Friday, February 17, 2012

The Dick B. Shoemaker/A.A. Collection

The Dick B. Shoemaker/A.A. Collection


The Archival Notes of Dr. Jared Lobdell

[A major portion of the Dick B. Shoemaker Collection was gathered together as described in the Dick B. comments below. Then, with the help of benefactors, it was given into the temporary custody of Ray Grumney, Archivist at Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron. Then it was turned over to Dr. Karen A. Plavan, Professor in Pittsburgh, who arranged for its deposit and present location in the “Shoemaker Room” at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. Placed there, with the permission of The Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh]

Except for the comments of Dick B. and the correction of errata, this paper was written by Dr. Jared Lobdell as an Archival Note – the following:

Archival Note I: The Dick B. Shoemaker/A.A. Collection

Our next contribution provides a brief look at an archival collection (not well known and recently relocated) which can supplement materials at Brown. We hope in subsequent issues to note other collections useful or adjunct to A.A. history, especially church-related collections.

[Comment by Dick B. in February, 2012:

Over many years of travels, investigations, interviews, visits, acquisitions, and research, my son Ken and I gathered the Shoemaker books, articles, pamphlets, Evangel issues, sermons, correspondence, news articles, pictures, tapes, and other paper from all over the United States.

Examples and their sources are materials from (1) Hartford Seminary, (2) Calvary Episcopal Church in New York, (3) St George’s Parish in New York, (4) Princeton Alumni Archives, (5) interviews of the leaders of The Pittsburgh Experiment, (6) interviews of the “golf club crowd” in Pittsburgh, (7) Calvary Episcopal Church archives in Pittsburgh, (8) interviews of friends of Sam Shoemaker in Pittsburgh, and the church archivist in Pittsburgh, (9) the Vicar of Calvary Church in New York, (10) the Rector of Calvary/St/ George’s Parish in New York, (11) Mrs. W. Irving Harris who turned over her entire Shoemaker collection to me, (12) Shoemaker’s older daughter Sally Shoemaker Robinson, (13) Shoemaker’s younger daughter  Nickie Shoemaker Haggart, (14) L. Parks Shipley, Sr., (14) Rev. Harry Almond, (15) the personal journals of Sam Shoemaker, (16) comparative personal journal entries in the journal of James Draper Newton, (17) Episcopal Church Archives in Austin, Texas, (18) the library of James D. and Eleanor Forde Newton, (19) the library of George Vondermuhll, Jr., (20) the library of  T. Willard Hunter, (21) Richard Ruffin, Executive Director of MRA, (22) the national headquarters of Moral Re-Armament in Washington, D.C., (23) interviews of Rev. Paul Everett, son in law of Norman Vincent Peale, and a former director of The Pittsburgh Experiment, (24) interview of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, (25) Shoemaker books and papers owned by Dennis Cassidy of  Connecticut, (26) Shoemaker books and papers owned by Danny Whitmore of California, (27) interview and books from Dr. Morris Martin of the Oxford Group, who was personal secretary to Dr. Frank Buchman, (28) articles by Shoemaker in the A.A. Grapevine, (29) Faith at Work, (30) Shoemaker correspondence and papers located at Stepping Stones Archives, (31) Interviews, calls, and communications with British Oxford Group authors and activists—(a) Garth Lean, (b) Kenneth Belden, (c) Kenneth Belden’s son, (d) Michael Hutchinson, and (e) Several other British Oxford Group authors, (32) Shoemaker books, articles, pamphlets, photos and papers purchased by me or given to me by others, (33) listening to Shoemaker tapes, (4) Writings and exchanges between Shoemaker and Wilson, (34) the work of a doctoral candidate at St. Louis University, (35) the work of a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, (36) a large number of Oxford Group and other writings about Shoemaker.]  

[Dr. Lobdell’s archival note continues: This note is based on a communication

from Dick B. as edited.

1. New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker,

and A.A. 2d ed Dick B.

This is Dick B.’s book on Shoemaker, his writings,

and his relationship with Bill Wilson and

Alcoholics Anonymous. There are useful appendices

and an extensive bibliography.

2. Other Titles by Dick B. pertaining to Rev.

Sam Shoemaker and A.A.

Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed.

Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939

The Books Early A.A.s Read for Spiritual

Growth, 7th ed.

Good Morning: Quiet Time, Morning Watch,

Meditation and Early A.A.

The Oxford Group and Alcoholics


The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous

Making Known the Biblical History and

Roots of A.A.

3. Books written by Sam Shoemaker with date

published – fuller bibliographical description

in New Light on Alcoholism

A Young Man’s View of the Ministry, 1923

Beginning Your Ministry, 1963 (with jacket)

By the Power of God, 1954 (inscribed by

SHS, with jacket)

Calvary Church Yesterday and Today, 1936

Children of the Second Birth, 1927

Christ and This Crisis, 1943

Christ’s Words from the Cross, 1933

Confident Faith, 1932

Extraordinary Living for Ordinary Men,

1965 (with jacket)

Freedom and Faith, 1949

God’s Control, 1939 (with jacket)

How to Become a Christian, 1953

(with jacket)

How You Can Find Happiness, 1947

(with jacket)

How You Can Help Other People, 1946

(with jacket)

If I Be Lifted Up, 1931 (with jacket)

Living Your Life Today, 1947 (with jacket)

National Awakening, 1936 (with jacket)

One Boy’s Influence, 1925

Realizing Religion, 1921

Religion That Works, 1928

Revive Thy Church, 1948 (inscribed by SHS)

Sam Shoemaker at His Best, 1964

Steps of a Modern Disciple, 1972

The Church Alive, 1950 (with jacket)

The Church Can Save the World, 1938

The Conversion of the Church, 1932

(inscribed by SHS)

The Experiment of Faith, 1957 (with jacket)

The Gospel According to You, 1934

They’re on the Way, 1951 (with jacket)

Twice-Born Ministers, 1929

Under New Management, 1966

With the Holy Spirit and with Fire, 1960

(with jacket)

4. Important articles and pamphlets by


Act As If, October, 1954

A First Century Christian Fellowship:

A Defense of So-called Buchmanism by

One of Its Leaders, 1928

God and America, Gramercy Park, n.d.

How to Find God, 1957

Lord, Teach Us to Pray, 1977

Morning Radio Talk No. 1, 1945

My Life Work and My Will, circa 1930

Power to Become, 1944

The Breadth and Narrowness of the Gospel,

1929 (fragment)

The Way to Find God, 1935

Creative Relationships, 1946

Calvary Mission, n.d.

What the Church Has to Learn From

Alcoholics Anonymous, 1956

5. Symposia edited by, and with chapters or

material by Shoemaker

Faith at Work. NY: Hawthorne Books, 1958

Together. NY: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1956

The Centennial History of Calvary Episcopal

Church Pittsburgh, 1955

The Guideposts Trilogy. NY: Guideposts

Associates, 1962

Steps to a New Beginning. TN: Thomas

Nelson Publishers, 1993

Get Going Through Small Groups. NY:

Guideposts, n.d.

Marriage is for Living. MI: Zondervan, 1968

6. Shoemaker articles on the A.A. Program

And so from my heart I say, Sept. 1948

The Spiritual Angle, October, 1955

The Spiritual Path of A.A., n.d.

The Twelve Steps of A.A., 1953

Those Twelve Steps as I Understand Them,


12 Steps to Power, 1983

7. Sam Shoemaker papers specifically

collected and copied by Dick B.

(a) Selected pages from the personal diary of

Rev. Sam Shoemaker for 1931, which discuss

the Firestone/Oxford Group/A.A. events

– 18 pages

(b) Selected pages from the personal diary of

Rev. Sam Shoemaker for 1935, which specifically

mention Bill Wilson and otherCalvary Church and Oxford Group leaders of

the period – 16 pages

(c) Morning Radio Talk by the Rev. Samuel

M. Shoemaker (Transcript): “Gems for

Thought,” a presentation of the American

Broadcasting Company Thursday, October 4,

1945 from 8:55 to 9:00 A.M., Eastern Standard

Time. Located by Dick B. in the

Princeton University Alumni Archives and

copied with permission

(d) A list of books and pamphlets by Oxford

Group writers and by Rev. Sam Shoemaker

and in the Calvary Evangel

8. Biographies of and biographical titles about

Sam Shoemaker

I Stand By the Door, by Helen Smith

Shoemaker, Wordbooks, 1967

The Breeze of the Spirit, by W. Irving Harris,

Seabury Press, 1978

And Thy Neighbor. . . , by Cecile Cox Offill,

Wordbooks, 1967

9 Calvary Church in Action, by John Potter

Cuyler, Jr. Fleming Revell, 1934

Kairos: Moments Remembered, by Griffin C.

Callahan, WV: 1999

Taking the Gospel to the Point: Evangelicals

in Pittsburgh and the Origins of the

Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, by

Michael J. Sider, n.d.

Sam Shoemaker’s Theological Influence,

Ph.D. dissertation by Charles Knippel

No Outside Enterprises. Ph.D. dissertation

by Randolph G. Aitkins

9. Titles by Helen Smith Shoemaker (wife of

Rev. Sam Shoemaker)

The Secret of Effective Prayer

Prayer and Evangelism

Power Through Prayer Groups

Prayer and You

10. Bankers Box containing relevant magazines,

news articles, correspondence, interview

notes, personal journal copies, and

manuscripts pertaining to Sam Shoemaker

and A.A.

(1) Shoemaker’s grandson, Ben Rea – 2


(2) Shoemaker’s older daughter, Sally

Robinson – 1 page

(3) Shoemaker’s wife, Helen Smith Shoemaker

– 3 pages

(4) Mrs. W. Irving (Julia) Harris, who lived

in Calvary House, helped her husband,

Shoemaker, and Bill Wilson – resource – 19


(5) Episcopal Church Archives in Austin,

Texas: 230 items selected from 52 boxes of

Shoemaker correspondence, booklets, “materials

examined and copied with approval.”

(6) Calvary Evangel – recommended books

and articles - 8 pages

(7) Pittsburgh Experiment literature and

news articles – 20 pages

(8) Calvary Mission, first anniversary pamphlet

– 8 pages

(9) Calvary Evangel Articles by Rev. W.

Irving Harris – 5 issues

(10) Writings of Rev. W. Irving Harris,

Shoemaker’s assistant minister, Evangel

editor, and resident of Calvary House during

the 1930s. Wrote Shoemaker biography – 53


(11) Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation

literature and news

(12) Calvary Evangel articles by Shoemaker

– 8 issues, plus 16 page article on Calvary


(13) “Act as If” article by Shoemaker

(14) Four often-reprinted sermons delivered

by Shoemaker at Calvary Church, Pittsburgh

– 15 pages

(15) Princeton University Alumni Archives

on Shoemaker

(16) Article – “What the Church has to Learn

from Alcoholics Anonymous” by Shoemaker

(17) Six important articles and papers by

Shoemaker: (a) “The Way to Find God;” (b)

“Calvary Mission;” (c) Transcript of Bill

Wilson’s talk at A.A.’s 20th Anniversary

dinner as transcribed by Shoemaker; (d) “A

First Century Christian Fellowship;” (e) “My

Life’s Work and Will;” (f) “Lord, Teach us to

Pray.” - 60 pages in all.

(18) Transcript of Sam Shoemaker’s address

to A.A.’s International Convention at Long

Beach, California – original and edited 12

pages in all.

(19) Shoemaker’s 6 articles on Alcoholics

Anonymous and its Twelve Steps: (a)

“Twelve Steps to Power;” (b) “Those Twelve

Steps as I understand them;” (c) “And so

from my heart I say;” (d) “The Twelve Steps

of A.A.;” (e) “Power to Become;” (f) “The

Spiritual Angle.” – 19 pages in all

(20) Several special Oxford Group materials

from Episcopal Church Archives, copied

with permission – (a) Loudon Hamilton’s

article on Some Basic Principles of Christian

Work; (b) Wilfrid Holmes-Walker’s article

on “The New Enlistment;” (c) Bishop

Carey’s article on “The Group System and

the Catholic Church;” (d) Henry B. Wright’s

article on “Secret Prayer;” (e) Loudon

Hamilton’s description of A First Century

Christian Fellowship – the Oxford Group; (f)

Victor C. Kitchen’s Evangel article, “Points

West.” – 37 pages in all.

(21) Personal Notes of Dick B. from his

interviews at Ft. Myers Beach, Florida with

James D. Newton alone and also with Newton

and Shoemaker’s younger daughter

Nickie Haggart specifically reviewing parallel

diary entries in Newton’s and

Shoemaker’s diaries of Shoemaker/Firestone

events of 1931 and of the Akron/Firestone/

Oxford Group events of 1933 – 6 pages

(22) The History of Faith at Work, by Karl A.

Olsson, M.D. A five part historical series

detailing the various aspects of Shoemaker’s

work and accomplishments: (1) “Rooted in

the 19th Century, FAW Grew From a Series of

Births and Rebirths;” (2) “Frank Buchman,

the Oxford Group and the Four Absolutes:

Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness and Love;”

(3) “Sam Shoemaker and Faith at Work;” (4)

“An Organization Emerges;” (5) “The Later

Years – Changes to Challenges.” 11 pages in


(23) Sam Shoemaker’s letter to Bill Wilson,

dated January 22, 1935 little more than a

month after Bill got sober in Towns Hospital,

congratulating and thanking Bill for helping

the Chemistry Professor (Breithut) and

having been guided to help Oxford Group

worker Jim Williams. Signed by Sam, original

at Stepping Stones, “copied with approval”

(24) Printed letter, dated November 1, 1941,

signed by Sam Shoemaker and his Associate

Rector J. Herbert Smith, explaining to the

Parishioners of Calvary Church the termination

of the use of Calvary House as “national

headquarters for Moral Re-Armament.

Original at Hartford Seminary Archives,

“copied with permission”

(25) Typed letter from Calvary Rectory,

dated November 4, 1941, signed by Sam

Shoemaker, addressed “Dear Friends,”

confirming belief “as firmly as ever in the

principles of the Oxford Group,” and reminding

them that they and any of their friends

“are always welcome at Calvary Church and

Calvary House.”

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