(PART 1) - The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 576

to wait upon Mrs. Eddy, to ascertain if she would
preach for the society for ten dollars a Sunday, which
invitation she accepted.  After establishing itself as a
church in the Hawthorne Rooms, the number of attendants
steadily increased.  The pulpit was supplied by
Mrs. Eddy, when she could give the time to preach,
and by her students and by clergymen of different
denominations, among whom was the Rev. A. J. Peabody,
D.D., of Cambridge, Mass.
   The annual report of the business committee of the
church, for the year ending December 7, 1885, contains
some very interesting statements, among which is this:
"There was a steadily increasing interest in Christian
Science among the people, even though the continuity
of thought must have been very much broken by having
so many different ones address them on the subject.
When our pastor preached for us it was found that the

MY 54

Hawthorne Rooms were inadequate for the occasion,
hundreds going away who could not obtain entrance;
those present enduring the inconvenience that comes
from crowding, for the sake of the eternal truth she
taught them."  The Boston Traveler contained the following
item: "The Church of Christ, Scientist, had their
meeting Easter Sunday at Hawthorne Rooms, which
were crowded one hour before the service commenced,
and half an hour before the arrival of the pastor, the
Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, the tide of men and women
was turned from the door with the information, 'No
more standing-room.' "
   On February 8, 1885, communion was held at Odd
Fellows Hall, and there were present about eight hundred
people.  At this time the Hawthorne Rooms, which had
been regarded as the church home, were outgrown.  During
the summer vacation, different places were considered,
but no place suitable could be found that was available,
and the Sunday services were postponed.  There was an
expectation that some place would be obtained, but the
desire for services was so great that the Hawthorne Rooms
were again secured.  A record of this period reads, "It
should be here stated that from the first of September to
our opening, crowds had besieged the doors at the Hawthorne
Rooms, Sunday after Sunday."  On October 18,
1885, the rooms were opened and a large congregation
was present.  It was then concluded to engage Chickering
Hall on Tremont Street.  In the previous consideration
of places for meeting it had been decided that this hall
was too large, as it seated four hundred and sixty-four.
The first Sunday service held in Chickering Hall was on
October 25, 1885.  Mrs. Eddy preached at this service

MY 55

and the hall was crowded.  This date is memorable as
the one upon which the Sunday School was formed.
   Meanwhile it was felt that the church needed a place of
its own, and efforts were made to obtain by purchase some
building, or church, in a suitable location.  Several places
were considered, but were not satisfactory; yet the
thought of obtaining a church edifice, although given up
for a time, was not forgotten.  In the mean time, not
only was the attendance rapidly growing in this church in
Chickering Hall, but the Cause itself was spreading over
the land.  September 1, 1892, Mrs. Eddy gave the plot of
ground on which The Mother Church now stands.  On
the twenty-third day of September, 1892, twelve of the
members of the church met, and, upon Mrs. Eddy's
counsel, reorganized the church, and named it The First
Church of Christ, Scientist.  This effort of Mrs. Eddy
was an inspiration to Christian Scientists, and plans were
made for a church home.
   In the mean time Sunday services were held in Chickering

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