Local Alcoholics Anonymous chapters continue the mission

AA members talking after a meeting. Photo by Devon Watson

Dr. Robert Smith and Bill Wilson started Alcoholics Anonymous program in 1935 to help their community break away from alcohol and drug addictions.

Wilson was an alcoholic who let drinking control the steering wheel of his life. Wilson did not attend his college graduation ceremony because he was too drunk to make it and he was not able to pick up his diploma.

His drinking then started a snowball effect on his life. He was not able to accept his promised Wall Street job. Wilson continued to drink until he damaged his marriage and became hospitalized four times.

With the help of a friend and Calvary Rescue Mission Oxford group, Wilson managed to find god and become sober.

Wilson wanted to use his transition and knowledge to help other alcoholics become sober. Everyone he tried to help become sober ended up drinking again until Robert Smith ran across his path. Smith was the first person Wilson brought to sobriety. Together, they started AA groups for guidance and meditation.

There are multiple meetings spread throughout Leon County on a weekly basis depending on the month. Anyone is welcome to come and be part of the journey to helping others become sober.

“My wife could not stop me from drinking,” said Marc Jacob, a member of a local AA chapter. “I lost my wife and children to the bottle.”

Members of the AA group meet up for motivational speeches and words from the Bible to keep them encouraged to not drink any alcoholic beverages. Not all members of the AA group are alcoholics; some in attendance are drug abusers. Some of the meetings are held at members’ personal homes, so an optional donation basket is passed around to help the host.

Jenson Bond says he got fired from his job as a security guard at the Federal Correctional Institution two years ago for having methamphetamine in his system during a random drug test. Bond has been part of AA for more than five months now and he thinks joining was one of the best decisions of his life.

“Please, Lord, teach us to laugh again; but God, don’t ever let us forget that we cried,” said Wilson.

Before ending the meeting, everyone holds hands and sings Bible verses. The group finishes with a motto: “If you can’t stop drinking that’s your problem, but if you want to stop drinking that’s our problem.”