This story was shared by one of the Baha'is in the southern states who attended Tony’s prayer gathering and informal discussion (a “fireside”) about the Faith.
Tony’s prayer devotional and fireside were phenomenal!!! There were 11 (yes, eleven!) people who attended who are not yet enrolled Baha'is. There were 4 Baha'is who also attended. Tony included quotes from the holy writings that dealt with the commonalities of the Baha'i Faith and the 12-step programs, such as gratitude, overcoming self, and powerlessness. Following reading prayers, everyone sang We All Associate.” I was surprised to see so many people singing!
The fireside was titled “How My Faith Keeps Me Sober”. No sooner did Tony start, when one of the guests, Lucia started asking questions. Though the questions took him off topic for a little bit, it was fine because he wanted to answer her questions. It was really cool ... The coolest part was when one of the newest guest, Samuel, and a guest who had been coming to the gatherings for a while, Terry, started answering the questions!!! Terry hasn't been around in a couple of years, but that didn't stop him from telling everyone how great this Faith is and how it's the best Faith he's ever found. He even said if he had the time to belong to any religion, he would choose Baha'i.
Everyone was invited to join a study group being held on Mondays on the topic of Releasing the Power of Junior Youth (book 5), and another group that is starting on Tuesday on the topic of Reflections on the Life of the Spirit (book 1).
Before he left, Samuel mentioned that he plans to join the study group on junior youth. He also mentioned to me at the start of the meeting that he had been reading one of the books a Baha'i had given him. He shared with me, "I've been reading it, and I gotta tell ya . . . I was born a Baha'i."