Manual of The Mother Church/Historical Sketch

Boston, U.S.A.: Allison V. Stewart, pages 17–19

Historical Sketch.

IN the spring of 1879, a little band of earnest seekers after Truth went into deliberations over forming a church without creeds, to be called the “Church of Christ, Scientist.” They were members of evangelical churches, and students of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy in Christian Science, and were known as “Christian Scientists.”

At a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, April 19, 1879, on motion of Mrs. Eddy, it was voted, — To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.

Mrs. Eddy was appointed on the committee to draft the Tenets of The Mother Church — the chief corner-stone whereof is, that Christian Science, as taught and demonstrated by our Master, casts out error, heals the sick, and restores the lost Israel: for “the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner.”

The charter for the Church was obtained June, 1879, and the same month the members, twenty-six in number, extended a call to Mary Baker Eddy to become their pastor. She accepted the call, and was ordained A. D. 1881. Although walking through deep waters, the little Church went steadily on, increasing in numbers, and at every epoch saying,

“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”

On the twenty-third day of September, 1892, at the request of Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, twelve of her students and Church members met and reorganized, under her jurisdiction, the Christian Science Church and named it, The First Church of Christ, Scientist.

At this meeting twenty others of Mrs. Eddy's students and members of her former Church were elected members of this Church, — those with others that have since been elected were known as “First Members.” The Church Tenets, Rules, and By-Laws, as prepared by Mrs. Eddy, were adopted. A By-Law adopted March 17, 1903, changed the title of “First Members” to “Executive Members.” (On July 8, 1908, the By-Laws pertaining to “Executive Members” were repealed.)

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., is designed to be built on the Rock, Christ; even the understanding and demonstration of divine Truth, Life, and Love, healing and saving the world from sin and death; thus to reflect in some degree the Church Universal and Triumphant.