Connecting Women in Recovery

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The Very, Very Beginning

Some of you may know the history about the relationship between co-founder of *Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson and Sam Shoemaker. For those who don’t here’s a brief account.

Sam-ShoemakerDr. Samuel Moor Shoemaker was an Episcopalian priest, the rector at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City. He was also a leader in the American Oxford Group. The Oxford Group is where the founding members of AA would meet before there was even an official group called Alcoholics Anonymous. AA adopted the 12 steps from the Oxford groups 6 tenets. Bill Wilson just took the loopholes out of the 6 tenets and when he was done writing them out, they turned into the 12 steps as we know them today.
There was a bowery style rescue mission attached to Calvary Church called Calvary mission. Ebby Thatcher (the man that 12 stepped Bill W.) was staying at Calvary mission when he made the call to Bill in November, 1934.

It was at the Oxford Group meetings held at Calvary Church that Bill met Sam Shoemaker. Sam became one of Bill’s early spiritual mentors and Bill credits Sam with teaching him the principles (6 tenets) that became the Twelve Steps as we know them today.

Partial history excerpt from Jim (anonymous) from SoberyRecovery forums

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