and Joe McQuany
Joe McQuany (Joe McQ.) was the founder of Serenity Park, Inc. and Kelly Foundation, Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas. For over 40 years, Joe devoted himself to helping others discover the joy of recovery through the program found in the original Twelve Steps.
In 1972, Joe began development of Recovery Dynamics® through teaching the principles of the Twelve Steps at Serenity House, Inc. (now known as Serenity Park, Inc.) The impressive rate of recovery at Serenity House led to a great demand from treatment facilities wanting to replicate Joe’s program. In 1977, the first edition of Recovery Dynamics® was copyrighted and Kelly Foundation was incorporated in 1978 to help other facilities implement the Recovery Dynamics Model.
Joe McQ. is the Joe in the Joe and Charlie Big Book Studies. He is the author of The Steps We Took and Carry This Message.
History of Joe & Charlie
Big Book Studies
Joe McQ. and Charlie P. met in 1973, when Joe introduced Charlie as the AA speaker at an Al-Anon Convention. Joe had wondered if Charlie might be the country-western singer Charlie Pride. He wasn’t even the right color, Joe laments. They instantly discovered their mutual fascination with AA’s basic text The Big Book. What interested them most was that The Big Book was written in a particular sequence to convey certain ideas. That interest began a close friendship which has lasted to this day. They would frequently meet to discuss the book, often driving 225 miles to meet in each other’s homes.
Soon they were planning meetings in hotel rooms at AA conventions in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and within a few years, the meetings grew in popularity. In 1977, some members met in a Tulsa, OK hotel room for a discussion of the Big Book. One asked Joe & Charlie to come to his home group to present a program on the book. An AA taper made a four tape set of their presentation and called it The Big Book Study. The tapes were gradually circulated throughout the fellowship and invitations were received for Joe & Charlie to present the study at AA conventions, roundups and special events. By 1980, there had been about eight studies offered.
At the 1980 International AA Convention in New Orleans, Westly P. an impassioned “Big Booker” from Pompano Beach, Florida, organized a lunch for 1,500 AAs from all over the world and gave away 100 Joe & Charlie tape sets as door prizes. Invitations exploded and within a couple of years, Joe & Charlie were presenting about 36 studies a year worldwide. Obviously, the seminars struck a deep chord within AA members … for the reaffirmation of this message as written in April 1939 with the publication of the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Studies have been given in 48 states and most Canadian provinces. Additionally, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands have all hosted the Big Book Study seminars with Joe & Charlie. Since 1977, an estimated 200,000 AA Members have experienced the spiritual benefits of these collective studies.