Oxford Group

The practice of the

Crucified Life





home for boys he had been overseeing in a suburb

Of Philadelphia.   The message he heard that day

changed his life forever.  It compelled him to pass

this change on to others who also became changed.

This cascade of altered  lives came down to us in

the form of AA. And continues to provide a well-

spring of renewal and conversion for many. 

    The message that set his life on a totally

different course,  was the message of the Crucified Life.  Mrs. Penn Lewis, as

was true of  all Keswick Speakers, did not speak from an intellectual understanding  but spoke from direct experience of the cross itself. She imparted to Frank her experience of the Cross

   Frank saw the Cross as the center of a world revolution. While on a campaign in Finland in 1935, he said“ The Gospel means ‘Good News’ , front-page news. But people object if it gets on the Front Page.” 1 He said this in response to some who complained of “the movement’s loud-mouthed propaganda methods’’ and “advertising about world revival.” He was speaking to those who wanted a movement which would reassure them about their souls while allowing them to continue living life as they had been living before their encounter with the groups. 

   “I am gong to promise you one thing, I am not turning back. I am not turning back, no matter who does, no matter what it is going to cost. If you join this great Crusade, you’ll get the Way of the Cross.  I am not going to lure you by hopes of material success.  I am not going to lure you by saying you’re going to be heroes.  I’m not going to lure you, although I believe that these lands can give a pattern on how to live.  It is a personal experience of the Cross.  It is not I but Christ.  It is not I at the head, but Christ who leads.”

     This experience is what was passed on to the men and women Frank mentored in the   Oxford group and later through those “groupers” to Alcoholic Anonymous.  As much as Bill Wilson tried to distance himself from the Oxford Group, he said after Frank died, “I’m sorry that we never acknowledge the debt we owe to Frank.”  Frank did not need Bill’s acknowledgement. He was too great for that, but Bill would have been greatly helped if he had had the humility to receive all that the Oxford group and Frank could have provided him. 


1.  Garth Lean, On the Tail of Comet, page 266.    Read on-line Frank Buchman, A Life, Republished as On the Tail of  A Comet. Available through our bookstore.

2 Ibid, page 265-266


This is the text that was used by early AA’s What is the Oxford Group?


To pass this experience along to you the reader is the purpose of this web site.

For an inspirational view of Frank’s source of strength read Frank Buchman’s Secret.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. KJV

14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,  by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Gal 6:14 KJV

Daily Devotional

Early AA’s

read Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for his Highest. Many of the AA ideas for self-surrender are taken straight from these pages

Read today’s Message Here

     In the summer of 1908, Frank Buchman sat in a church  in the town in the Lake District of Northwestern England listening to a woman preacher named Jessie Penn– Lewis. As was required of Keswick speakers, she preached from a text that was more than head knowledge.  Having grown up sickly, and being a woman preacher besides,( unusual for that day ), she knew something of suffering, and the need for resurrecting power of Christ.

     Frank, an ordained Lutheran minister had come to England on a trip to assuage the hurt of a falling-out with the board of directors of a

Living the “Yet Not  I” Life.

T Willard Hunter’s Story of  the AA -Oxford Group Connection

Willard was an non-alcoholic member of the Oxford Group and a long time friend of AA.

  Last page of article: An AA member who join the fellowship in Akron in 1937, Al L. kept a stack of pictures of the founders, Bill and Lois, Bob and  Anne S., Ebby T., T Henry and Clarace Williams and others. On top of the stack was a picture of Frank Buchman.  When asked why Frank’s picture was on top, he said. “Because that was here it all began.  If it weren't for Frank,

None of this would have happened.

Frank Buchman encounters the Cross

Read Garth Lean’s account of Frank’s experience at Keswick on the Initiatives of Change Website. Go to table of contents and click on Chapter 4 “Afternoon At Keswick.” pgs.30 and 31