Welcoming You to the Dick B. YouTube Channel
“The History of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement”
Announcing the First Series, of Eleven Separate Presentations—one series of many to come—that is the first series of programs now up, running, and ready for you to view and hear
Here are Brief Summaries of Each of the Eleven Programs You Can Watch
Program One: “Introduction”
Dick B. discusses the need for brief, explanatory snippets explaining the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the Christian Recovery Movement and in the origins, history, founding, original program, and astonishing successes of the early A.A. Akron “Christian Fellowship”—as Dr. Bob described it.
Program Two: “Six Christian Origins”
Dick B. introduces the Christian Recovery Community and societies like Alcoholics
Anonymous to the six epochs (naming the events or organizations or persons) which comprise and impacted on the real Christian roots of recovery and of A.A.’s Akron program.
Program Three: “The Great Awakening of 1875”
Dick B. explains how this remarkable event in St. Johnsbury Vermont, the boyhood home of A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob, changed an entire village and many others with it, converted many to God through Jesus Christ, and left a heritage for other organizations and for the Christian upbringing of both A.A. co-founders, Dr. Bob and Bill W.
Program Four: “The YMCA”
Dick B. shows how the YMCA brethren in the 1870’s followed the traditions of non-denominational personal work by lay workers who brought about the Great Awakening through Gospel Meetings, conversion meetings, and work with churches and communities. He also points to the position that Dr. Bob’s father, Judge Smith, held as YMCA President in St. Johnsbury, and the position that Bill W. held as President of the YMCA at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont.
Program Five: “The Christian Evangelists”
Dick B. highlights what the famous Christian evangelists (like Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey, F. B. Meyer, and Billy Sunday) brought to the recovery table in their huge revival meetings in New England and elsewhere in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s—when they brought about thousands of conversions and healed, by God’s power, innumerable sick folks, including drunkards. In fact, Dr. Bob himself appeared to take a special interest in one of these healing evangelists who spent considerable time in Akron not long after early A.A. was founded.
Program Six: “Gospel Rescue Missions”
Dick B. summarizes the widely known and applauded service performed by Jerry McAuley, his Water Street Mission, and Calvary Mission (where Bill W. and his “sponsor” Ebby made their decisions for Jesus Christ and became born again. He points to the typical “Jesus Saves,” hymn singing, Bible reading, prayers, and testimonials before the “altar call” where penitents like Bill W. kneeled, prayed, and gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
Program Seven: “The Salvation Army”
Dick B. illustrates the importance to early AAs of books like Harold Begbie’s Twice-Born Men which told how lives were saved and drunkards redeemed when recovered men went into the slums of London, found a derelict or drunkard on the streets, offered him Salvation and the teachings of the Bible, and then—when he had recovered—asked that he join “God’s Army”
Program Eight: “Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor”
Dick B. fleshes out the highly important fellowship principles and practices that Dr. Bob learned when, as a youngster in his church, he was active in its Christian Endeavor group, as were his parents. Dick also illustrates the close parallel between the confession of Jesus Christ, conversion meetings, prayer meetings, Bible studies, Quiet Hour, discussion of Christian literature, and motto of “love and service,” and the Akron program of A.A. begun in 1935
Program Nine: “The Misunderstood Christian Origins of Early A.A.”
Dick B. shows how the very clear parallels between the six Christian origins of A.A. have been ignored, distorted, or misunderstood and replaced by historians, scholars, and AAs themselves. These origins have given way to tenuous references to the Oxford Group and even the Washingtonians when the Washingtonians failed almost a century before A.A. was born, and the Oxford Group was, at most, a fellowship with which Dr. Bob and Bill were both briefly associated, but which came into play as an A.A. source, when Bill W. later fashioned his Big Book and Twelve Steps published four years after the founding of A.A. Dick points to Dr. Bob’s specific statement that the basic ideas of A.A. came from the Bible.
Program Ten: “A Newcomer’s Plight on Entering A.A. Today”
Dick B. explains how some wild intrusions have slipped into the A.A. program at a time when a bewildered, hurting, problem-filled, sick A.A. newcomer enters a Twelve Step fellowship today. That newcomer begins early to hear about false gods (called higher powers), illusory New Age “spirituality,” and outright condemnations of religion and of any relationship with the Creator. This feeds the newcomer confusion at a time when he should be hearing about the real A.A. solution from the beginning—the power of God. He doesn’t hear the origins. He doesn’t hear the real history. He doesn’t hear about the early A.A. Christian Fellowship. And he is confronted with the unreliable “wisdom of the rooms,” revisionist ideas, and concern over what may be his own deeply held Christian convictions.
Program Eleven: “The Solution”
Dick B. concludes this first and very introductory series of programs by pointing to the much-needed return to information in the recovery world. Information that stresses the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played and can play in recovery. Information that tells the specific origins, principles, and practices of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron. And information which shows how this information can and should be applied in recovery today—with a firm position, for those who want to hear it, that it was the power of God that early AAs sought to find, and the power of God which they declared had healed them in such high and unprecedented numbers.
Note: There will quite a large number of segments—series presentations, if you will—where Dick B. will take the viewer and listener through the comprehensive, truthful, accurate history of both A.A. and the Christian Recovery Movement. He will show the dramatic compromises and changes in the program that occurred in 1939. He will discuss the various people who helped shape both the early Christian program and who helped Bill W. shape the new program of 1939. He will point to the resources available to those who want to grow in understanding and faith.
He will suggest how others can further the mission of understanding and historical truth that he has undertaken—and, for the last twenty-one years, with the immeasurable help of his older son, Ken. He will explain how the Twelve Steps can better be understood and applied by those who know their actual origins and original intended meaning. He will urge the formation of study groups and explain how they can be formed. He will urge the continuation of the rapidly growing participation in the mission of the International Christian Recovery Coalition and of the projects it has accomplished and is planning to undertake.
[Special appreciation for and recognition of the vital role played and being played by volunteer Neal Pearson of Texas, and by my son Ken B. in editing and producing the first of this series. Thank you. Dick B.]
firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dickb.com; www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com; www.mauihistorian.blogspont.com; www.drbobinfo; http://freedomranchmaui.org.