The First Assembly of God, the largest Pentecostal church in America, arrived in Santa Fe in 1959. They began on Jefferson Street and later moved their church to Apache Avenue. Today, Santa Fe’s Pentecostal community includes New Beginnings and the First Assembly, as well as the River of Life in Española. American’s Pentecostal movement began to grow in the 1950s. The work of the evangelist Oral Roberts brought the Holy Spirit movement to the forefront. He founded the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, which used the Holy Spirit to help businessmen. The Santa Fe branch of this fellowship began in 1970. Rudy Rodríguez, the publisher of the Santa Fe News, spearheaded the group in the capitol city.
Santa Fe Friendship Club
The First Assembly of God on Apache avenue is now the Friendship Club for Alcoholics Anonymous. AA came to Santa Fe with the Manhattan Project. In 1942 a visiting doctor brought the Big Book used in AA. This blueprint for recovery became an added tool for many during that stress-ridden era. However, it wasn’t until 1968 that a group of alcoholics began holding meetings in a private home in Tesuque. A decade later, as the need and interest grew, Santa Fe’s Friendship Club began. Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935. The spiritual movement utilizes prayer and meditation in their program of recovery.
Road to Recovery
Today, close to 60 weekly AA meetings take place in and around Santa Fe. The organization strives to advocate unity, service, and recovery. Over the past 87 years, AA has grown into a worldwide fellowship helping millions of people recover from alcoholism. Several other self-help groups for everything from gambling addition to overeating have adopted the twelve-step format of Alcoholics Anonymous.