Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
Serving Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, and Rutherford
AA Local and Traditional History
Let me start with this. I’ve heard different stories on Shelby, Kings Mountain, Statesville and Charlotte pertaining to the oldest groups/members in North Carolina. So when briefly looking in the matter of Local AA History, as it pertains to Gaston, Lincoln, Cleveland & Rutherford Counties. I can’t overlook the fact that not only is the early groups established in this area the first for these counties, one must point out that these same groups were some of the earliest in the state of North Carolina.
November 14, 1940 – In an AA Bulletin from this date as posted in an online form by Bill N., it states some NC info. It has Shelby and Greensboro as having members who have recovered either through the book alone or through brief contact with established centers. (Also, Aiken, SC).
December 1941, There was only the Shelby Group in North Carolina listed. It list Dr. T. B. Mitchell as the sec. and the group size of 20. It also list Charlotte, NC with isolated members (but not groups).
September 1942. There is the Shelby Group, Dr. T.B. Mitchell, 40 members and contributed $20.00. Also, Charlotte is listed with David Rae as the sec. and 7 members. Also list Lone A.A. Members in Fayetteville and Greensboro.. This is the earliest date I’ve seen the term “Lone” used for members.
September 1946 Grapevine stated that a recent Inter-group meeting for all of the Carolinas was held in Shelby, NC
October 1946 Grapevine List Greensboro, Greenville, and Statesville as having new groups. Also, in news for the Carolinas, it noted Shelby as being the Oldest group of the Carolinas.
Excerpts from November 1947, AA Grapevine
North Carolina Groups Solid–From Kings Mountain, N. C.. The. Grapevine’s
correspondent reports that not only his own Group with 12 members but others are “solid.” The Kings Mountain Group was started some years ago by Paul M., a non-alcoholic, who provided transportation to Shelby for anyone wishing to try the A.A. way. The group reports a gain of about a member each week. . . The Shelby Group is over six years old and has been aiding men from all over the South. . .Lincolnton is growing and has a fine clubroom open all the time, while Hickory, too, has a growing Group and good quarters. . . The Gastonia Group has started for the third time, with a new determination to succeed.
In the Clip Sheet which has excerpts from the public press is the following:
Gastonia, N. C., “Gazette” — “A small but growing group of Gastonia men assembles in a room in uptown Gastonia each Thursday in the interest of self-help. It is a sober group, pursuing a sane and sober objective. It is a unit of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization of those suffering from the disease of alcoholism or near-alcoholism, and to reclaiming their lives for wholesome and productive living. That it is a stride forward in the interest of both the individual and society is evident from the thousands of lives reclaimed from stagnation and turned to constructive pursuits by A.A. already.”
Also, I will add that Bill Wilson visited the Shelby Group in the early ’40s. I don’t know the dates of the exact visit, I do know that he had talked of his visit to a lecture given at the Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies in this lecture is printed in a book titled Alcohol Science and Society. I’ll try and find a link to the full text soon.
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