“I am glad you have begun the Christian Science mission with faith that you can open the prison doors and set the captive free. God will bless us in this way of his appointing... ”
– Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, was a deeply Christian woman and perpetual student of the Bible. In 1866, she experienced a dramatic recovery from a life-threatening accident after reading about Jesus’ miraculous healings of the lame, the blind, the sick and the dead throughout the Bible. As she prayed for answers to know how she had been healed, she elucidated her discovery by authoring, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science first published in 1875. For over a century, readers have been healed by reading and studying Science and Health giving them a renewed spiritual sense of the Bible and of their divine relationship to God.
Mary Baker Eddy established the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts in 1879 as a Christian denomination and worldwide movement of Bible-based spiritual healers. Our church-wide pastor is the Bible and Science and Health, read together as a Bible Lesson service every week in each one of our world-wide branch churches.
The Christian Science Publishing Society established in 1898 by Mary Baker Eddy continues to actively publish and circulate weekly and monthly periodicals such as, The Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and The Herald of Christian Science. Each publication features inspirational articles and testimonies by those who have been healed through Christian Science and its practice as a spiritual healing ministry.
In 1908, Mary Baker Eddy established the Christian Science Monitor as a global newspaper now well-known for providing unbiased and balanced coverage of world news. It was established to “injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” The Monitor publishes a daily digital edition on its website and a weekly print magazine.
To discover more about her life and contributions visit: MaryBakerEddyLibrary.org
Institutions of Reform ~ Mary Baker Eddy supported and promoted work in institutions of reform throughout her life. Her interest in working with prison inmates began through an early connection with the Pilsbury family, well-known for their humane and innovative methods of prison reform. Captain Moses Pilsbury, a friend of the Baker family, was warden of New Hampshire’s state prison in Concord (1818–1826 and 1837–1840). Her relationship with the Pilsbury’s deepened through her brother George’s employment under Captain Amos Pilsbury at the Wethersfield, Connecticut prison, and her sister Martha’s marriage to Luther Pilsbury, deputy warden in the New Hampshire State prison.
On May 12, 1900, in a note to one of her students after he had arranged for Christian Science services to be held in the Merrimac county jail, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “I am glad you have begun the Christian Science mission with faith that you can open the prison doors and set the captive free. God will bless us in this way of his appointing…” (Tomlinson, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy: Recollections and Experiences, Amplified Edition, p. 243).
Prison ministries continued to be important to the members of her church. She often read testimonials from workers, and the inmates they had helped, at Wednesday church services. Testimonies of reform were published in the periodicals, the Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel. Her own writings included similar accounts of visiting institutional inmates, such as when she healed an insane man who had escaped from an asylum in 1868, and when she visited President Garfield’s assassin imprisoned in Washington, D.C. in 1882.
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This gift of a wicker rocking chair was given to Mrs. Eddy by inmates from The Hampshire State Prison in the early 1990s. It symbolizes their desire to express gratitude for her long-standing commitment to helping prisoners. Made of wicker rattan, the icon symbol for Christian Science, the cross and crown design was woven into the back of the chair. She was so touched by the gift that she displayed it prominently in the dining room of both her homes in Concord, Pleasant View, and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.