The Glass House group of Alcoholics Anonymous was founded June 10th, 1983, on the west side of Fort worth, when a few AA members envisioned a group of their own which would emphasize and embrace spirituality as its cornerstone. The founders and their wives began by holding meetings in their homes, (the meetings including covered-dish suppers), but attendance quickly outgrew space and proved the need for a meeting facility. After several months of searching, they located, acquired, and remodeled a small house on Houghton Street and on the 48th anniversary of the founding of AA, June 10, 1983, the Glass House group held its first meeting. The shellac on the podium, built by Founder Don A., was not yet dry. It’s the same podium we still use today.
The names “Glass House” and “Founder’s Group” were put to a vote before the first members, which included a strong Al-Anon Group. “Glass House” won, subscribing to the concept that each new member would have nothing to hide and would have a spiritual, trusting, caring and open nature.
The Men’s Step Study began each Tuesday evening, meeting in member’s homes for the first two and a half years. Al-Anon meetings were held on Tuesday mornings. After more than a quarter century these two meetings are still in progress, along with an abundant morning and evening schedule for both AA and Al-Anon.
Within months the group outgrew the house on Houghton and in 1984 the present facility at 6713 Hemsell Place was obtained. Eloise W., Jan G., and Nancy H. were driving about after a day of shopping and happened upon the building that presently houses The Glass House. They pulled around back and climbed on the hood and fenders of the car to peer inside. They knew this was the place for the new Glass House! That evening they brought Jim W. and Bryan H. by to see the place and the planning and plotting began. They leased the building and once again the founders and many new members cleaned, refurbished, and remodeled enough to make the hard-used building habitable. When we started the Glass House we had no central heat or air. We sat on metal folding chairs, and the floor was vinyl tile. The unique thing about the Glass House was that Bryan H. incorporated it. This corporation was made up of Jim Williams, Bryan H., Kelly Y., and Massie T.
For months, each Saturday was declared a work day, and after the morning meeting, the refinishing went on; a true labor of love. When the physical work was complete, the group turned to its real priority, reaching out to share the message of Alcoholics Anonymous.
It should be noted here that The Glass House is special in that the relationship between the Al-Anons and the A.A.s is a close one, each supporting the other in every way they can. The Al-Anons are always included in the planning and carrying out of the functions like Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner and Anniversaries. We know that the strength of our fellowship is due in large part to the strength of our Al-Anon fellowship.
Our founders: Bryan H., Massie T., Jim W., Rex H., Don A., Johnnie L., Mark R., and their wives, (several of whom were Al-Anon members), are due our gratitude for beginning what for many of us has been the saving grace of our lives. Mark R. currently lives in Amarillo and returns to the Glass House several times each year. Bryan Honts was active until his death in June 1993. Jim Williams was an active member and an AA speaker presenting the AA message in most of the 50 states and Canada until his death in January 1999. Dr. Rex Howard was active until his death in 2002. And Kelly Young, who joined the Glass House shortly after it was formed, was active until his death in April, 2009.
Kelly Young was active in this group for 27 years. He served as Chairman of the Glass House board of Directors for 24 years. He was an active supporter of the Resource Recovery Council formerly known as The Tarrant County Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction. Kelly was active in the Texas AA State Convention and served as chairman of the 2007 State Convention held in Fort Worth. Kelly Young’s spiritual leadership is a legacy and a gift that continues to illuminate the mission of this fellowship.
Kelly called the Glass House a “Hallowed Hall”. Because of the dedication of the founders and all those who came after- because of all of you who do the work required to keep this building and this group going, this once run-down and disused shell of a building in west Fort Worth has become exactly that: truly a “Hallowed Hall”. For those of us who have come to know it as such, and for the unknown thousands who will one day walk through those double-doors, may it always be so.