Sunday, March 29, 2015

"This Is Life for Us; You Can't Keep Us Out."

“Tradition Nine states: ‘A.A., as such, ought never to be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.’ . . .
            . . .
What we really mean, of course, is that A.A. can never have an organized direction or government. . . .
            . . . It [Alcoholics Anonymous] does not at any point conform to the pattern of a government. Neither its General Service Conference, its General Service Board, nor the humblest group committee can issue a single directive to an A.A. member and make it stick, let alone hand out any punishment. . . . Groups have tried to expel members, but the banished have come back to sit in the meeting place, saying, ‘This is life for us; you can’t keep us out.’ . . . An A.A. may take advice or suggestions from more experienced members, but he surely will not take orders. . . .
            One would think that A.A.’s Headquarters and General Service Conference would be exceptions. Surely the people there would have to have some authority. But long ago Trustees and staff members alike found they could do no more than make suggestions, and very mild ones at that. . . . We recognize that we cannot dictate to fellow members, individually or collectively.
            . . . Great suffering and great love are A.A.’s disciplinarians; we have no others.”

[Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1957), 118-20]

Gloria Deo

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Is Jesus Referred to in A.A. Literature and Other Authoritative Sources about A.A. History? Yes!

One more time . . . Is Jesus referred to A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature and other authoritative sources about A.A. history? Let's start with the beginning of A.A. cofounder Bill W.'s “turn-around” during his third stay at Towns Hospital for alcoholism in September 1934: “During his third visit to Towns Hospital, Bill [W.] had a discussion with Dr. Silkworth on the subject of the ‘Great Physician.’”[1] Dr. Silkworth was “[a] devout Christian, . . .”[2] Did your sponsor tell you about those two facts? Here's a statement A.A. cofounder Bill W. made—just after he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Calvary Mission about December 8, 1934, and just before he entered Towns Hospital on December 11, 1934, for his fourth and final stay at Towns Hospital for alcoholism—“So if there was a great Physician who could cure the alcoholic sickness, I had better seek Him now. At once. I had better find what my friend [Ebby T., his Burr and Burton Seminary schoolmate] had found.”[3] And then, while Bill W. was in Towns Hospital during his December 11-18, 1934, stay, he said: “But what of the Great Physician? For a brief moment, I suppose, the last trace of my obstinacy was crushed out as the abyss yawned. I remember saying to myself, ‘I'll do anything, anything at all. If there be a Great Physician, I'll call on him.’ Then, with neither faith nor hope I cried out, ‘If there be a God, let him show himself.’ The effect was instant, electric. Suddenly my room blazed with an indescribably white light.”[4] Now we know why A.A. cofounder Bill W.'s message—the original, “old-school” A.A. message, at least as of mid-July 1935—was: “. . . ‘Henrietta, the Lord has been so wonderful to me, curing me of this terrible disease, that I just want to keep talking about it and telling people.’”[5] And we know why Bill W. said about A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob in late June 1935: “Straightway, [Dr.] Bob called Akron's City Hospital and asked for the nurse on the receiving ward. He explained that he and a man from New York had a cure for alcoholism.”[6] Are you sharing these facts with your sponsees?
In GOD's love, Ken B.
Gloria Deo

[1] Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 2002), 44.
[2] Mitchel, Silkworth, 11.
[3] Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1957), 61.
[4] Bill W., My First 40 Years (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 2000), 145.
[5] Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed. (New York City: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001) 4th ed., 191.
[6] Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 188.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

“Old-School” A.A.—Yesterday and Today

“Old-School” A.A.—Yesterday and Today

By Dick B. and Ken B.
© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved 

As we feature the highly-effective “old-school” A.A. as seen in early Akron and Cleveland days, recovery ideas, and Christian fellowship treasures—“the rest of the story”—we urge individuals, meetings, groups, conferences, seminars, programs, and fellowships to add to their repertoire presentations that will enhance alcohol and addiction healing and cure; and prevent relapses, confusion, and diverse experiments today. 

1.      A Guide to the founding, development, glitches, detours, needs, information, and improvements of A.A.

2.      First Century Christianity and the Book of Acts.

3.      Three centuries of Christian miracles.

4.      Early emphasis on conversion, baptism, and the Bible.

5.      1870’s—Revivals, and evangelists; e.g., Moody, Sankey, Meyer. Folger, Booth, McAuley.

6.      Christian concerns for unsaved, down-and-outers, and derelicts.

7.      Young Men’s Christian Association, Congregationalism, Salvation Army, United Society of Christian Endeavor, the “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Rescue Missions.

8.      Emphasis of churches, academies on the Bible, healing, temperance, and conversion meetings, and revivals. Prohibition.

9.      The scene just before A.A.—Bill W. Dr. Bob, Bill D.—How the first three got sober.

10.  The Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship”—qualifying, hospitalization, Bible study, prayer, hospital visits, quiet time, circulated literature, Anne Smith morning quiet time; prayers, reading of the Bible, surrender to God at the hospital.

11.  Counting noses of recoveries in November 1937 in Akron. Upwards of 40 staying sober.

12.  The seven-point summary of the Akron program as of late February 1938; and 16 Christian principles and practices implementing the seven points of the program.

13.  Bill W. was authorized in Akron by slim vote to write a book.

14.  Though disputed, the book’s 12 Step program was said to have been based on six steps: No!

15.  Wilson was fashioning a program based on Oxford Group teachings and God. John Henry Fitzhugh M., a Christian, argued to have Christian and biblical materials included. Bill’s partner Hank P. wanted the book to be irreligious; he demanded that the word “God” be excluded, but was partial to a “universal” book.

16.  Just before printing, a “committee of four” compromised. They replaced “God” in Step Two with the phrase “a Power greater than ourselves.” They added the modifying phrase “as we understood Him” after the word “God” in Steps Three and Eleven. Wilson claimed these changes paved a “broad highway” upon which “anybody” could travel. Wilson claimed this was the great contribution of atheists and agnostics although they were not identified.

17.  As the years rolled by, “God” began to be called a “higher power.” Also, a “Power.” Nonsense “gods” such as “Mickey Mouse,” a “chair,” a “table,” the “Big Dipper,” a light bulb, and a door knob followed. Finally, A.A.’s Conference-approved literature claimed one didn’t have to believe in anything at all to “take” the Steps. Certainly not “God!”

18.  A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob identified the Bible as the source of the basic ideas in the 12 Steps. Wilson claimed the Steps came from three main sources: Professor William James, Rev. Sam Shoemaker, and Dr. Silkworth. Finally, their source was said to mean a “Power” was anything greater than oneself, or nothing at all. Is the newcomer to get sober and stay sober with a professor, a reverend, a physician, a Power, a Bible, or nothing at all!

** For more information, please contact Dick B. at 1-808-874-4876 or **

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A.A.’s Christian Predecessors


Excerpted from:


A Guidebook to

“Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story”


A Video Class by Dick B. and Ken B.

© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved



T. D. Seymour Bassett’s book, The Gods of the Hills, is a scholarly, comprehensive study and report on Vermont Congregationalism as it existed when A.A. cofounders Bill W. and Dr. Bob were growing up in the Green Mountain State.[1] We just acquired another important Vermont history resource: Michael Sherman, Gene Sessions, and P. Jeffrey Potash, Freedom and Unity: A History of Vermont (Barre: VT: Vermont Historical Society, 2004). And two more that are relevant to the Vermont picture.[2] Of particular interest in the Freedom and Unity title are the materials on the origins, the state constitution, the Revolution, the admission to the union, and the strong foundation in religious orthodoxy redirected to bolster religious revival and personal reform with the framework of Congregationalism (pp. 73-143); the religious trends of Federalist and Calvinist Congregationalism; the non-Calvinist sects; the evangelical awakenings; the latter Congregationalist doctrine of election; the legislation enabling Towns and Parishes to tax residents to enable the erection of Houses for public Worship, and support of Ministers of the Gospel; the Standing Order abolition that made Vermont the first New England government to cut the tie of church and state; “popular evangelism,” revivals; temperance, and prohibition (pp. 145-211). 


The principal historical points that the scholar T. D. Seymour Bassett covered were:


·         The study of Congregationalism in Vermont [pp. 193-215].

·         Camp meetings and revivals [p. 241].

·         The Bible and church emphasis [pp. 153, 266].

·         Emphasis on youth [p. 192].

·         At the level of religious education, churches indoctrinated adults in catechism,

·         Confirmation, and Sunday or study groups. Sunday schools thrived [p. 210].

·         Domestic missions [p. 209].[3]

·         The Young Men’s Christian Association [pp. 163, 232-39].[4]

·         The pluralism which encompassed the work of the Salvation Army [pp. 215, 231-32].

·         The immense impact of the work of evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey [p. 193].[5],[6],[7],[8]

·         The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor [pp. 215, 240-42].[9]

·         Bassett also observes: “Vermont’s early nineteenth century revivalists shaped religion until the 1840’s. Although the technique became habitual in the camp meetings and urban revivals down through Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. . . .


In the unexpected trauma of the Civil War experience, comrades and chaplains tried to meet human needs regardless of religious persuasion. . . .


Revivalists in Vermont continued to recruit many converts to carry the gospel across the world, and in the state they worked against liquor and slavery, but focused on new, political means” [p. 141].


“[During the Moody and Sankey Vermont campaign in October 1877,] . . . inquirers and converts asked what to do after the excitement of Moody’s meetings. He told them: ‘Join a church; take communion; attend church meetings; repeat Bible verses; help others resist temptation; join the YMCA. . . .’ [H]ome visitors supplied Bibles, urged householders to go to church and Sunday school, and found some attending the YMCA who did not go to church” [p. 195].



Congregationalism and Vermont


·         The first church established in Vermont was a Congregational church. The First Congregational Church of Bennington, Vermont—also known as “the Old First Church”—was “gathered” on December 3, 1762. It was also the first Protestant congregation in the New Hampshire Grants. The current meeting house was built in 1805.[10] [Bicentennial Discourse and Sermon, on August 13, 2006]. The church is located on Monument Avenue in Bennington, Vermont. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.


·         As illustrated with frequency in our new video series and accompanying guidebook here, the families (grandparents and parents) of both Bill W. and Dr.  Bob were much involved with Congregational Churches. So were Bill and Bob themselves. Dr. Bob and his family attended the North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. As Bob stated in A.A.’s Big Book, the Smiths frequently attended five times a week. And the Griffith and Wilson families were intimately involved in the Congregational church located next door to the houses of each family. All three buildings as restored are still present in East Dorset, Vermont—the Griffith Library on one side; the East Dorset Congregational Church in the middle; and the Wilson House on the other side.


·         St. Johnsbury Academy, where Dr. Bob matriculated, was dominated by Congregationalists. The Fairbanks family, consisting of Thaddeus Fairbanks, Deacon Erastus Fairbanks, and Joseph Fairbanks were very wealthy, businessmen, state-wide Congregational leaders, much involved in North Congregational Church, much connected with the YMCA, and officiated at the Academy. The Congregational influence in the little St. Johnsbury village spilled over into the academy requirement that a Congregational Church be attended once a week. Daily chapel was required of St. Johnsbury Academy “scholars” (i.e., students)—with sermons, hymns, reading of Scripture, and prayers.[11]


·         Bill Wilson’s families (the Wilsons and the Griffiths) had homes immediately adjacent to East Dorset Congregational Church in East Dorset where Bill was born and raised. Bill’s parents Gilman Barrows Wilson and Emily Ella Griffith were married in that church and lived for a time in its parsonage. Both families regularly attended that church. The Wilsons owned Pew 15 in the church. Bill attended the Sunday school. And there are specific biographical records of Bill’s mention of and attendance at revivals, sermons, temperance, and conversion meetings.[12]


·         A reference in Stepping Stones materials: “Books_at_Stepping_Stones.pdf” makes it quite apparent that Bill Wilson was awarded a New Testament (with a copyright date of 1901—was it an American Standard Version of 1901?)]: That New Testament was inscribed: "Will Wilson, for perfect attendance at Sunday School, Fourth Quarter 1906 from his pastor D. Miner Rogers East Dorset Vt. Jan 1, 1907 II Tim.3/14.15."


·         As documented elsewhere: When he was enrolled in the Congregationalist dominated Burr and Burton Seminary,[13] Bill Wilson took a four year Bible study course there; attended daily chapel with sermons, hymns, prayers, and reading of Scripture.[14] The Castle in the Pasture book contains excellent photos of the officials, the Seminary Building with bell tower, the North Chapel in the 1890’s, the original First Congregational Church in Manchester Village,[15] many YMCA and athletic activities, and two pages on Bill Wilson and his lady love, Bertha Bamford. And students frequently marched down to the First Congregational Church from the Seminary for services (page 67).


·         The prominent St. Johnsbury leader Henry Fairbanks presented a paper before the annual Congregational state convention in 1895, titled “The Influence of Congregationalism upon Vermont.” And Fairbanks wrote:


o   The Congregational way was primitive Christianity revived after centuries of departure from the congregational principles of St. Stephen and the Jerusalem elders.[16]



·         George Williams, a draper, founded the Young Men’s Christian Association in London on June 6, 1844. The first YMCA in the United States was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1851.[17]


·         Beginning in 1871, YMCA lay brethren—with the YMCA’s non-denominational approach—conducted canvasses to bring the Gospel to non-Christians and “awakening” to Christians in the New England area.[18]


·         Young Men’s Christian Association laymen were largely responsible for organizing what became “The Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury. It was a widely-reported event which completely transformed the community of St. Johnsbury, resulted in construction of many churches, and produced conversion of a large portion of the population to God through His Son Jesus Christ.[19]



History records many well-known evangelists who held campaigns in Vermont—as well as in America and abroad—around the time Bill W. and Dr. Bob were growing up there. (It also records Christian evangelists who put on large public meetings after Bill had returned to New York following his service in the Army in World War I, and/or who had put on meetings in Akron after Dr. Bob had moved there to work as a medical doctor.) Moreover, many espoused the integrity of the Bible and the necessity for salvation; and they did this through “personal work;” revivals; books; and huge, widely reported meetings for half a century. Their efforts brought people to God through His Son Jesus Christ; and they often focused on healing even drunkards.[20] For example, the following reported the healing of drunkards and addicts.


·         Evangelist Allen Folger.[21]

·         Billy Sunday.[22]

·         Dwight Moody and A.J. Gordon.[23]

·         James Hickson[24] and Evangelist Ethel Willitts.[25] A.A. cofounder Dr. Bob owned a book on healing by each of these two authors.

·         F. B. Meyer.[26]


These protracted, effective efforts were the subject of extensive, scholarly, studious lectures at delivered at Yale in 1945, in which Bill Wilson himself was a participant.[27]


Today, a disparate and thankfully-small crowd of writers and academics have opposed the idea of recovery from and cure of alcoholism and addiction in the faith-centered arena—whether that arena rests on:


·         The power, promises, or instructions of God;

·         The “Great Physician;”

·         The Bible;

·         “Divine healing” or “divine aid” (terms Bill Wilson and/or the Big Book used);

·         Alcoholics Anonymous;

·         “Conservative” Christians still talking about both Jesus Christ and the Bible, and about the cure and overcoming of booze, in the same breath; and

·         Disputing that 12 Step programs could possibly have or admit, or be in the same rooms with Christians who “were” sinners and yet continued in walking after the flesh.


There is no need here to name these disruptive people and viewpoints. You can find them easily tooting their horns on the internet and in frequent articles. But it’s beneficial to Christians, believers, and active AAs to recognize the red flags of warning about the methods and verbiage of their messages of disruption and unbelief in the power of God to heal. And their banners seem often to be somehow sanctified by their claims as advocates or practitioners of: (1) “liberal” Protestantism; (2) “Modernists;” (3)  a limited Roman Catholic distaste, even today, among several of those who dodge the fire by calling themselves of the Catholic “tradition” and therefore opposed to A First Century Christian Fellowship, of “Christians;” (4) “defenders” against “heretical” or hell-bound AAs; or (5) just plain humanists, agnostic, or atheists traveling on the broad highway while trying to reframe recovery today as secular, “scientific,” and “spiritual, but not religious.”[28]


But the early A.A. Christians—and those today who (in the words of Billy Sunday, follow Paul’s promise in Romans 10:9-10, that those shall be saved confessing with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead)—saw a different picture of First Century Christianity at work in the century from 1850 to 1950. One example of what these believers saw was that of the Rev. Joseph H. Odell, D.D., formerly pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Scranton, who reversed his position and said this of Billy Sunday’s huge successes:


“Produced results!” Everyone understood the phrase. . . . As the result of the “Billy” Sunday campaigns—anywhere and everywhere—drunkards became sober, thieves became honest, multitudes of people engaged themselves in the study of the Bible, thousands confessed their faith in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. . . .[29]


Those who voiced additional compelling lectures about religious success in overcoming alcoholism were the voices of Rev. Francis W. McPeek, pp. 277-85; Rev. Roland H. Bainton, pp. 287-98; Edward G. Baird, p. 219; Dwight Anderson, pp. 362-72; Rev. Francis W. McPeek, “The Role of Religious Bodies in the Treatment of Inebriety in the United States,” pp. 404-14; Rev. Otis R. Rice, “Pastoral Counseling of Inebriates,” pp. 437-69; W.W. [Bill Wilson], “The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous,” pp. 461-73. Thus Rev. McPeek stated in his lecture on religious bodies:


This has been a brief and highly selective survey of a century’s efforts among religious people to bring the healing power of God into the lives of those who suffer from inebriety. Certain things may be held as conclusive. Towering above them all is this indisputable fact: It is faith in the living God which has accounted for more recoveries from the disease than all other therapeutic agencies put together. . . . Highbrows and bums, rich men and poor, judges and carpenters, prisoners and clergymen—they have all . . .


Henry Moorhouse and Ira Sankey conducted a week-long campaign in St. Johnsbury at the end of October 1877,[30] just before Dr. Bob was born on August 8, 1879. Many of the other well-known evangelists were not only linked together in friendship, but also in a chain of evangelism and revival involving the rescue missions, the Young Men’s Christian Association, and other evangelists including Moody, Sankey, Clark, Williams, Booth, Folger, Sunday, Willitts, Meyer, Drummond, and others..


Roger Bruns pointed out in his book, Preacher:


From the earliest days of American Protestantism, revivalists held fast to the belief that the universe was neatly divided between God and Satan, the elect and the damned, the pure and the despoiled.


From Jonathan Edwards to Charles Finney to Lyman Beecher to Dwight Moody, Bible-clutching evangelists preached the complete authority of the Scriptures, the necessity of personal conversion, and a life free of vice.


Personal and evangelical Protestantism taught a close relationship between men and women and their God, challenging the sinner to renounce the ways of the devil and to repent.


Personal salvation and moral responsibility—these were the demands on the faithful.[31]


Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter wrote in The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever:


The Layman’s Prayer revival which began in 1857 deeply influenced America. . . . Across the ocean, the 1859 awakening in Britain raised a host of evangelists, missionaries, and social reformers. . . .


Existing mission, Bible, Sunday school, and tract societies in both Britain and America flourished, with new workers revived or converted during the awakening.


New societies were formed to promote home missions, establishing Sunday schools and churches throughout both nations. The YMCA, the Salvation Army, the China Inland Mission, the Christian Brethren, and the Christian and Missionary Alliance were just a few of the many ministries and denominations born early in this awakening.[32]


William T. Ellis’s book on Billy Sunday stated:


Professor William James, the philosopher, contended that there was “scientific value to the stories of Christian conversions; that these properly belonged among the data of religion, to be weighed by the man of science.”[33]


Valued and needing to be weighed, said Professor William James. This while a few recovery revisionists jest about the “cure” of alcoholism, faith-centered treatment, and the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in recovery. And those few today might do well to take note of the respect shown of Professor James of Harvard long before there was an A.A. and well after the many Christian organizations and evangelists had helped thousands and thousands of drunks recover. Even today, a few history buffs appear to laugh away the moribund significance of what they derisively call those “golden days,” (as they like to characterize them) , and then simply shove all the forgoing records aside as the investigative efforts of amateurs, hobbyists, naive zealots bent on “Christianizing” an A.A. that is hardly headed toward Christian dogma, creeds, or rituals today.


Then there is the dramatic account of the Healing Movement:


[A. J.] Gordon began including healing in his ministry after he observed an opium addict delivered and a missionary’s cancerous jaw healed instantaneously through the prayers of concerned believers during Dwight L. Moody’s revival meetings in Boston in 1877.


These meetings revitalized the life of Clarendon Church, which Gordon pastored, and brought reformed drunkards and all kinds of commoners into the ranks of this affluent church.[34]


Once again, a few secularly-oriented writers today fail to mention or evaluate the recovery efforts and successes of specific people and entities such as Jerry McAuley, the Water Street Mission, S. H. Hadley, Calvary Mission in New York (operated by Rev. Sam Shoemaker’s Calvary Church), and testimonies by healers such as A. J. Gordon, Ethel Willitts, and James Moore Hickson—who gained wide notice for healing drunkards, just as did organizations like the Salvation Army and the Young Men’s Christian Association. These are discussed at some length in our title, Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous[35]; by the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies; and by the noted religious scholar and writer Dr. Howard Clinebell. See also the many footnotes of the Guidebook that accompanies these videos in the “Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story” class by Dick B. and Ken B.


Though the numbers of such evangelists are many, the following deserve special attention with reference to the First Century Christian origins of the Christian Recovery Movement and the influence on A.A.’s founders:


·         Charles Grandison Finney.[36]

·         F. B. Meyer.[37]

·         Dwight L. Moody.[38]

·         Ira Sankey.[39]

·         Henry Drummond.[40]

·         Henry Moorhouse.[41]

·         K. A. Burnell and Henry M. Moore.[42]

·         Allen Folger.[43]

·         Billy Sunday.[44]


As we are documenting in our videos, some of the evangelists mentioned above actually held campaigns in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where Dr. Bob was born and raised.


The “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont


This event caught the attention of pastors, churches, denominations, organizations, newspapers, and writers. The transformation of communities—particularly St. Johnsbury—involved the conversion of one-third of the population, the erection of new churches, and a change in the attitude of citizens.


The accounts are so lengthy and numerous that we leave the important description of them to the pages of Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont.[45]



Jerry McAuley. Jerry McAuley founded the first rescue mission in the United States in 1872.[46] He was known in his days as the “Apostle to the Outcast.”[47]


McAuley’s rescue mission was originally known as “Helping Hand for Men,” and later became known as known as “The (Old McAuley) Water Street Mission.”[48]


A great Bible teacher, Dr. Arthur T. Pierson once said: “If you would like to feel as if you were reading a new chapter of the Acts of the Apostles it would be well for you to visit the old Jerry McAuley Water Street Mission.”[49] Jerry carried on his work for ten years at Number 316 Water Street. He finally concluded that this was a worked-out mine, and located a mission at No. 104 West Thirty-Second Street known as the Cremorne Mission. Jerry secured the lease and started the Cremorne Mission at that spot on January 8, 1882.[50]


McAuley—and his successor superintendent at the mission, Samuel Hopkins Hadley (also known as “S. H. Hadley”)—focused (in colloquial language) on “soup, soap, and salvation.” J. Wilbur Chapman, Hadley’s biographer, wrote: “If you will multiply many times this story of the genuine conversion of a poor lost man, you will have the life story of S.H. Hadley, the man who during his Christian life possibly led more drunkards to Christ  than any other man of his generation,” p. 24. Chapman said of S.H. Hadley’s brother Colonel H.H. Hadley that the Colonel “has the distinction of having founded more rescue missions than any other man in the world,” p. 43. Chapman concluded the S.H. Hadley biography by saying: “In the years of service in Water Street not less than seventy-five thousand persons have announced their intentions to live better lives. Not all of these have stood firm in the new faith, of course, but it is safe to say that the percentage has been as large as, if not larger than, would be the case following an ordinary revival.,” p.  288.


The Hadley biography also shows the close ties of S. H. Hadley to the Evangelists F. B. Meyer and Dwight Moody; the ties of one of  his sailor drunks to the founding of six Christian Endeavor groups, and Hadley’s favorite as 1 Corinthians 13.


At the time of the “great compromise” in A.A. just before its Big Book was published in April 1939, Bill W.’s use of unmodified word God in the original draft of Steps Two, Three, and Eleven was changed. The unappointed “committee of four” (i.e., Bill W., Bill’s business partner and “sponsee” Henry P., Fitz M., and secretary Ruth Hock):


·         In Step Two, removed the original word God and replaced it with the phrase “a Power greater than ourselves.”

·         In Step Three, added the modifying phrase “as we understood Him” following the originally-unmodified word God.[51]


Bill W. said the compromise was to open a “broad highway” and was “the great contribution” of the atheists and agnostics. But Bill also said that his “committee of four” compromisers had declined to include what A.A. had learned from the churches and the missions.[52]


But the following quote is from the S. H. Hadley biography, on page 172-73. It provides, a good idea of what Bill—himself a mission convert--learned at the very Calvary Mission which was actually an outgrowth of New York’s famous Water Street Mission, founded in the last century by Jerry McAuley. First, however, note that A.A. author and historian Mel B. wrote the following about the relationship of the McAuley mission work and Sam Shoemaker’s Calvary Mission. Mel stated:


McAuley was succeeded at the Water Street Mission by S. H. Hadley. His example of recovery from alcoholism was cited in William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience (a seminal book that profoundly influenced Bill Wilson).


Hadley’s son Harry, who also had a religious conversion experience, was seeking an opportunity to start a rescue mission when he met Sam Shoemaker. The result of their collaboration was Calvary Mission, which helped thousands of men, including Ebby Thacher.[53]


Here are the Hadley biography remarks about S. H Hadley, his mission, and the Calvary Mission approach and activities that Bill was talking about:


The secret of Mr. Hadley’s wonderful success . . . can be summed up in the fact that his religion was not a creed, not a catechism, not a summary of Christian doctrines, not an observance of church duties, but a firm realization of Christ as a person, with whom he had conscious communion, and from he had received blessings as clearly as from the hand of a friend. Yet there was not the slightest tinge of fanaticism in his religious life . . .


But instead of being elated by his success, of affected by popularity he attained, he became increasingly humble, and his utter dependence upon God was daily more manifest.


And this spirit he sought with all earnestness to impress upon the Mission converts. Their help, their only help, he insisted, was God. Anything else would fail them. They must pray. They must read their Bibles. They must maintain constant communion with Jesus. They must be deeply religious. They must rest with absolute faith on the promises of God. If they trusted in God, their old appetites, lusts, desires, temptations, no matter how powerful in the old life, would no longer have dominion over them. [These biblical ideas can be found used almost verbatim in A.A. literature by Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Bill D.]


In this way he [Hadley] made religion a real thing. He had no place for theories in his Mission. God, heaven, hell, sin, Christ, salvation, the power of prayer, the indwelling of the Holy spirit, grace for even the most abandoned and degraded, were tremendous verities with him, and he made them the essentials of his ministry.


S. H. Hadley’s son, Henry Harrison Hadley II (also known as “Harry Hadley”)--named after S. H. Hadley’s brother, Colonel Henry Harrison Hadley--collaborated with Rev. Sam Shoemaker in opening the Calvary Mission on 23rd Street in Manhattan in 1926 and became its first superintendent. That whole Hadley—Mission—Calvary Mission—Wilson link is covered extensively in Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., 80-107. You can learn the facts from the lips and writings of Sam Shoemaker, L. Parks Shipley, Sr., Mrs. Samuel Shoemaker, Shoemaker’s assistant ministers John Potter Cuyler and W. Irving Harris, Calvary Mission brother Billy Duval, Mel B., William James, Bill Wilson, Lois Wilson, Bill Pittman, and Fitz M.


Taylor (“Tex”) Francisco—who took over as superintendent of Calvary Mission in 1933—was the superintendent of the Calvary Mission when Bill W.’s “sponsor,” Ebby Thacher, made his personal surrender—accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior—there November 1, 1934.[54]


Tex was still the superintendent when Bill W. accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior there about December 7, 1934, just before Bill entered Towns Hospital for his fourth and final visit on December 11, 1934.[55]


Records in such descriptive books as J. Wilbur Chapman, S.H. Hadley of Water Street, tell of the tens of thousands of down-and-outers that went through Water Street Mission and were helped, if not healed.


Records of Calvary Mission, where both Ebby Thacher and Bill Wilson accepted Christ, also report on the thousands helped in that endeavor at Calvary Mission which was owned by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker’s Calvary Episcopal Church in New York.[56]



“General” William Booth founded an organization in July 1865 in England— an early name for which was “The Christian Mission”—that became known as “The Salvation Army” in 1878. Booth sent an official group to the United States in 1880 to pioneer work for the organization.[57]


The Salvation Army’s work with drunkards, derelicts, and criminals in the slums became popularized in Harold Begbie’s Twice-Born Men—a book owned, circulated, and widely-read by Oxford Group people and by the Akron AAs.[58]


The effectiveness and techniques of the Salvation Army are well discussed by Dr. Howard Clinebell of the Claremont School of Theology.[59] Also in one of the lectures given at the Yale Alcohol Studies in 1945—an event in which Bill Wilson was one of the participating lecturers.[60]



The Rev. Dr. Francis E. Clark founded this society at the Williston Congregational Church in Portland, Maine, on February 2, 1881. During its National Convention convened July 9 and 10, 1885, at Ocean Park, Maine, the society was incorporated under the laws of Maine as “the United Society of Christian Endeavor.”[62]


At that convention, Mr. Van Patten of Burlington, Vermont, was chosen President. This Christian society, aimed at young people in the church, spread throughout the world and reached a peak membership of around 4.5 million members.


A Christian Endeavor Society started in North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury, in 1887 (when Dr. Bob was about eight years old), and Dr. Bob said he was actively involved in it “from childhood through high school.”[63]


Christian Endeavor’s ideas and regimen produced a thoroughly observed, reported, organized, and followed program of:


·         Confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior;[64]

·         Conversion meetings;[65]

·         Bible study meetings;[66]

·         Prayer meetings;[67]

·         Quiet Hour;[68]

·         Topical discussions;[69] and

·         Reading of Christian literature[70]


The Christian Endeavor program closely paralleled the original Akron A.A. program founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob in 1935.[71]


Let us also look at “A First Century Christian Fellowship” and aspects of its influence on early A.A. Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman, a Lutheran minister, and a couple of associates founded the organization in the autumn of 1922.[72] In September 1928, the press in South Africa affixed the label “the Oxford Group” to a group of Oxford University students involved with “A First Century Christian Fellowship” who were traveling by train in South Africa, and the name stuck.


In the Oxford Group’s earliest days, Group leader Sherwood Sunderland Day wrote a little pamphlet succinctly summarizing the principles of the Oxford Group.[73] Day wrote at the beginning of his pamphlet that the principles of the Oxford Group were the principles of the Bible.


And if you read my [Dick B.’s] comprehensive book, The Oxford Group and Alcoholics Anonymous,[74] you will see two major points:


1.      The Oxford Group’s 28 principles that impacted on A.A., and the specific language used in hundreds of Oxford Group writings [some 500 that Dick B. acquired, studied, and reported], each rested on the Oxford Group biblical principles that Bill W. later incorporated into the Big Book.


2.      Oxford Group writer after Oxford Group writer—many of whose books were read by early AAs—quoted the Bible in support of those 28 principles that later impacted on Bill’s language and approach to the Big Book.


It was Bill Wilson himself who said: “I am always glad to say privately that some of the Oxford Group presentation and emphasis upon the Christian message saved my life.”[75]


Bill W.’s wife, Lois, was even clearer on what the Oxford Group and its First Century Christianity had done for A.A. and for her Bill. Lois wrote:


Alcoholics Anonymous (yet to be formed at that time) owes a great debt to the Oxford Group.[76]


The next few months were a happy time for Bill. He had the companionship of his alcoholic friends, the spiritual inspiration of the Oxford Group and the satisfaction of being useful to those he worked with.[77]


The Oxford Group precepts [as Lois characterized them] were in substance:


·         Surrender your life to God;

·         Take a moral inventory;

·         Confess your sins to God and another human being;

·         Make restitution;

·         Give of yourself to others with no demand for return;

·         Pray to God for help to carry out these principles.

·         There were also four “Absolutes”: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love, moral standards by which every thought and action should be tested.[78]


And Lois W. wrote in her memoir:


God, through the Oxford Group, had accomplished in a twinkling what I had failed to do in seventeen years.[79]

Gloria Deo

[1] T. D. Seymour Bassett, The Gods of the Hills: Piety and Society in Nineteenth Century Vermont (Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society. Inc., 2000)
[2] Edward Taylor Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury, Vt: A Review of One Hundred Twenty-Five Years to the Anniversary Pageant, 1912 (General Books, ISBN 9780217374903); John M. Comstock, The Congregational Churches of Vermont and Their Ministry 176 2-1942 Historical and Statistical (St. Johnsbury, VT: The Cowles Press, 1942).
[3] Dr. Bob’s mother supported these financially.
[4] The Young Men’s Christian Association was vibrant at the time of Dr. Bob’s youth (1879-1898), particularly in St. Johnsbury with its donated Y.M.C.A. building near Dr. Bob’s boyhood home, the local General Secretary who appeared on the scene, the reading room, the lectures and activities North Congregational Church and St. Johnsbury Academy which Bob attended, Bible studies, and religious meetings such as the “Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury. Dr. Bob’s father, Judge Walter P. Smith, was President of the St. Johnsbury YMCA from 1895 until at least 1897 while his son Bob was attending St. Johnsbury Academy down the street (1894-1898). See Dick B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 61, 90, 114-19.
[5] News about the travels of Moody and Sankey, and the texts of Moody’s sermons, filled St. Johnsbury’s local newspaper, the St. Johnsbury Caledonian, for a number of years just before Dr. Bob was born.
     Ken B. reviewed all of the available issues of the St. Johnsbury Caledonian newspaper on microfilm from about 1869 until at least August 1875 during the second research trip Dick B. and Ken B. made to St. Johnsbury in June 2008.
[6] On September 12, 1875, Colonel Franklin Fairbanks of St. Johnsbury assisted Moody with an afternoon service in Northfield, Massachusetts. See “The Revivalists at Northfield, Mass,.” New York Times, Springfield, Mass., Sept. 12; Published September 13, 1875 : ; accessed 2/16/12.
[7] Henry Moorhouse, the famous young English evangelist, assisted by Ira D. Sankey, held meetings in St. Johnsbury during the last week in October 1877. See John MacPherson, Henry Moorhouse, the English Evangelist (London: Morgan and Scott, 1881), 80.
[8] Congregationalist Colonel Franklin Fairbanks also joined with other state religious leaders, including Baptist Jacob J. Estey of Brattleboro and Methodist Samuel Huntington of Burlington, in signing “an appeal to support Moody’s evangelistic campaign” in Burlington, Vermont, during most of October 1877.
     Moody arrived in Burlington on Saturday morning, October 6, 1877. See T. D. Seymour Bassett, The Gods of the Hills: Piety and Society in Nineteenth-Century Vermont (Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society, 2000), 193-95.
     The Moody and Sankey campaign in Vermont concluded Thursday evening, November 1, 1877. See “Revivals in New-England,” New York Times, dated Nov. 2, and published November 3, 1877. ; accessed 2/17/12.
[9] Dr. Bob was active in Christian Endeavor as a youth through his family’s church, North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury. See Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed. (New York City, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001), 172. See also: Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2008), 143-87. Furthermore, these videos have shown and will show how many of the persons, leaders, and evangelists of those days were not only friends and colleagues, but also much involved in the same organizations and groups that were impacting on Vermont and A.A.’s co-founders in their Christian upbringing and later as adults. These people were Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey, F. B. Meyer, Amos Wells, Billy Sunday, Francis Clark, Colonel Franklin Fairbanks, Robert E. Speer, S. H. Hadley, J. Wilbur Chapman, A. J. Gordon, and General William Booth. Their paths crossed many times in Congregationalism, the Young Men’s Christian Association, Christian Endeavor, revivals, temperance meetings, the work of rescue missions, and even The Great Awakening of 1875 in St. Johnsbury.
[10] John M. Comstock, The Congregational Churches of Vermont and Their Ministry, 1762-1942. Historical and Statistical. (St. Johnsbury, VT: The Cowles Press, Inc., 1942), 9: “The rapid settlement of Vermont did not begin until the close of the French and Indian War. . . . Settlers now came in rapidly from the longer settled parts of New England. These were nearly all of Puritan stock, and so naturally Congregationalists. The first of the new settlements was at Bennington, and there the first church of our order and the first Protestant church in the state was organized in 1762, the next year after the beginning of the town.”
[11] See Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous.
[12] See Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.; and Dick B. and Ken B., Bill W. and Dr. Bob: The Green Mountain Men of Vermont.
[13] In The Castle in the Pasture: Portrait of Burr and Burton Academy (Manchester, VT: Burr and Burton Academy, 2005), the text and research were by the Academy archivist Frederica Templeton). The early portion of this book names the many Congregationalists who were leaders and founders—The Reverend William Jackson, pastor of the Congregational Church in Dorset. The Reverend Lyman Coleman was the first principal when the seminary opened during a wave of religious revivalism. Both graduates of Yale College and Yale Divinity School, Reverend James Anderson (pastor of the First Congregational Church in Manchester Village for 29 years) was a founding trustee and Secretary until 1878; Reverend Dr. Joseph Dresser Wickham was principal of Burr Seminary until 1862 and nearly thirty years a president of its Board of Trustees. Dr. Wickham was succeeded as president of the Board of Trustees by Reverend Parsons Pratt, long-time pastor of the Dorset Congregational Church. School Rules and Regulations required: Prompt attendance at Daily Prayers, Church and Bible Service on the Sabbath. In the early years, students and faculty marked the end of the school year with Anniversary Exercises at the Congregational Church and an address by a visiting clergyman, pages 1 to 50.
[14] This information was conveyed to us in interviews and reviews of records with archivist Frederica Templeton.
[15] See also Robert J. Wilson and Ann Lewis, The First Congregational Church Manchester, Vermont, 1784-1984  (Manchester, VT: Bicentennial Steering Committee of the First Congregational Church of Manchester, Vermont, 1984)
[16] See Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 153-54.
[17] “The story of our founding” at The Y/YMCA Web site: ; accessed 2/15/12.
[18] Edward T. Fairbanks, The Town of St. Johnsbury, Vt: A Review of One Hundred Twenty-Five Years to the Anniversary Pageant 1912 (St. Johnsbury, Vt.: The Cowles Press, 1914), 316-17.
[19] Dick B., and  Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 67-68, 97, 119, 125-28, 171, 247-62.
[20] “The Great Awakening” in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, began on February 6, 1875, just a few months before Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey arrived back in America on August 14, 1875, following their two-year tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Dr. Bob was born on August 8, 1879, and graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in 1898. He then left Vermont to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Bill W. was born on November 26, 1895. Bill turned his back on God during his senior year at Burr and Burton Academy after the young woman he was in love with, Bertha Bamford, died on November 18, 1912. The many evangelists who conferred widely reported healings, particularly of alcoholics and addicts were: (1) Dwight L. Moody, A. J. Gordon, F. B. Meyer, Billy Sunday, Chapman, Allen Folger, James Moore Hickson, Just as Dr. Silkworth had told Bill Wilson that the “Great Physician” could cure him, many of these same evangelists used that expression to refer to Jesus said that the Great Physician could cure the believer (Willitts,, 66, 104, 151, 209-10,  215; Hickson, 70; Meyer, The Secret of Guidance, 91. See Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. 62-66.  
[21] Allen Folger, Twenty-Five Years as an Evangelist (Boston: James H. Earle & Company, 1905), p. 198- 99 “this young man. . . in despairing tone, said, ‘Did you know that I was a drunkard and only twenty-two years of age? . . . . I have been engaged in selling drugs. . . . Silently asking God’s guidance I said, If you must go to these places you can take Christ with you to the worst place on earth, only trust entirely in him. . . . The last service he was there again, and when the invitation was given he was at once on his feet and said to me, ‘Mr. Folger, I am trying to live a Christian life. . . Later he came over apparently rejoicing in the Lord, and I heard of him afterwards as doing well.”
[22] Billy Sunday: William T. Ellis, Billy Sunday, 31-32, 39, 66, 94; Rachel M. Phillips, Billy Sunday (Ohio; Barbour Books, 2001), 115-16, 148,,
[23] “A. J. Gordon and Dwight L. Moody; Boston 1877.” And then there is the dramatic account of the Healing Movement: [A. J.] Gordon began including healing in his ministry after he observed an opium addict delivered and a missionary’s cancerous jaw healed instantaneously through the prayers of concerned believers during Dwight L. Moody’s revival meetings in Boston in 1877. These meetings revitalized the life of Clarendon Church, which Gordon pastored, and brought reformed drunkards and all kinds of commoners into the ranks of this affluent church.  Richard M. Riss, A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 22. For further understanding of Gordon’s role, see A. J. Gordon, The Ministry of Healing: Miracles of Cure in All Ages (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1881); and Scott M. Gibson, A. J. Gordon: American Premillennialist (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2001).
[24] James Moore Hickson, Heal The Sick (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1925) –a book that was owned and circulated among early AAs by Dr. Bob; pp. 39-40, 82-83, 88, 118-19, 172, 240-41, 265.
[25] Ethel R. Willitts, Evangelist, Healing in Jesus Name (Crawfordsville, IN: Ethel R. Willitts, 1931),  122, 156,
[26] Bob Holman, F.B. Meyer: “If I Had a Hundred Lives, they should be at Christ’s disposal.” (Great Britain: Christian Focus Limited, 2007), p. 2, “F. B. Meyer was one of the great influences of the evangelical world in the latter 19th and early 20th century. He helped launch the then-unknown D. L. Moody for his first evangelistic mission in the UK, was himself a famous Holiness preacher on both sides of the Atlantic. He was one of the outstanding Bible teachers of his day;” p. 29:  “In Meyer’s church, Moody and Sankey began their triumphant British tour;” p. 31: There was a lifelong friendship between Meyer and Moody; p. “Meyer soon perceived that for ex-prisoners, alcoholics and delinquents, conversion was necessary but not always sufficient. Often they also needed jobs and accommodation;” p. 67: Meyer knew George Williams, a trustee at Meyer’s church, a leading evangelical, and played a large part in the founding of Young Men’s Christian Association—bringing drunken youths off the streets into Bible study at Williams’s home; pp. 93, 146, 156, 181: As with Moody, and Billy Sunday, Christian Endeavor, the YMCA, and support for missions played a large role in their outreach work. In his book The Secret of Guidance (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010); p. 155: Meyer’s influence on Dr. Frank Buchman as to guidance and “quiet time,” was both recognized and substantial. P. 70: Also see Meyer’s intense interest in General Booth’s Salvation Army Book and the work it describes.
[27]See Alcohol, Science and Society: Twenty-nine Lectures with Discussions as given at the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies (New Haven:  Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1945). Lecture 1, page 12, states this: “Practically everybody who talks about the rehabilitation of the alcoholic mentions the role of religion. The Rev. McPeek will give you a historical sketch of the role of religion in the treatment of inebriety.”
[28] See Richard L. Gorusch, “Assessing Spiritual Variables in Alcoholics Anonymous Research,” Research on Alcoholics (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, 1993): “alcoholics’ concept of God differs so  widely from Christian culture that they are supposed to have been a part of Christianity that stresses forgiveness and love, not judgment and vengeance. . . Alcoholics have a non-Christian view of God.” pp. 310-11. See also Martin and Deidre Bobgan, 12 Steps to Destruction (Santa Barbara, CA: East Gate Publishers, 1991): p. 104. “Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is absent from Wilson’s spiritual experience. There is no mention of Jesus Christ providing the only way of salvation. . . . Nor is there any mention of Jesus Christ being Lord of his [Bill W.’s] life.” See  also The Collected Ernie Kurtz (Wheeling, WV: The Bishop of Books, 1999), pp. 17: “The same mail brings me pages from a Californian who, immersed in the study of books read by Dr. Bob Smith and other Oxford Group members, demonstrates (again to his satisfaction more than to mine), that every idea in Alcoholics Anonymous derives directly from the King James Version of the Bible;” p. 29: “: . . . in the A.A. modality of storytelling, one is “saved,” but not completely. Salvation—sobriety—remains operative only so long as one makes it available to others by telling the story of one’s own;” Compare Linda A. Mercadante, Victims & Sinners: Spiritual Roots of Addiction and Recovery (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox  Press, 1996), p. 180: “Grace is not primarily the energy to improve behavior. It is not primarily an infusion of willpower, or a control battle that God wins. Nevertheless it “works” to turn a person away from destructive behaviors we label addiction. . . . In other words, grace is the heart of God, welcoming u back home;” see William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (Vintage Books/The Library of America, 1990),  “The only statistics I know of, on the subject of duration of conversions, are those collected for Professor Starbuck by Miss Johnston. They embrace only a hundred persons, evangelical church-members, more than half being Methodists;” In Elwood Worcester, Samuel McComb, Isador H. Coriat, Religion and Medicine: The Moral Control of Mental Disorders (NY: Moffat, Yard & Company, 1908), see p. 190-91: “We often hear men say, ‘Faith belongs to religion; knowledge is  the mark of science; the weakness of religion is its uncertainty; the strength of science is its firm standing on the bed-rock of observation and experiment.’ Yet as Professor Royce has abundantly shown, the whole structure of science rests upon a body of great faiths, or beliefs, which must be trusted but cannot be proved. . . . It is no reproach to religion to say that it is based on faith, for if this is a weakness, it is one it shares with science. But not with science only. Our ordinary life is grounded in faith. . . . When he is overtaken with some sickness, he speedily forgets his rationalism, calls in the doctor and swallows his medicine in faith. . . .”
[29] William T. Ellis, Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message (Chicago, Moody Press, 1959), 94.
[30] See John MacPherson, Henry Moorhouse, the English Evangelist (London: Morgan and Scott, 1881), 80. See also: The New York Times. Published: November 3, 1877.
[31] Roger A. Bruns, Preacher: Billy Sunday and Big-time American Evangelism (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 134-35.
[32] Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever: From Pentecost to the Present (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 2000), 136.
[33] William T. Ellis, Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message (Chicago: Moody Press, 1959), 136.
[34] Richard M. Riss, A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 22. For further understanding of Gordon’s role, see A. J. Gordon, The Ministry of Healing: Miracles of Cure in All Ages (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1881); and Scott M. Gibson, A. J. Gordon: American Premillennialist (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2001).
[35] Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2008).
[36] Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever: From Pentecost to the Present (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 2000): Finney was converted in 1821 (p. 100). In what became known as “The General Awakening” period ending in 1830, Finney had taken his ministry to New York where some 100,000 people were converted (p. 104). Finney had previously conducted his early meetings throughout rural New England (p. 98). He was known as the “Father of Modern Revivalism,” became known as the originator of the altar call and the “anxious seat” for those expected to come to Jesus Christ (p. 102). Kenneth O. Brown, Holy Ground: The Camp Meeting Family Tree (Hazleton, PA: Holiness Archives, 1997): Finney used a huge tent in Oberlin, Ohio in 1835. And he, along with Dwight Moody, Billy Sunday, Oral Roberts, and Billy Graham became famed for what was called “Tabernacle revivalism” (pp. 64-65). Roger A. Bruns, Billy Sunday and Big Time American Evangelism (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001): His most famous sermon was “Sinners Bound to Change Their Own Hearts” (p. 67). He often pointed out sinners in the audience, challenging them personally to forsake their evil ways and to follow Christ (p. 68). He had a vision of a mighty force of reformed Christians purifying the nation of sin and sordidness; and he took the revivalist impulse and mass conversion efforts from rural settings into the cities (p. 69). Many read his handbook on revivalism (p. 70).
[37] Much can be said about the famous English evangelist, F. B. Meyer. That is probably one of the reasons that he touched so many of the lives that impacted on early A.A through evangelists and revivals. Bob Holman, F.B. Meyer: “If I Had a Hundred Lives” (Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, Ltd., 2007): He was one of the great influences in the evangelical world in the latter 19th and 20th century. He helped launch the then unknown Dwight L. Moody for his first evangelistic mission in the UK, was himself a famous Holiness preacher on both sides of the Atlantic, played a role in the Welsh revival of 1904, and was an outstanding Bible teacher of his day (p. 2). He believed the Bible as God’s revelation; that conversion depended upon belief in heart and mind; that mankind was justly condemned for sin but God’s infinite love resulted in Jesus coming to earth and that his death is accepted by Infinite justice as the basis for reconciliation between man and God (p. 21). At the invitation of Dwight Moody, he went to the U.S. to speak at the well-established Northfield Conference (p. 65). He was asked to head Christ Church, and negotiated for the post with George Williams, a trustee at Christ Church who had played a large part in the founding of the Young Men’s Christian Association (p. 67). He believed the Sunday diet was not sufficient for Christian growth; and he introduced the Monday prayer meeting, held a service and sermon at noon on Thursdays, and conducted a Bible reading on Friday evening. And he launched a Young Men’s Christian Association program (pp. 76-77). He also took a close interest in the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and eventually became president of the Central South London Christian Endeavor Union (p. 93). His evangelism resulted in many conversions (p. 98). He spent a great deal of time serving others. On Saturday afternoons, he would talk to and spend time with young men at the YMCA in central London.  At 7 p.m., he would conduct the worker’s prayer meeting. On Sundays he would usually preach at three services, and also participate in one or more of the meetings for children and young people (p. 104). He traveled to the United States at least 20 times; and in 1898 he went to Washington, D.C., opened the Senate with prayer, and had a talk with President McKinley (p. 125). He also became President of the World’s Sunday School Association (p. 126). He had much to do with the early life of Oxford Group founder Frank Buchman. Buchman went to Britain the seek Meyer. In 1912, Meyer came to the Penn State College campus and told Buchman to listen more to God than the phones and to work personally rather than organizing large meetings. Buchman was much influenced by Meyer’s books, especially his Secret of Guidance (p.155). F. B. Meyer was president of the National Union of Christian Endeavor and the National Sunday School Association (p. 181). He met Moody’s partner, Ira Sankey, and it was Moody who taught Meyer how to win people to Christ (p. 30). Meyer reckoned that in nine cases out of ten, drink had contributed to the crimes which landed men in prison (p. 38). He worked with homeless boys and youngsters who had been in prison (p. 43). Meyer told a group of young men: “A man must not only believe in Christ for final salvation, but must trust him for victory over every sin, and for deliverance from every care” (p. 47). Meyer also spoke at a large meeting along with General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army (p. 195).
[38] Towns and Porter, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever: In 1859, Dwight L. Moody was elected president of the Illinois Sunday School Association. He established a prayer meeting, called the “Illinois Band,” which included such prominent Americans as H. J. Heinz and John Wannamaker—their goal being to bring Christ to the world (p. 119). Moody became an evangelist, went to England, returned to America preaching to huge crowds, but was cut down by the Chicago fire and many deaths that accompanied it. Moody began making invitations for conversion which he called “Instantaneous Conversion,” explaining how people could be saved immediately by accepting Christ” (p.131). Moody was a leader of the Young Men’s Christian Association, the American Sunday School movement, and also was editor of Christian Endeavor’s pamphlet, The Golden Rule. He brought to America such famous evangelists as F. B. Meyer and Henry Drummond, and was a friend of evangelist Allen Folger. Moody’s ideas were very much appropriated by Oxford Group founder Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman and found their way into early A.A. thinking. See J. Wilbur Chapman, The Life and Work of Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), http// See also: Riss, A Survey, 14-29; Towns and Porter, The Ten Greatest Revivals, 119, 130-38; and Mark O. Guldseth, Streams (Fritz Creek, AK: Fritz Creek Studios, 1982).
[39] As to Sankey, see: (1) J. Wilbur Chapman, The Life and Work of Dwight L. Moody (Boston, MA: Geo. M. Smith, 1900); and (2) Edgar J. Goodspeed, The Wonderful Career of Moody and Sankey in Great Britain and America (NY: Henry B. Goodspeed & Co., 1876). See also Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2010).
[40] As to Henry Drummond, see George Smith, The Life of Henry Drummond (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1899); and James Young Simpson, Henry Drummond (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1901). Dr. Bob owned, read, studied, and circulated among AAs a large number of Drummond’s books. Dick B., Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc. 3rd ed.,
[41] John MacPherson, Henry Moorhouse, the English Evangelist (London: Morgan and Scott, n.d.).
[42] As to K. A. Burnell and H. M. Moore, see Record of Christian Work, Vol. 18, April 1899, No. 4, 170-71. As to Burnell, Moody, and Sankey, see The Advance, September 21, 1905, 318-19.
[43] Allen Folger, Twenty-five Years as an Evangelist (Springfield, MO J. H. Earle & Company, 1915). Folger was deeply involved with the Young Men’s Christian Association evangelism with more than 700 meetings in New England. He was involved with the Young Men’s Christian Association there (pp. 153, 215); with Moody and Sankey (p. 70); with healings (pp. 186-87);with the problems of addiction and drinking people (p. 318); with conversion and salvation (pp. 322-31, 289); with Vermont (p. 245); with  revivals (p. 144); and with hundreds of meetings (p. 334).
[44] Billy was a baseball star, who was converted to God through Jesus Christ, was trained in the Young Men’s Christian Association, preached, converted thousands, was involved in Christian Endeavor, and was a champion of “personal work.” His definition of conversion was a complete surrender to Jesus Christ. He said: The plan of salvation is presented to you in two parts. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth [Romans 10:9].
[45] Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous: His Excellent Training in the Good Book as a Youngster in Vermont (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2008).
[46] D. 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 (NY: Fleming H. Revell, n.d.), 39.
[47] J. Wilbur Chapman, S. H. Hadley of Water Street (NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1906), 17.
[48] Jerry  McAuley: “Helping Hand for Men” (mission) (renamed) “McAuley Water Street Mission”:
“The New York City Rescue Mission was founded in 1872 by Jerry McAuley as the Helping Hand for Men located at 316 Water Street near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Jerry McAuley was a drunk and a river thief who was sentenced to Sing Sing Prison for 15 years.  He came to the Lord Jesus Christ in prison by the reading of the Bible.  His life was so changed, that he received a pardon from the Governor of New York and was released after serving 7 years of his sentence.  Following his release from prison he met his wife, a former prostitute who had come to know the Lord as Savior.  They were married and served the Lord together in ministering to the homeless men of the city. Following the death of Jerry McAuley, the [Helping Hand for Men] mission was renamed the McAuley Water Street Mission.  A water fountain dedicated to the memory of Jerry McAuley was erected at Greeley Square in Manhattan.  His life has had an impact that is still felt today. The current mission [The New York City Rescue Mission], which is the fifth mission since the original mission, is located at 90 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.  The Village Lane Bible Chapel has ministered at the mission on the first Monday of the month for over twenty years.  The following are several pictures of the mission.” [Source: “New York City Rescue Mission”:; accessed 2/9/2014]
[Source: “New York City Rescue Mission”:; accessed 2/9/2014]
[49] Hadley, Down in Water Street, 2.
[50] Hadley, Down in Water Street, 45. And now as to Cremorne: “Two or three hundred well dressed men and women, sympathizers and the regenerated, attended the anniversary meeting of Jerry McAuley’s Cremorne Mission, yesterday afternoon. Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, the Rev. Drs. R. S. MacArthur and R. R. Booth, the Rev. Lindsay Parker, and Mrs. Maria McAuley occupied the platform and made brief addresses. Gen. Fisk said that no report could be made of the fruits of the mission work, but it was known in the hearts of thousands of men and women who had been raised from the gutter to a self-respecting life. The good work was being carried on by Sister Maria, Jerry McAuley’s widow, whom nobody named without a blessing. Dr. MacArthur made a feeling allusion to the memory of Jerry McAuley. He had even made better men of the ministers, said Dr. Booth. Six or eight persons of both sexes, well clad and well to do in appearance, testified to their reformation from sin and drunkenness through appeals made in the mission hall. Mrs. Maria McAuley, known to hundreds of regenerated outcasts as Sister Maria, said that she remembered the time when she lived in a wretched room on Cherry-street without God or hope; there was a bed of straw in one corner, and drink was her daily curse. As tears fell down her cheeks she concluded, ‘God only knows how it hurts the flesh to tell the story, but it’s my duty.’ . . .” [Source: “Cremorne Mission Work,” in The New York Times, January 4, 1886:; accessed 2/9/2014 {109311820.pdf}]
“The year was 1872; the month, October, and the couple, Jerry and Maria McAuley. They named their mission house, at 316 Water Street, the Helping Hand for Men. It is reputed the first such rescue mission in New York-- . . .
Meanwhile, McAuley also had moved uptown. In 1882, Jerry left Water Street (succeeded by S. H. Hadley) to start the Cremorne Mission near Times Square. Who knows whether his grandmother's pious prayers, that he had once derided, may have played their part in the recesses of half- forgotten memory, readying him to receive the message of "new life" carried to him "up the river" by Orville "the Awful," a Sing Sing chapel message that helped turn his young life around and led him to help turn around the lives of countless others, first at the Water St. Mission and later at the Cremorne Mission. . . .
Maria succeeded him at the Times Square area mission after he died Sept. 18, 1884. Newspapers of the era reported that Rev. Thomas DeWitt Talmage's reconstructed Brooklyn Tabernacle (aka Central Presbyterian Church) was so packed with people attending McAuley's funeral that the crowd overflowed onto the sidewalk -- quite a turnout considering that the 5,000-seat Gothic style facility was regarded as one of the largest Protestant churches, if not the largest, in the country at the time.”[Source: “Tombs & Sing Sing Ex-Inmate Became Rescue Mission Pioneer”:; accessed 2/9/2014]
[51] Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 166-67.
[52] Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, 17, 162-64, 166-67.
[53] Mel B., Ebby, p. 65. Also, Mel B., New Wine: The Spiritual Roots of the Twelve Step Miracle (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 1991), 52-53.
[54] Mel B., Ebby: The Man Who Sponsored Bill W. (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 1998), 65
[55] Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 8-11. See also: Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W.
[56] See Dick B., Turning Point: A History of Early A.A.’s Spiritual Roots and Successes, 423; The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, 157-58.
[58] See the review of elements of Salvation Army as they relate to A.A.: .
[59] Howard Clinebell, Understanding and Counseling Persons with Alcohol, Drug, and Behavioral Addictions, rev. and enl. ed. (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1998). 
[60] The techniques of the Salvation Army were summarized and given high praise in: Francis W. McPeek, “The Role of Religious Bodies in the Treatment of Inebriety in the United States,” Lecture 26 of the Yale Alcohol Studies Lectures of 1945, in Alcohol, Science and Society: Twenty-nine Lectures with Discussions as Given at the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies (New Haven: Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Inc., 1945). Rev. McPeek stated: “Much work was done in city missions and particularly by the Salvation Army. The Army, however, has focused its efforts on the conversion experience and has made use of its own facilities and of other community resources when these were needed in aftercare. . . . Generally speaking, the Salvationists have capitalized on the same techniques that have made other reform programs work: (1) Insistence on total abstinence; (2) Reliance upon God; (3) the provision of new friendships among those who understand; (4) the opportunity to work with those who suffer from the same difficulty; and (5) unruffled patience and consistent faith in the ability of the individual and in the power of God to accomplish the desired results” [pp. 414-15].
[61] The resources and literature are covered at great length in Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous.
[62] Francis E. Clark, World Wide Endeavor: The Story of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor from the Beginning and in All Lands (Philadelphia, PA: Gillespie & Metzgar, 1895), 160.
[63] Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 172.
[64] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 145, 148-50, 161-63.168, 170, 174-75, 177-8, 180, 183-84.
[65] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 145, 147-50.  161, 174, 177,  178, 183-84
[66] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 147. 150-51, 161-63, 171, 175, 177, 181-2.
[67] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 147, 150-51, 161-63, 168, 170, 172,, 175-78, 183.
[68] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 150-51, 163, 172-73, 176. 181-82.
[69] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 146-50, 161, 183-4.
[70] Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 150-51, 163, 168, 181-82.
[71] Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 18; Dick B. and Ken B., Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous, 143-67.
[72] Garth Lean, Frank Buchman: A Life (London: Constable, 1995), 97.
[73] Sherwood Sunderland Day, The Principles of the Oxford Group (Great Britain: The Oxford Group, n.d.).
[74] Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous: A Design for Living That Works, new, rev. ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1998).
[75]Pass It On,” p. 171.
[76] Lois Remembers, 92.
[77] Lois Remembers, 98.
[78] Lois Remembers, 92. These Oxford Group Four Absolutes derived directly from a foundational book by Robert E. Speer, The Principles of Jesus: Applied to Some Questions of Today (NY: Fleming H. Revell, 1902). Some writers have erroneously spoken of them as having been derived from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. For further elaboration on the biblical sources for the four absolutes, see how varied those alleged sources are. Start with the proposition that they were not taken directly from verses in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Note that Robert E. Speer cited several Bible sources other than just those in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Note too that history has done the sources a bad turn. Shoemaker attributed them to the Sermon. Henry B. Wright added a whole series of Bible verses for each absolute; and those verses came not just from various Gospel verses, but also from many in the church Epistles. Finally, AAs began writing pamphlets simply making up their own interpretations of the absolutes. Therefore the student of the four absolutes can best start learning by looking at the variations and then making up his own mind from the evidence, rather than from the opinions. See Speer’s book. Then see Henry Burt Wright, The Will of God and a Man’s Lifework as re-written in “General Books” and dated 2009. Then see this reprint’s discussion on pages 79-105. Then see Dick B., The Oxford Group & Alcoholics Anonymous: A Design for Living that Works, 2d ed., pages 56-57, 310-11
[79] Lois Remembers, 99.