Manual of The Mother Church/Church Officers/Names, Election, and Duties

Church By-Laws.


Article I.


Names. Section 1. The Church officers shall consist of the Pastor Emeritus, a Board of Directors, a President, a Clerk, a Treasurer, and two Readers.

President. Sect. 2. The President shall be elected, subject to the approval of the Pastor Emeritus, by the Board of Directors[1] on Monday preceding the annual meeting of the Church. The President shall hold office for one year, and the same person is eligible for election but once in three years.

Clerk and Treasurer. Sect. 3. The term of office for the Clerk and the Treasurer of this Church (also for the editors and the manager of The Christian Science Publishing Society, and the manager of the general Committee on Publication in Boston) is one year each, dating from the time of election to office. Incumbents who have served one year or more, may be reelected, or new officers elected, at the annual meeting held for this purpose, by a unanimous vote of the Christian Science Board of Directors and the consent of the Pastor Emeritus given in her own handwriting.

Readers. Sect. 4. Every third year Readers shall be elected in The Mother Church by the Board of Directors, which shall inform the Pastor Emeritus of the names of its candidates before they are elected; and if she objects, said candidates shall not be chosen. The Directors shall fix the salaries of the Readers.

Directors. Sect. 5. The Christian Science Board of Directors shall consist of five members. They shall fill a vacancy occurring on that Board after the candidate is approved by the Pastor Emeritus. A majority vote or the request of Mrs. Eddy shall dismiss a member. Members shall neither report the discussions of this Board, nor those with Mrs. Eddy.

Church Business. Sect. 6. The business of The Mother Church shall be transacted by its Christian Science Board of Directors. The manager of the general Committee on Publication in the United States shall order no special action to be taken by said Committee that is not named in the Manual of this Church without consulting with the full Board of Directors of The Mother Church and receiving the written consent of said Board.

Publishing Buildings. Sect. 7. It shall be the duty of the Christian Science Board of Directors to provide a suitable building for the publication of The Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, Der Herold der Christian Science, and all other Christian Science literature published by The Christian Science Publishing Society. It shall also be the duty of the Christian Science Board of Directors to provide suitable rooms, conveniently and pleasantly located in the same building, for the publication and sale of the books of which Mary Baker Eddy is, or may be, the author, and of other literature connected therewith.

Trusteeships and Syndicates. Sect. 8. Boards of Trustees and Syndicates may be formed by The Mother Church, subject to the approval of the Pastor Emeritus.

Duties of Church Officers. Sect. 9. Law constitutes government, and disobedience to the laws of The Mother Church must ultimate in annulling its Tenets and By-Laws. Without a proper system of government and form of action, nations, individuals, and religion are unprotected; hence the necessity of this By-Law and the warning of Holy Writ: “That servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”

It is the duty of the Christian Science Board of Directors to watch and make sure that the officers of this Church perform the functions of their several offices promptly and well. If an officer fails to fulfil all the obligations of his office, the Board of Directors shall immediately call a meeting and notify this officer either to resign his place or to perform his office faithfully; then failing to do either, said officer shall be dismissed from this Church, and his dismissal shall be written on the Church records.

It is the duty of any member of this Church, and especially of one who has been or who is the First Reader of a church, to inform the Board of Directors of the failure of the Committee on Publication or of any other officer in this Church to perform his official duties. A Director shall not make known the name of the complainant.

If the Christian Science Board of Directors fails to fulfil the requirements of this By-Law, and a member of this Church or the Pastor Emeritus shall complain thereof to the Clerk and the complaint be found valid, the Directors shall resign their office or perform their functions faithfully. Failing to do thus, the Pastor Emeritus shall appoint five suitable members of this Church to fill the vacancy. The salary of the members of the Board of Directors shall be at present two thousand five hundred dollars each annually.

  1. See under “Deed of Trust” for incorporation of the “Christian Science Board of Directors.”