Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy is the founder of the Christian Science movement, a religious movement that believes in Bible-based healing. She founded the "Church of Christ, Scientist" in Boston, Massachusetts in 1879. The original church, a Romanesque-style building made of New Hampshire granite, was built in 1894. It remains in operation today and continues the traditions that were started by Eddy. There are also 2,000 branches in 79 countries.
Eddy was also an influential teacher and author. She wrote her most prolific and groundbreaking work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures first published in 1875, and she later founded and published The Christian Science Monitor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in 1908 that is still being published today.
Eddy was born on a farm in Bow on July 16, 1821. She was the youngest of six children. Mary's parents were deeply religious Congregationalists, but her early life was marked by periods of frequent sickness. Her parents tried to relieve her illnesses through traditional methods but the treatments only helped her temporarily. She began to doubt the belief in predestination, a tenet of the Congregational church.
She married a young builder, George Washington Glover, in 1843. They had a son together and they moved to North Carolina. He husband died soon after, leaving her a widow at a young age. Her second marriage, to a dentist named Daniel Patterson, was riddled with problems from the start. They later divorced in 1873 after he had abandoned her several years earlier. Still chronically ill, Mary turned to alternative healing therapies and she began to seek comfort in the Bible.
In 1862, she sought help from Phineas Quimby, a healer from Portland, Maine. His treatment included the power of mental suggestion and therapeutic touch. Her ills were relieved — albeit temporarily — by his approach. He did not however, have a faith in the Bible, or in Jesus' healing abilities, as Mary did.
In 1866, Mary suffered severe injuries from a fall on an icy sidewalk. Quimby had already passed away and she was not able to seek him out for treatment. So Mary turned to her Bible, and after reading a passage of Jesus' healing methods, she found herself well. In 1877, she married one of her students, Asa Gilbert Eddy, who died in 1882.
Despite her many early battles with various illness throughout her life, Mary Baker Eddy lived a long life, passing away on December 3, 1910.