Joe McQ. November 16, 1928~October 25, 2007
Joe McQ

Dear Friends:

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Joe McQ. died on Thursday, October 25, 2007. Joe was 78 years old.

Most widely known within the fellowship because of his love for the big book and his partnering with Charlie P. to start and continue the Joe and Charlie Big Book Studies since 1977 that have been given all around the world.

Sober since March 10, 1962, when he found himself in the psych ward and drunk tank at the Arkansas State hospital. At age 35, he finally confronted his alcoholism and ran up the white flag. Joe also founded and was the Executive Director of Serenity Park Treatment Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Steps We Took

Joe wrote a book in 1990 called "The Steps We Took". This is a comprehensive study and suggestions for working the 12 steps.

Carry This Message

In 2002, Joe wrote his guide to Big Book sponsorship in "Carry This Message".

An Early History of the Joe & Charlie Big Book Studies:

Joe McQ. & 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.

The original Joe McQ. has had to curtail his travels in recent years. Oddly enough, another Joe -- Joe McC., active in the study group since the beginning -- has been able to pick up the slack. "Where God guides, God provides," as some members say.

All this growth has not come without a measure of turbulence. What spiritual journey does not encounter obstacles? Some fellow AAs have termed the duo, "self-appointed gurus". Others have accused them of making money on these weekends. Actually, only travel expenses, meals and lodging are paid for by the independent AA host committee sponsoring the study. This is in accordance with the AA Guidelines for Conferences and Conventions (MG4), published by the General Service Office. Since 1977, an estimated 200,000 AA Members have experienced the spiritual benefits of these collective studies.

Wake and Viewing:
Wednesday October 31, 2007
9 A.M. - 9 P.M., at the Wolfe Street Center
1210 Wolfe Street, Little Rock, AR 72202
Phone (501) 372-5662

Family Visitation: Wednesday October 31
Wolfe Street Center 6 P.M. - 7 P.M.

Funeral will be Thursday November 1, 2007 - 11 A.M.
Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church
4823 Woodlawn Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

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for Joe's family. To avoid spamming, your thoughts
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"It's gonna be okay."



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