Alcoholics Anonymous & History of AA

 Last updated:
July 11, 2012

Alcoholics Anonymous History
The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide
Third Edition

(Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 2010)

(eBook/“digital download” version)

By Dick B. and Ken B.
© Anonymous 2010. All rights reserved

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., by Dick B. and Ken B. (157 pages, 8 ½” x 11”) is based on Dick B.’s lifetime of Bible study, legal scholarship and training, 26 years of continuous sobriety, active participation in the A.A. Fellowship, experience sponsoring more than 100 sponsees, 22 years of historical research, and 44 published titles.

This edition is the product of one year of conferences, meetings, and personal talks by the authors (Dick B. and Ken B.) with Christian recovery leaders and others from the United States and Canada. It is based on their needs, their suggestions, their responses, and the compelling need for “A New Way Out” for Christians in the recovery arena who are not, and don’t want to be, alone. It can be used as a guide by 12-Step members, sponsors, counselors, facilitators, Christian recovery pastors, Christian recovery groups, clergy, study groups, and those engaged in carrying the story of early A.A.’s  Christian fellowship, simple program, and astonishing successes to fellowships, treatment facilities, prisons, homeless, veterans, military, and hospitals. 

(The 3rd edition of The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide was substantially revised and expanded in conjunction with the production of the “Introductory Foundations for Christian Recovery” class by Dick B. and Ken B. on four DVD's in March 2010.)

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide is intended as a supplementary resource. It does not aim to change the fundamental nature of any existing Christian recovery or approach. Rather, it presents an attractive, appealing, helpful, and effective segment—primarily historical and introductory in nature—that all can use: (1) to bring to their respective audiences accurate historical information about the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in the astonishing, documented successes of early A.A.; and (2) to enhance substantially the effectiveness of their Christian recovery efforts by employing the successful, relevant techniques and lessons from the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” program in helping those who still suffer with alcoholism, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behavior and life-controlling problems.

Suggested Additions to Christian Recovery Programs Proposed in This Guide

First, a concise, accurate, historical element containing discussions of:

  • Christian treatments that were effective in dealing with alcoholism prior to A.A.'s founding;

  • The Christian training of A.A.’s founders as youngsters in Vermont;

  • The Christian beginnings of A.A. in Akron and New York, including discussions of how the first three AAs got sober;

  • The founding of early A.A., its actual practices, and the "original" Akron “Christian fellowship” program;

  • The astonishing 75% overall success rate early A.A. claimed and Cleveland's documented 93% success rate;

  • Alterations of the original Akron program that made their way into the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous ("the Big Book") published in April 1939;

  • Ways to enable a newcomer to utilize the early Christian A.A. precepts in the present-day 12 Step programs; and

  •  Means by which Coalition leaders and workers in the recovery arena can adapt and apply this (new) information to their own approaches and still underline the importance of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in Christian recovery efforts today.

Second, a "package" of proposed approaches tailored to the needs, ideas, and programs of Christian leaders and workers in the recovery arena, as well as Christians in recovery.

Third, a discussion of present-day approaches that downplay reliance on the power and love of the one true God in favor of (over) emphasizing the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions alone, “higher power” language, pseudo “spirituality,” self-made religion, and actual unbelief; and often criticizing church, religion, reliance on God, and even the mention of Jesus Christ or the Bible by those in today's recovery fellowships.

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide also introduces the International Christian Recovery Coalition ( as a means, through common effort, of expanding your Christian efforts in the recovery arena.

Table of Contents

The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed.,
by Dick B. and Ken B.
(April 2010)

Introduction (by Dick B.)

Miraculous Healings Are Recorded in the Bible and Are Still Occurring Today

Effective Christian Work with Alcoholics Before A.A.  

The Background Factors from Dr. Bob’s Youth in St. Johnsbury (1879-1898)

The Background Factors from Bill Wilson’s Youth (1895 to 1913) and Later  

The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous

The New York Origins

The Crucible at the Smith Home in Akron During the Summer of 1935  

The Highly-Successful, Original Akron A.A. Program, as Summarized by Frank Amos and Quoted in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers  

14 Specific Practices Associated with the Original Akron A.A. “Christian Fellowship” Program Bill W. and Dr. Bob Developed  

The Verification of Early A.A.'s Astonishing Success Rates

Documenting the Successes of the First 40 Pioneers

Helping the Newcomer with a Full Kit of Spiritual Tools  

Some Suggested Tools with Which to Arm the Nestling about to Be Flung out of the Nest  

Helping a Christian to Begin Recovery Today  


"A New Way Out"  

An Emerging Picture of Proposals and Potential Service from the California Meetings with Dick B. and Ken B. July 12-21, 2009  

Address by Dick B. at the Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ACADC) Conference in Palm Springs, August 29, 2009  


Obtain The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., eBook/ “digital download” edition

right now!

Credit or Debit Card, or PayPal Accepted. (PayPal is the gateway, BUT NO PAYPAL ACCOUNT IS REQUIRED.)

Dick B.
P.O. Box 837
Kihei, Hawaii
Ph/fax: (808)874-4876

© 1999-2015
Paradise Research
Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Trademarks and Disclaimer: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS®, A.A.®, and Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Dick B.'s web site, Paradise Research Publications, Inc., and Good Book Publishing Company are neither endorsed nor approved by nor associated or affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.