A Brief History of the founding of First
Church of Christ, Scientist, Northampton
Science was first made known in Northampton by a case of healing which took place here in 1885 through the work of one of
Mary Baker Eddy's students who came to this city, established a healing practice and taught. By the end of the 19th century,
a small band of earnest students of Christian Science were holding weekly meetings. In the spring of 1898 the first public
meetings began to be held, and by November permanent public services were established. A Sunday School was instituted, Wednesday
evening testimony meetings were conducted and a Christian Science Reading Room was opened to the public with free lending
and sale of Christian Science literature.
College students had become interested in the meetings, particularly
students from Smith College, and they were taking an active part in events. In the winter of 1902, the group found larger
quarters; in the summer of 1904 they formally organized themselves into the Christian Science Society of Northampton. The
generous financial support of the Smith College students, as well as that of friends from within and without the community,
was invested enthusiastically into efforts to bring healing to the sick and to those in need of release from human misery
of all kinds.
On November 4, 1906, the Society voted to organize as a church. First Church of Christ, Scientist, Northampton
was incorporated on January 16, 1907. Just three months later, desiring a home of its own and more spacious quarters, the
church voted to purchase a desirable piece of property in the center of the city. Excavation began and the corner stone was
laid on August 31, 1907. The building was completed by the end of winter, and the first service, which was well attended,
was held on March 22, 1908. Services have been held on a continuous basis since that time.
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