Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
History of Highland Park Alcoholics Anonymous
“Coffee and a resentment are what starts every group,” said original group member Ralph…and then came Highland. The Highland Park group of Alcoholics Anonymous began meeting in the early part of 1989 on the third floor of the Independent Presbyterian Church located at 3100 Highland Avenue. The group formed, as said by founding member John H. “to fill the gaps of the Five Points Group”. The room was bright yellow with pictures of flowers, well lit and said to have been very clean, offering a sense of privacy. Having obtained long-term sobriety, members at this time included John H., Tammy P., Daryll B., Jeanette P., Patsy, Squire, Tim B., Berry, and good ol’ Jack who attended faithfully. Meetings were, on Sunday and Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m., followed immediately afterward by a meal at Silverton. Highland Group made it through the first year. In August of 1990 they held their first anniversary in which the speaker was Brian. Highland Park Group was where long term sobriety and transient sobriety were brought together, long term sobriety was present from day one and it was their second year that more mid-ranged sobriety became present. The following year the church turned non-smoking. Highland searched and found their new home two blocks away.
Highland Park Group christened their two block move to the clubhouse of the Highland Park Racquet Club, located at 330 Highland Avenue by having it’s Anniversary in Rushton Park. BBQ was served and the speaker was Daryll B. The Highland Park Group grew and so did its need to follow traditions. Until that time the only service position that was held was by founding member, John H. He was secretary. But elections were held and Daryll B. was the secretary for 1993. Other officers included Mary C.- Intergroup Representative and Steve P. Treasurer. Meanwhile, on the other side of town at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Cahaba Heights, The Birmingham Young Peoples meeting was also growing. The Young People’s Meeting was formed at the 1990 ALCYPAA in Montgomery by Leslie R., Tony H., Tina, and John. They wanted to form a meeting for young people to attend on Friday nights that would lend itself to group social activities. They set the meetings for 8:30 p.m.
The Highland Park group experienced varied attendance records over time. The time came though, when the rent was too high and the attendance was too low. In the spring of 1994 Highland Park group agreed to participate in fundraising for the Birmingham Young Peoples meeting that was hosting SERCYPAA (Southeastern Regional Conference of Young People in AA). The Young Peoples meeting held a picnic in Rushton Park on Sunday afternoon that was followed by a Speaker Meeting at 7:00 p.m. The Speaker was Lori from Rochester New York. In June of that year the young peoples conference was held at the Raddison Inn on the comer of 20th Street and University Boulevard. Later that summer, as the finances got tighter, The Young Peoples Group once again approached Highland Park Group. This time it was about a merger. The Young Peoples Meeting was meeting in Cahaba Heights. The young people were not an official group and did not seek to become one. Young People’s wanted to become a part of Highland Park Group, bringing the meeting closer to the city. It was discussed at several business meetings. In the meantime, Highland Park was searching for a new meeting place. If they found a non-smoking facility, The Young Peoples Meeting would become a part of The Highland Park Group. And they did. And they were. The Highland Park Group along with their new Young Peoples meeting moved, in September, to First Lutheran Church, located at 2507 Highland Avenue. In November (1994) we celebrated our move by having a pot luck supper and speaker meeting. The speaker was Dean from Bessemer. We continue to celebrate our Anniversary sometime in the second or third quarter of each year. Recently (2000), we have started having a Christmas Party instead of an Anniversary Meeting.
In November of 1999, this website was first published in response to the need for an internet site where AA’s planning to visit the Birmingham area could find a meeting. It’s purpose and limitations were discussed and the input of other area AA groups was solicited. In May of 2000 we obtained our own domain name. In the past four years over 5000 people have used the site.
After much debate and careful consideration, a resolution to discontinue the Saturday Young Peoples Meeting effective November 1999 was passed at the October business meeting. Interest had been waning for quite some time; and while there were members who opposed discontinuing the meeting, there were not enough to support the needs of the meeting.
In June of 2000, Garland B. led the initiation of a Step Study Meeting on Friday evenings at 8:00. Support was spotty for several months. With the steady support of a few devoted members, the meeting has become self supporting.
The Highland Park Group has experienced many changes throughout its existence. People have gotten sober in this group. Some stayed, and some went back out to try it “one more time”. Children have been born to members and members have died. People have ventured to live in other places. New people have moved into our fellowship. Most of all, the message is carried and sobriety lives in our group…one day at a time…And so we are The Highland Park Group of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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