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Area 33 Southeast Michigan
Wayne • Oakland • Macomb • Saint Clair • Sanilac

Archives: Group #0004

Grosse Pointe (Memorial) Group #0004

In 1920 the membership voted to become Presbyterian, and the church was renamed “Grosse Pointe Presbyterian Church.” In 1925 a new church house – today incorporated within the present church-house was dedicated. At this time the name became “The Grosse Pointe Memorial Church.” since funds for the new sanctuary being planned were given by Truman H. Newberry and John S. Newberry as a “memorial” to their parents.

On May 15, 1927, the present sanctuary was dedicated, built on the site of the Little Ivy Covered Church, which had been torn down.

“January 1, 1931, Dr. Frank Fitt began his twenty-seven years as pastor. Dr. Fitt was not adverse to controversy. Early in his ministry at Memorial, he opened the church doors to meetings of the newly organized Alcoholics Anonymous. Having served his calling in factory areas with notorious drinking problems that tore families apart and being aware that drinking was not just a blue collar problem, he fought off church members who opposed his plan. To this day, Memorial serves AA as a place to meet.”

In the December, 1942 issue of the Church Management, a church bulletin, Dr. Pitt wrote an article about the love and admiration he had for Alcoholics Anonymous. In April, 2000 it was reprinted in a pamphlet called, “I felt my Heart Strangely Warmed.”

In early 1941, there were two meetings in Detroit, both on the east-side and one in the planning stages, the North-West Group, to be located at Plymouth Road and Ilene Street, which was to be opened in the fall. Dr. Pitt was allowed to attend both meetings so it would help him better understand the alcoholic.

The members of the East Group decided meeting at a Men’s Club was not an appropriate place to hold an AA meeting and decided to move. A few of the members of the East Group decided to break-off from the main group and start a meeting of their own.

This group of men would hold their first meeting at the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church on October 21, 1941. The first couple years they were known as the “Grosse Pointe” group.

The group in the beginning seems to have been “below the radar” because the people attending this meeting were captains of industry and barons of high financing and could little afford to have their identities revealed. Eventually it went from that Grosse Pointe meeting to the Memorial Group, which is its name today.

Archie T. and Mike E. were both members of this group. This church was where Archie finally worshiped from, was married to his second wife Phyllis and eventually honored in death from in 1957.

STATUS: ActiveNote: Oldest “existing” group in Area 33 Southeast Michigan and still in the same location as it originated.