 1875. They were present in the Gospel rescue missions. They were present in the Salvation Army. They were present in the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor in which Dr. Bob was active. To a degree, they were much discussed and applied in the later Oxford Group and Rev. Samuel Shoemaker teachings and practices that impacted directly on A.A. itself. And they were part of the family, church, Sunday school, and Academy teachings in which Bill and Bob were both involved. See Dick B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous www.dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml; and The Conversion of Bill W. www.dickb.com/conversion.shtml.
But personal conversion to God through Jesus Christ was also very much a part of the dramatic events in Bill Wilson’s life when he made a decision for Jesus Christ at the altar at Calvary Mission, and when he decided to seek the help of the Great Physician as he made his way to Towns Hospital and had his “white light” experience in the hospital room and never drank again.
This element of Christian recovery became a “must” in the early A.A. program in Akron. And it became a common element in the testimony of the early AAs who went through the “real surrender” process at the Akron City Hospital, the home of T. Henry and Clarace Williams, and/or Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron.
But in preparing our Handbook, we decided to review for ourselves the testimonies—not the commentaries of psychologists—as to the thousands delivered from alcoholism by deciding to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior and, in some cases, having the same type of “white light” experiences that Bill Wilson and his grandfather before him reported having when they were cured of alcoholism.
The Bibliography that Can Whip Up Your Enthusiasm
We studied the following books which are listed, cited, and/or discussed in our new Handbook:
Jeremiah (“Jerry”) McAuley, Transformed; Or, The History of a River Thief, Briefly Told (Published by Himself, 1876).
Samuel Hopkins Hadley, Down In Water Street: A Story of Sixteen Years Life and Work in Water Street Mission: A Sequel to the Life of Jerry McAuley, Memorial ed. (NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1903).
J. Wilbur Chapman, S. H. Hadley of Water Street: A Miracle of Grace (NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1906).
William T. Ellis, Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1959)
Irving Harris, He Touched Me: Conversion Stories of Norman Vincent Peale, Bruce Larson, Ernest Gordon, Bill Wilson, & Others (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1985)
Gordon Lindsay in Collaboration with William Branham, William Branham: A Man Sent from God (Jeffersonville, IN: William Branham Evangelistic Association, 1950).
F.F. Bosworth, Christ the Healer (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1973)
Smith Wigglesworth, Smith Wigglesworth on Healing (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1999).
C.S. Lovett, Jesus Wants You Well (Baldwin Park, CA: Personal Christianity,
E. W. Kenyon, Jesus the Healer: Multitudes Have Been Healed While Reading This Book (Lynnwood, WA: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 2000)
Roberts Liardon, Compiler, John G. Lake: The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings (Tulsa, OK: Albury Publishing, 1999)
T. L. Osborn, Believers in Action (Tulsa, OK: Osborn Publishers, 2000); T. L Osborn and Daisy Osborn, When Jesus Visited Our Home (Tulsa OK: Osborn Foundation, 1980); T. L. Osborn, Healing The Sick: A Living Classic (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, Inc., 1992)
Frank Costantino, Holes In Time: Autobiography of a Gangster (Dallas, TX: Acclaimed Books, 1979)
Pastor Michael T., From the Pit. . . to the Pulpit: A Life Transformed by Grace (Palermo, CA: Jordan Crossing Ministries, n.d.).
firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dickb.com; www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com; 808 874 4876