In a picturesque cemetery nestled in the rolling hills of Owings Mills, Maryland, is the burial place of Reverend Sam Shoemaker, a Baltimore native credited with inspiring the first three steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step recovery program.
Less than a mile from Shoemaker’s grave at St. Thomas’ Church is the Amatus Health headquarters, where the national call center serves as an open hand to many seeking help and making their first exposure to a life of recovery. Twelve-step recovery is one of the many approaches to achieving sobriety that the clinical caregivers at the Amatus Health Recovery Centers use to help you put substance abuse behind you.
Reverend Shoemaker and the A.A. Fellowship
Few institutions have helped as many people recover from alcoholism as A.A. Founded in Akron, Ohio, by attorney Bill Wilson and physician Dr. Bob Smith in 1935, A.A.’s 12-step recovery model has been adapted to address countless varieties of addictions.
Prior to founding A.A., Wilson and Smith met through an international Christian organization committed to “moral recovery” known as the Oxford Group. One of the group’s early leaders was Shoemaker, who Wilson credits with “[passing] on the spiritual keys by which we were liberated.”
Shoemaker became Rector of the Cavalry Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he built the Cavalry House and the Cavalry Mission. Wilson and early A.A. member Ebby Thatcher stayed at Shoemaker’s facilities at times when they were down and out, and close to the end of their drinking.
“The early A.A. got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and from nowhere else,” Wilson wrote in the A.A. Grapevine, the fellowship’s newsletter.
Although Oxford Group was a Christian organization, A.A. members kept only spiritual principles from the group’s recovery approach when it broke away the Oxford Group to facilitate their own meetings. A.A. is known for its lenient conception of a “God” or “Higher Power” that helps guide alcoholics and addicts through recovery.
Recovery is Freedom, That's No Coincidence
Many A.A. members say that there is no such thing as a coincidence; that the advantageous synchronicity we experience from day to day are part of our Higher Power’s larger plan. Amatus Health might not have chosen the location for its headquarters because of its proximity to Shoemaker’s grave, but whether it’s part of a larger plan or just pure luck, we’re glad we landed where we did.
When struggling with addiction, no one knows which exposure to recovery or sobriety will plant the seed for which new way of life will blossom. You and your loved ones don’t need to suffer through alcoholism or addiction. Take the first step and contact our national call center today to find out which level of care is appropriate for you.
To learn more about our recovery centers across the country visit amatusrecoverycenters.com