The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, MA
Posted by: NorStar
N 42° 20.672 W 071° 05.061
19T E 328309 N 4690134
Quick Description: The original building of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, MA, was built in 1894 and though there is an 'extension' built adjoining it, still is used for meetings and services.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 1:28:24 PM
Waymark Code: WM39WE
The structure that is known officially as the "First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston" (the first Christian Science church organized within the city of Boston) is also known as "The Mother Church" as it sits in the center of the plaza and headquarters of the Christian Science Church. This structure has two distinct portions, a granite stone portion, known as the original church, and a larger white stone structure, known as the extension.
The Christian Science movement itself was started in 1866, after Mary Baker Eddy had experienced a healing from an accident in nearby Lynn, MA. The organization grew and spread to other locations.
In 1879, the Church of Christ, Scientist was founded - the organization. About 1892, the lot was purchased. In 1893, effort was started to design and build a structure for worship in Boston.
About the lot: the area surrounding the church was once marshland known as the Back Bay Fens. The city filled in these marshes and the land became dry and developable. The church itself sits on a relatively high outcrop of stone, and the foundation sits on it.
Construction of the foundation began in October 1893. The first stone of the church wall was laid on April 24, 1894. The cornerstone was laid on May 21, 1894 with several items deposited and a ceremony held.
On October 20, inscription on a stone plaque was revealed:
"The First Church of Christ, Scientist
"Erected Anno Domini, 1894
"A Testimonial to our Beloved Teacher, The Reverend
"Mary Baker Eddy: Discoverer and Founder of Christian
"Science: Author of its Text-book, Science and Health with
"Key to the Scriptures: President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and the First Pastor of This Denomination."
The church was finished and ready for service on December 30, 1894, and held regular Sunday Services since.
Though the church was built to hold 1,000 people, it was quickly outgrown and the extension was built to hold 3,000, which was finished in 1906.
There are tours available - See tour and church service hours on the web site (see link immediately below).
There is a Sunday Service at 10:00 am and 7:00 (except July and August). Sunday School is held in a separate building on the plaza at the same time. In addition, there is a Wednesday "Testimony Meeting" service at 12:00 and 7:30 pm.
Sources of material:
In addition to the official web site (below), much of the material was taken from the book "The Mother Church," by Joseph Armstrong, c. 1911, published by the Christian Science Publishing Society.
Christianscience.com (The Mother Church in Boston MA):
4/29/2014 - Minor edits to update the web site url and correct transposing of numbers in a date. Some things suggested to me in an email forwarded to me cannot be done - the category options don't work that way. I did what I could.