Building of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Armstrong, Joseph and Margaret Williamson. Building of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1980.
This volume combines two stories, the building of the Original Mother Church (completed in 1894), and the much larger Extension of The Mother Church adjacent to the original (completed in 1906). Also included are numerous photos and color plates of the windows in the Original and a brief update on the addition of the portico, administration building, and large reflecting pool constructed in 1975. As a member of the Christian Science Board of Directors, Armstrong was intimately involved in the planning and implementation of the Original. Williamson recorded the history of the Extension when circumstances had vastly changed, and many more members were available to support the undertaking. Armstrong emphasizes the theological and symbolic meaning of the building of the church as well as the relationship between Mary Baker Eddy and those entrusted to fulfill her instructions: “Every step up to this time had been made through demonstration of divine Science, the work of our beloved Leader …. She alone could show the way—God’s way—and make it possible…” (73). Though the completion of the Church and its dedication were considered a huge success without appeals for contributions, Eddy counseled modesty and a renewed commitment to the larger ongoing purpose of the Church.