History of Christian Science

April 21, 2015 · updated February 15, 2022

The Church of Christ (Scientist) was founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), a semi-invalid who, in 1862, began to learn from Phineas Quimby the possibility of cures without medicine. In 1866 (the year Quimby died), she suffered a severe injury after a fall on ice, and claimed a complete cure without the intervention of medicine. She was reading an account of one of Jesus' healings in the Bible when she suddenly realized that healing comes by spiritual means, and she was instantly cured.

Mary Baker Eddy thereafter devoted herself to the recovery of the healing emphasis in early Christianity, and in 1875 she completed the first edition of her major book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In 1879, the Church of Christ (Scientist) was incorporated with the purpose of 'commemorating the word and works of our Master'. She became chief pastor of the Mother Church, and wrote The Manual of the Mother Church to govern its affairs. Mary Baker Eddy is referred to as Mrs. Eddy by church members.

At the end of the 20th century, Christian Science churches numbered about 2,500 congregations in 70 countries; its headquarters is at the Mother Church in Boston.