First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Derry celebrates 100 years
Shepard was a third-generation member of the local church that was founded 100 years ago, said Pollyann Winslow, a church representative.
"It's important for people to realize that it's been around for generations," Winslow said.
Vincent Ferdinando, president of J & F Farms in Derry, remembers with some humor attending Sunday school with Shepard. And Ferdinando's daughter, Gina Ferdinando-Murphy said she recalled how Shepard once came to their farm to pick strawberries.
Ferdinando-Murphy said she also remembers how the astronaut's mother, Renza Shepard, used to attend services in the church and then invite the entire congregation over for lunch at her home.
"It's really good to know that Christ Scientist has been an active presence in the community for 100 years," Ferdinando-Murphy said. "It would be good for more people to know about the history of the church in the community."
It was a Granite State native, Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the religion in 1866. Eddy was born in Bow and lived in Concord between 1889-1907.
First published in 1875, it was cited by the National Women's Book Association as "one of 75 books by women whose words have changed the world,'' Winslow said.
The newspaper has received seven Pulitzer prizes and has a worldwide readership of its print and electronic editions.
She wrote in part about her home state, "I love its people — love their scholarship, friendship, and granite character. I respect their religious beliefs and thank their ancestors for helping to form mine.
At the time of her death, she was probably the most recognized woman in the world.
"Her death made international news," Winslow said.
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