Church History

Christian Science as a church community began in Concord with Christian Science Hall.  It was a colonial house remodeled for church services and stood on the corner where the present church edifice stands.  The upper floor was converted into an auditorium that seated about two hundred people.  Mary Baker Eddy taught her last class and delivered her last sermon in Christian Science Hall in 1898.  

There is more information detailed in the Christian Science Hall link above and here.

The Beginnings of the New Church Edifice in Concord

Here begins the summary of the beginnings of the building of the present edifice of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Concord, NH, and includes quotes from The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany and also as told in the inspired biography, Twelve Years With Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition (1994), by Irving C. Tomlinson. 

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In February 1899, persuaded that the time was ripe for the formation of a church in Concord, Mrs. Eddy requested me to take the necessary steps to form such an organization. In consultation with some of Mrs. Eddy’s oldest and most loyal students in Boston, therefore, By-Laws were prepared for the new church.

From the moment of the organization of the Concord church, Christian Scientists in the Field at large showed a deep interest in its welfare.                             

It was in 1903, when the congregation had outgrown Christian Science Hall, that Mrs. Eddy began the work of building a church edifice on the site of the hall.                              

Tomlinson, p. 152-153

On July 16, 1903, [at the occasion of the laying of the cornerstone] she wrote me as follows:

“…and He will baptize you in the flood of His love and your hearts, and not pride will consecrate this temple from its foundation to Him who will build our bodies sacred temples pure and eternal.” 

On the same day she sent me the following message at one o’clock:

“The sacred hour of prayer is past.  God grant us the desire that this Temple be His forever.”

Mrs. Eddy’s deep interest in the minutest details of the progress of the Cause in Concord, her home city, is indicated by the above numerous letters written to me while the building of the Concord church was progressing.                                 

Tomlinson, p. 154

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Mrs. Eddy’s Gift to the Concord Church

“Beloved Teacher and Leader: — The members of the Concord church are filled with profound joy and deep gratitude that your generous gift of one hundred thousand dollars is to be used at once to build a beautiful church edifice for your followers in the capital city of your native State.  We rejoice that the prosperity of the Cause in your home city, where, without regard to class or creed, you are so highly esteemed, makes necessary the commodious and beautiful church home you have so freely bestowed.  We thank you for this renewed evidence of your unselfish love.” 

The church will be built of the same beautiful Concord granite of which the National Library Building in Washington is constructed.  This is in accord with the expressed wish of Mrs. Eddy, made known in her original deed of trust, first announced in the Concord Monitor of March 19, 1898.  

            “God has blessed and will bless this dear band of brethren.  He has laid the chief corner-stone of the temple which to-day you commemorate, to-morrow complete, and thereafter dedicate to Truth and Love.  O may your temple and all who worship therein stand through all time for God and humanity!”

Mary Baker Eddy

The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany 157:1-19, 158:24

“Our proper reason for church edifices is, that in them Christians may worship God, — not that Christians may worship church edifices!”

This church, born in my nativity, may it build upon the rock of ages against which the waves and winds beat in vain.  May the towering top of its goodly temple – burdened with beauty, pointing to the the heavens, bursting into the rapture of song – long call the worshipper to seek the haven of hope, the heaven of Soul, the sweet sense of angelic song chiming chaste challenge to praise him who won the way and taught mankind to win through meekness to might, goodness to grandeur, — from cross to crown, from sense to Soul, from gleam to glory, from matter to Spirit.”

from the Church Dedication Address by Mrs. Eddy

   The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany 162:21-24, 29-7

*  *  *

… in the summer of 1904, the church was completed and plans were made to dedicate it on the seventeenth of July … 

The manifold activities of the Christian Science church which Mary Baker Eddy founded are a monument to her spoken words, “Things are thoughts that expressed take root,” for the church organization and all the activities of the Christian Science movement first had their origin in Mrs. Eddy’s thought, as the reflection of divine Mind.                           

Tomlinson, p. 155


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This photo has been given the title of “1904 Dedication” Photo

Visit to Concord, 1904

Beloved Students: — The new Concord church is so nearly completed that I think you would enjoy seeing it.  Therefore I hereby invite all my church communicants who attend this communion, to come to Concord, and view this beautiful structure, at two o’clock in the afternoon, Monday, June 13, 1904.

                                                                        Lovingly yours,

                                                                   Mary Baker Eddy

Pleasant View, Concord, N. H., June 11, 1904 

    The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, 171:8-18


The Concord Monitor, July 16, 1904, quotes Mr. Tomlinson: 

“This is the consummation of the purpose which has long been in Mrs. Eddy’s mind, to have a church of her faith in her home city adequately housed.”

“Mrs. Eddy came often to see the progress during the building of the church and was consulted by the supervising architect.”

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A Kindly Greeting

Dear Editor:

When I removed from Boston in 1889 and came to Concord, N.H., it was that I might find … the opportunity in Concord’s quiet to revise our textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”  Here let me add that … I have received from the leading people of this pleasant city all and more than I anticipated.  I love its people—love their scholarship, friendship, and granite character.  I respect their religious beliefs, and thank their ancestors for helping to form mine.  The movement of establishing in this city a church of our faith was far from my purpose, when I came here…  But the demand increased, and I consented, hoping thereby to give to many in this city a church home.

                              The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, 163-164


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Card of Thanks

The following letter appeared in the Concord (N.H.) newspapers after the visit of the Christian Scientists in 1904: —

…as many gifts had come from Christian Scientists everywhere to help furnish and beautify our new church building in Concord, it came to me:  Why not invite those who attend the communion in Boston to take a peep at this church edifice on the day when there are no formal exercises at the denominational headquarters?  The number of visitors, about four thousand, exceeded my expectation, and my heart welcomed each and all.  It was a glad day for me…

                         The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, 173: 1-3, 13-21

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