Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, defined it as “the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.” 1 In 1879, she organized the Church of Christ, Scientist “to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” 2
The theology of Christian Science is rooted in the Bible. Its practice is Christian—living according to Jesus’ teaching and example. And its practice is scientific—living according to the spiritual laws of God that can be learned, understood, and proven through healing and regeneration.
Rather than having a creed or set of doctrinal beliefs, the essential points of Christian Science are summarized in a few brief tenets. See Beliefs and Teachings.
The Christian Science Reading Room, which opened in 1946 at 355 E. Maple, is the longest operating retail establishment at the same address in Birmingham’s downtown principle shopping district.
For more than 90 years, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Birmingham was a landmark at 191 N. Chester at the corner of Willits. The church edifice was dedicated in 1926, expanded in 1962 and remodeled in 1970.
In 2015 the church property was sold to The Surnow Company for redevelopment as an office building. The Company is known for repurposing historically significant structures such as the Old Birmingham Post Office. In Surnow’s state-of-the-art project named The Jeffrey, the side facades of the church have been retained in the contemporary design.
The congregation has consolidated its church mission at the Christian Science Reading Room property, but rents space elsewhere for worship services.
1Rudimental Divine Science, p.1; 2Church Manual p.17.