Among the Churches

Current Notes

Democrat and Republican

ROCHESTER, N. Y. (First Church).—First Church of Christ, Scientist, at East Avenue and Prince Street has now been dedicated, the dedication marking the full payment of all debts incurred in its erection. The ceremony was an occasion for rejoicing among the Christian Scientists of the city, and was regarded as a milestone in the history of the denomination in Rochester. The organization here dates back to 1886 when, in response to a call from a resident of this city who had become interested in its teachings, Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, sent one of her students to organize the work. Shortly after the first society was founded a second society was formed and authorized. These two organizations continued to increase in numbers, moving from homes to office buildings, until about 1902, when both societies, having been incorporated as churches, secured properties of their own. The two congregations united in 1908 under the name of First Church, and in 1910 purchased the site of the present church. Four years later the erection of the edifice was authorized; in the early fall of that year, 1914, building was operations were begun; and in December, 1916, the building was completed and the first service held.

The circular auditorium, one hundred feet in diameter, has a seating capacity of twelve hundred. The completeness of the musical equipment helps in bringing out harmony, which Christian Scientists strive to express throughout their churches and services. The Sunday school room, with a seating capacity of five hundred, is semicircular in shape, each classroom so arranged that all are in full view of the superintendent during the opening and closing exercises. The construction, decoration, and furnishings are in the Renaissance style. Visiting architects and travelers say that the completed structure stands as one of the most beautiful houses of worship in the United States.

That which to many, who have had somewhat to do with the construction of churches, seems of special interest, is the unique method of financing the undertaking. No subscriptions or pledges were solicited, but the entire amount was raised through free-will offerings on the last Sunday of each month. The entire cost of building and grounds has been completely liquidated. The dedication yesterday records this achievement, since no Christian Science church ever is dedicated until it is free from debt.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

March 10, 1923

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.