A thank you letter I just sent to an excellent website which posted the details about Bill Wilson's Christian upbringing in Vermont and its impact on A.A.
Thank you for running the A.A. information on Bill W.'s Christian upbringing as a youngstger in Vermont. There has been so much omission, distortion, and misrepresentation about Bill's grandparents, parents, and Bill himself and their involvement in the East Dorset Congregational Church. We spent a great deal of time in that church verifying the sermons, the creed, the records of the Wilsons and the Griffiths. We also dug out the ample material on Bill's Bible reading in East Dorset, and then on Bill's 4 year Bible course at Burr and Burton in Manchester where he also attended daily chapel, weekly church at Manchester Congregational Church, Bible study, and the YMCA of which he was president. There is also his grandfather Willie's conversion experience at the top of Mount Aeolus where grandpa Willie cried out to God for help, had a white light experience, rushed to the little church and its pulpit, declared that he was saved, and never drank again for the remaining 8 years of his life--a story which Bill W. heard many many times from his mother. Most of these are detailed and documented in The Conversion of Bill W., www.dickb.com/conversions.shtml.
So many dispute the whole religious background that Bill had, seemingly because they think it might be construed as promoting the idea that A.A. today is a Christian Fellowship==which it is not. Because of the Christian background of Bill W., Dr. Bob, and A.A. Number Three Bill D., A.A. originally was drawn primarily from the Bible--particularly the Book of James, Jesus' Semon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13. It was called a "Christian Fellowship." Its principles and practices very closely patterned the Christian Endeavor Society of Bob's youth in Vermont. That meant conversions, prayer meetings, Bible study, Quiet Time and devotions, reading of Christian literature, and use of daily Christian devotionals. And that A.A. worked! With great success.
God Bless, Dick B.