The Dr. Bob Core Library, North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury, Vermong

The Dr. Bob Core Library, North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury, Vermong

The Dr. Bob Core Library, St. Johnsbury, VT


Dick B.


Where It Is


North Congregational Church (UCC) of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is presently located on Main Street in the charming village of St. Johnsbury. This was the family church regularly attended by Dr. Robert H. Smith (A.A.’s Dr. Bob) and by all the Smith family during Bob’s days as a youngster. Three, and sometimes four, times a week. Judge Walter P. Smith and Susan H. Smith (Bob’s parents) were there. Young Bob was there until his graduation from St. Johnsbury Academy. His foster sister Amanda Northrup was there. And his grandmother was there. The church archives and other records show the extensive involvement of the Smiths. The Judge as a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher, and Executive Committee member. Mrs. Walter Smith as the person in charge of the church school, a Sunday school superintendant and teacher, church historian, leader of women’s groups, and choir member. Bob attended all three Sunday services and often the Wednesday evening prayer meeting. He was active in the Young People’s Christian Endeavor Society of the Church.


The present church has made a room available just right of the church entrance where the Dr. Bob Core Library is set out on shelves especially prepared for that purpose.


What is in the Library


Lots more to come. And many of the additional items will make some really new Dr. Bob treasures available. These are presently awaiting pick-up on Maui and some conservation proceedings.


Already, there are some 2000 manuscripts, papers, and pamphlets from the church archives, from St. Johnsbury Academy, from the local newspaper, from the town library (the Athenaeum), and from Christian Endeavor that tell about the village, the church, the important families, the Smiths, the YMCA, the town history, the town directories, the Sunday school teachings, the church Year Books, the sermons, and the activities of Judge and Mrs. Smith.


Also, a large number of relevant A.A. books are there. A complete set of the Dick B. 29 Volume Christian Recovery Reference Set. Many biographies, Vermont historical books, A.A. history books and articles, and complimentary copies of Dick B.’s books—Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous and Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed. A large collection of United Christian Endeavor Society books is there. Books on Vermont Men. Books on North Congregational Church. Books on the YMCA. Books on the Great Awakening of 1875. And books about New England Congregationalism, its St. Johnsbury work, and the leadership of the famous Fairbanks families in its churches, missionary work, and cooperation with the YMCA.


Why It Was Recently Established


Dr. Bob was called the “Prince of all Twelfth-steppers.” His wife Anne Ripley Smith was called the “Mother of A.A.” and a founder of Akron Number One. Yet the only significant literature about either one of them is to be found in Dick B.’s books—and not in Akron. This despite the fact that Akron was the founding place of A.A.—at the Smith Home on 855 Ardmore Avenue.


Early A.A. was focused on the Bible. God, His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible played a major role in the origins, founding, program, and successes of A.A. And yet the real origin of these foci was Vermont—not Ohio. Both Bill and Bob grew up in Vermont. Both Bill and Bob attended Congregational Churches as youngsters in Vermont. Their parents and grandparents attended these Vermont churches. Both Bill and Bob studied the Bible in Vermont. Both Bill and Bob attended Vermont Academies (Burr and Burton, and St. Johnsbury, respectively) where there was required daily chapel, weekly church attendance, Bible study, and extensive YMCA involvement. Moreover, both cofounders attended Sunday schools and churches where becoming children of God through coming to Jesus Christ, and study of the Bible were greatly emphasized. Both men were exposed to the effect of conversion to Christ in helping alcoholics get well.


In short, the original A.A. program in Akron encompassed the very things that Bill and Bob had learned and been exposed to in Vermont. These included conversions, salvation, Bible study, revivals, evangelism, Quiet Time, Christian fellowship, witnessing by lay evangelists, and the importance of prayer. But these are not the historical facts that are found or documented in Akron today. They are in St. Johnsbury. And, for Christians and for those concerned with real A.A. historical origins and practices, Vermont is the place to look.


The Dr. Bob Core Library in St. Johnsbury fits the bill. Two major sources of this history are our recent books Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous and The Conversion of Bill W. See and


Gloria Deo

Dick B. is a writer, historian, retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and an active and recovered member of the A.A. fellowship. He has published 39 titles and over 300 articles on the subject of early A.A. history and A.A.’s Christian origins, founding, program, and astonishing successes.

VOENA Children’s Choir to Perform Benefit Concert for The Heifer Project at Community Congregational Church in Benicia

Benicia, CA (PRWEB) April 18, 2007

VOENA presents the “Voices of Many Lands” tour, celebrating the joyous songs of spring where favorites such as “You Raise Me Up” and “Prayer of The Children” are originally performed in a splash of color. This is a rare opportunity to see this well-known children’s choir in the intimate setting of Community Congregational Church. Concert proceeds will benefit The Heifer Project.

Presented in a style the director Annabelle Marie calls, “physical singing,” VOENA returns to Benicia after an astounding year that took them from the World Expo in Japan — where they dazzled international audiences — to their magical performance at the 2005 Pageant of Peace at the White House. VOENA, representing up to 35 cultures, with 100+ voices ranging in age from 6 to 18, achieves rich and inventive a cappella vocal arrangements by using multiple percussion instruments, dance and theatrical elements. VOENA will take you on a magical journey celebrating the many cultures around the world and recognizing that the true spirit of unity is understood in any language.

While the VOENA story is remarkable enough — the talent, passion and vision of Founder and Director Annabelle Marie is truly extraordinary. In 1994, a friend suggested that she involve her two children in a concert she was preparing at Cal State Hayward. Inspired by the suggestion, she decided to “involve a lot of kids.” She advertised a free children’s concert and held auditions at area schools and throughout the city. The event was successful and parents were so enthusiastic, that Annabelle agreed to continue the choir, which has grown steadily — a testament to her dedication, the quality of the music, and the ongoing commitment of the children and parents.

VOENA is now 110 children strong with members ranging from the age of 6 through 18. This multi-ethnic choir performs a cappella vocal arrangements using multiple percussion instruments, dance and theatrical elements. Their musical repertoire includes folk music from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America. The children sing classical, pop and sacred songs in more that 20 languages representing the ethnicities of the choir including Swahili, Japanese, Russian, Navajo, Hebrew, Mexican, Armenian, Persian, Irish, African-American, Vietnamese, German, Spanish, French, Hawaiian, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Filipino, Tamil, Australian, Colombian, Venezuelan, Portuguese, East Indian, Native American, Swiss and Malay.

Most of the children join VOENA without an previous choir experience. There are no auditions; if the child has the desire to be in the choir, he or she is accepted. Annabelle Marie says that “Any child with the commitment and desire to sing can be in VOENA.” There are four divisions within the choir: preparatory, intermediate, concert and concert ensemble.

This choir has performed for the Pope, The President of the United States of America, toured through Europe and Japan and their debut of their Valentine’s Day Concert at The Majestic Theatre in Benicia sold out the historic 380-seat venue.

VOENA is a musical experience filled with Latin rhythms, melodies from the Orient, beats from the hood, and harmonies from everywhere. It’s a coming together of dissonances from far away lands and the celebration of new accords. It is VOENA — it is powerful, it is beautiful, it is the voice of virtue — it is the hope sought by all and sung by children.

About Heifer International:

Founded in 1944, Heifer International is a humanitarian assistance organization that works to end world hunger and protect the earth. Through livestock, training and “passing on the gift” Heifer has helped seven million families in more that 125 countries improve their quality of life and move toward greater self reliance. Heifer helps build strong communities because each project participant agrees to pass on the gift of animal offspring, training or skills to another family in need. For more information on Heifer International go to

This concert is sponsored by the Social Outreach Committee at Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ and is made possible by the generous donations of VOENA and Red Dragonfly Productions. Concert proceeds will be donated to The Heifer Project.

Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ present

2006/2007 Third Annual Artist Series


“Voices of Many Lands”

A Benefit Concert for The Heifer Project

Saturday, May 19, 2007

7:30 pm

General Admission

Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

1305 West 2nd Street

Benicia, CA 94510


online at

Bookshop Benicia 856 Southampton Blvd Benicia, CA

Call 707.771.0140 for information