Among the Churches

Current Notes

Philadelphia, Pa. —When Mary Baker Eddy passed away there was much speculation as to the future of the church which she founded. The passing of the Founder of Christian Science was viewed as so irreparable a loss to the denomination that it was believed its congregational bodies would show a lessened rate of growth, at least for the years immediately following. But a continuous development of the Christian Science organization has marked each succeeding year, and today there are more followers of Mrs. Eddy's teachings in Philadelphia than ever before.

Outside of First Church, at Fortieth and Walnut streets, the congregations worship in rented halls and auditoriums, but plans are being prepared for building on the lot in Germantown which Second Church of Christ, Scientist, purchased last year. The one religious edifice which they maintain, however, speaks for the prosperity of its congregation as well as for the local advancement of this religious body. Only a few years ago First Church was housed in the old Beth Eden church at Broad and Spruce streets, whence it had removed from the old Tabernacle church property which formerly stood on Chestnut street above Eighteenth, on the site which the Belgravia apartments now occupy. Before that time and within recent memory, the earlier and smaller congregations were wont to assemble on Sundays at the Mercantile Library Building on Tenth street.

The success of First Church has served to extend Mrs. Eddy's teachings. Within two years after its establishment, the second local congregation was formed; a third church came into existence last fall, and the members are now considering the forming of a fourth congregation. All told there are probably from four to five thousand followers of Christian Science now in Philadelphia, although it is difficult to fix the exact number. Whatever the appeal this teaching makes to its followers, whether it be based on the reliance upon faith and the cultivation of the hope of mankind in the mercy of God, whether part of it rests upon the democracy of its church gatherings and the semi-Quaker atmosphere which surrounds parts of its service and ritual, the local congregations have shown a continuous growth in a period when some of the older denominations have complained of the difficulty of obtaining new members.—The Evening Bulletin.

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The Lectures
May 22, 1915

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