Monday, January 14, 2013

Which came first? The AA Fellowship or the AA Big Book?

A googler just asked the question: Which came first in A.A.--the AA Fellowship or the AA Big Book.

The answer is that Alcoholics Anonymous--a Christian Fellowship--was founded in Akron, Ohio, in June of 1935 by William Griffith Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith. They believed the answers to their problems were in the Bible. They had no Twelve Steps. They had no Steps. They had no Big Book. They had no  12 Traditions. They had no drunkalogs. They simply had daily meetings with prayer, Bible study, seeking God's guidance, Quiet Time, and discussions.

When Bill D. (A.A. Number 3) was healed and discharged from Akron City Hospital on July 4, 1935, Bill W. declared that this was the founding of the Akron Number One A.A. Fellowship. Dr. Bob and others called it a Christian Fellowship. Still no Steps, Traditions, Big Book, drunkalongs. Just the Bible.

It was not until April, 1939 that Bill Wilson completed his "new" program of the the Big Book, Twelve Steps, and Personal Stories of the pioneers about their original Christian Fellowship, what they did, how they did it, and how they were cured. Again. this was not until the Big Book was published in 1939--four years after A.A. and its fellowship were founded.

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