The third A.A. group in the world was founded on May 11, 1939, in Cleveland, Ohio. It had a documented 93% success rate, and grew from one group to 30 in a year. The International Christian Recovery Coalition undertook research there in November 2012 and report here what we found.
The Group's founder, Clarence S., brought the Bible, the Four Absolutes, the Big Book and its 12 Steps, and "most of the old program" from Akron. We therefore traveled to both Cleveland and Akron and saw vivid pictures of recovery successes.
Splendid resources today tell the Cleveland recovery story in the words of eye witnesses: "Our Legacy to the Faith Community" by 3 Clarence Snyder sponsees. "That Amazing Grace: The Role of Clarence and Grace S. in A.A." by Dick B. "How It Worked: The Story of Clarence H. Snyder and The Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland Ohio" by Mitchell K. And Clarence Snyder's "My Higher Power the Light Bulb" and "Going Through the Steps."
Cleveland built upon the success factors of early Akron A.A., including qualification of newcomers, hospitalization, Bible, prayer, the Oxford Group 4 Absolutes, the Big Book, and taking the 12 Steps in two days. It founded the "Cleveland Central Bulletin." We have the first three years of that paper. They are loaded with information about what those AAs did.
The masthead featured the 4 Absolutes. The front page featured a prayer. There was an Editorial, a discussion of the Steps, News from the Camps, Bible , coverage of numerous events like bowling, baseball, clam bakes, choir, Mass Meetings, Conferences, picnics, a minstrel show, dances, and even a clergyman's round table.
Clarence S. depicted Ohio AA as "Trust God, Clean House, Help Others" and NY as "Don't Drink. Go to Meetings."