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

page 577

Hall, and continued there until March, 1894, and
during the last year the hall was crowded to overflowing.
In March, however, the church was obliged to seek other
quarters, as Chickering Hall was to be remodelled.  At this
time the church removed to Copley Hall on Clarendon
Street, which had a seating capacity of six hundred and
twenty-five, and in that place Sunday services were held
until The Mother Church edifice was ready for occupancy,
December 30, 1894.  During the months that the congregation
worshipped in Copley Hall there was a steady
increase in attendance.
   Twelve years ago the twenty-first of last month, the
corner-stone of The Mother Church edifice was laid, and

MY 56

at that time it was thought the seating capacity would be
adequate for years to come.  Attendance at the Sunday
service gradually increased, until every seat was filled and
many stood in the aisles, and in consequence two services
were held, morning and afternoon, the latter a repetition
of the morning service.  The date of the inauguration of
two Sunday services was April 26, 1896.  It was soon
evident that even this provision was inadequate to meet
the need, and it was found necessary to organize branch
churches in such suburbs of Boston as would relieve
the overcrowded condition of The Mother Church; therefore
three branch churches were organized, one in each of
the following named places:  Cambridge, Chelsea, and
   For a while it seemed that there would be ample room
for growth of attendance in The Mother Church, but notwithstanding
the relief that the organization of branch
churches had given, the number of attendants increased
faster than ever.  From the time that the three foregoing
named churches were established, the membership and the
attendance at them and at The Mother Church steadily
grew, and more branch churches were established in other
suburbs, members of which had formerly been attendants
at The Mother Church.  In the spring of 1905 the overcrowded
condition of the morning service showed that
still further provision must be made, as many were obliged
to leave the church for the reason that there was not even
standing-room.  Therefore, beginning October 1, 1905,
three services were held each Sunday, the second and
third being repetitions of the first service.
   This continued growth, this continued overcrowding,
proved the need of a larger edifice.  Our communion services

MY 57

and annual meetings were overcrowded in The
Mother Church, they were overcrowded in Tremont
Temple, in Symphony Hall, and in the Mechanics Building,
and the need was felt of an auditorium that would
be of great seating capacity, and one that would have the
sacred atmosphere of a church home.
   In Mrs. Eddy's Message to the church in 1902 she suggested
the need of a larger church edifice, and at the
annual meeting of the same year the church voted to
raise any part of two millions of dollars for the purpose of
building a suitable edifice.  The labor of clearing the land
was begun in October, 1903, and the corner-stone was
laid July 16, 1904.
   The first annual meeting of the church was held in
Chickering Hall, October 3, 1893, and the membership
at that date was 1,545.  The membership of this
church to-day is 40,011.  The number of candidates
admitted June 5 of this year is the largest in the history
of the church and numbers 4,889, which is 2,194
more than the hitherto largest admission, that of June,
1903.  The total number admitted during the last
year is 6,181.  The total number of branch churches
advertised in The Christian Science Journal of this

Next Page

|| - page index - || - chapter index - || - download - || - Exit - ||





 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada