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Shoemaker, Samuel Moor  

(Dec. 27, 1893-Jan. 31, 1963). Episcopal priest and one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In the summers of 1911 and 1912, he attended conferences in Northfield, Massachusetts, where he was exposed to such evangelical leaders as John R. Mott, Robert E. Speer, and Sherwood Eddy. He called them "spiritual giants." Shoemaker received his B.A. in 1916 from Princeton University. From 1917 until 1919 he worked for the YMCA in China. He studied at the General Theological Seminary and received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 1921. Shoemaker was ordained deacon on June 20, 1920, and priest on June 11, 1921. He began his ordained ministry as a curate at Grace Church, New York. On May 15, 1925, he accepted the call to be rector of Calvary Church, New York, and served there until 1952. He used his imagination, evangelical preaching, and concern for the needy to revitalize and strengthen Calvary Church. He assisted in the organization of Alcoholics Anonymous and helped to write the "Twelve Steps." In 1952 Shoemaker became the rector of Calvary Church, Pittsburgh, and served there until his retirement in 1962. While there he developed the "Pittsburgh Experiment," a program in which lay people met in small groups to discuss how to bring Christianity into their daily lives and their business relationships. Shoemaker's emphasis on empowering the laity led him and his wife to hold "schools of prayer." These grew into what is now known as the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. He was the founder of Faith at Work magazine and wrote twenty-three books. Shoemaker died in Pittsburgh. See Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (AFP); see Shoemaker, Helen Smith. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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