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Rev. Mary Baker Eddy's Gift
This article was later republished in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany: My. 157:1-158:5
Concord, N. H., May 6, 1903.
Through the generous gift of the Reverend Mary Baker Eddy the Christian Scientists of Concord, N. H., are to have one of the finest church structures in the Granite State. The plans for this edifice were presented at a largely attended church meeting to-night, and work will begin upon the new structure in the near future. The gift of Mrs. Eddy includes the desirable lot of land now occupied by Christian Science Hall in the heart of the city at the corner of State and School Streets, and is without doubt one of the finest locations in Concord for a church building.
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In addition to the gift of this choice lot Mrs. Eddy presents to the church a cash donation of $100,000, making her total present represent the sum of $120,000.
The meeting to-night sent to the generous donor the following letter of appreciation and gratitude:—
"Rev. Mary Baker Eddy,
"Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.
"Beloved Teacher and Leader:— The members of the Concord Church are filled with profound joy and deep gratitude that your generous gift of $100,000 is to be used at once to build a beautiful church edifice for your followers in the Capital City of your native state. We rejoice that the prosperity of the Cause in your home city, where, without regard to class or creed, you are so highly esteemed, makes necessary the commodious and beautiful church home you have so freely bestowed. We thank you for this renewed evidence of your unselfish love."
The church will be built of the same beautiful Concord granite of which the National Library Building in Washington is constructed. This is in accord with the expressed wish of Mrs. Eddy, made known in her original deed of trust first announced in the Concord Monitor of March 19, 1898. In response to an inquiry from the editor of that paper Mrs. Eddy made the following statement:—
"On January 31, 1898, I gave a deed of trust to three individuals which conveyed to them the sum of $100,000 to be appropriated in building a granite church edifice for First Church of Christ, Scientist, in this city.
"MARY BAKER EDDY."
The architecture will be Gothic, and in keeping with modern ideas of a church building. It is intended that the pews of the church will seat one thousand.
The trustees of the Building Fund, Fred N. Ladd, Josiah E. Dwight, and J. Wesley Plummer, will have charge of the construction of the new edifice. Francis Richmond Allen and Charles Collins of Boston have been employed as architects.
The present First Reader of the church is Rev. Irving C. Tomlinson; Second Reader, Miss Mary E. Tomlinson.
In the fall of 1897 Mrs. Eddy purchased the property opposite the High School and adjoining the State Capitol, and after remodelling the mansion into a hall and reading rooms at a total outlay of $20,000 she presented the grounds and building to the local members for their use. The building has since become well known as Christian Science Hall.
On February 22, 1899, First Church of Christ, Scientist, was organized with a membership of seventy-eight. The new church is needed to accommodate the increase in membership which has been remarkable. Since the congregation has already outgrown the accommodations of Christian Science Hall, building operations will be begun at an early date.
The citizens of Concord regard Mrs. Eddy's generosity with favor and are greatly pleased that another splendid building is to be added to the handsome edifices of the Capital City.
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