This church is one of many Christian Science churches and societies around the world. It is a democratic, self-governing branch of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, founded by Mary Baker Eddy “to commemorate the words and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” (Church Manual)
More about Christian Science
Christian Science is a religion based on the Bible, particularly the teachings and works of Christ Jesus who said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” (John 14:12) How Jesus was able to accomplish his healing works is explained by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in these words, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.”
Christian Science is a metaphysical system that “enables the learner to demonstrate the divine Principle upon which Jesus’ healing was based.”
The above quotations are from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures “which contains the full statement of Christian Science."
Ask questions or get help
If you are seeking healing and spiritual growth through prayer, you may call on Christian Science Practitioners listed in The Christian Science Journal. They will be happy to assist you. There are also teachers listed if you're interested in finding out about a two-week class called "Primary Class instruction."
Christian Science in Laguna Beach
The first Christian Science meetings in Laguna Beach were held in 1916, in the lobby of the Arch Beach Tavern. The attendance averaged about ten. Before that date a few Christian Scientists had met in a private home and read the Bible Lesson together.
As interest spread, larger quarters were necessary and meetings were held in three different locations on Forest Avenue.
In 1923 church services and a Sunday School were conducted in the theatre on Coast Boulevard. It was there, under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Santa Ana, that the first lecture was given.
In 1924 a move was made to the corner of Forest Avenue and Glenneyre Street, and the Reading Room there was open for a few hours each week. Later the Reading Room was moved to an upstairs location on Forest Avenue.
In 1925 the group became a Society under the Manual of The Mother Church, with a card first appearing in The Christian Science Journal in June of that year. Articles of Incorporation were approved by the State of California on December 19, 1927.
In 1930 the Society became First Church of Christ, Scientist, Laguna Beach, a recognized branch of The Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. Services were held in what was then the Woman’s Club House where the City Hall now stands.
In January, 1928, a building lot on Glenneyre Street was acquired.
In May, 1930, this was exchanged for a more desirable location at the corner of Glenneyre and Legion Streets. The Building Fund grew and plans went forward for the erection of a church edifice. This was completed and first occupied in May, 1937, and dedicated on November 5, 1944.
The Reading Room was located in the church edifice until December, 1947, when it was moved to 284 Forest Avenue.
As interest spread and attendance increased, larger quarters became necessary for both the Sunday school and the church services. In April of 1950, the site on the corner of High Drive, Rose Place, and Hawthorne Road was purchased and in May of the following year, work began on the new edifice on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. This method of financing continued until the fall of 1953 when, having sold the Glenneyre Street property and being obliged to move from temporary quarters in the Laguna Theater, on Ocean Avenue, a small loan was negotiated in order to finish the edifice for its first service in May, 1954. This church edifice was dedicated May 20, 1956.
Properties directly across Rose Street from the church between Hawthorne Road and High Drive were acquired in 1957 and 1961. Structures were removed and the property paved and landscaped providing additional parking and greatly enhancing the view from our church.
Installation of a twenty-five rank, three-manual Moller Pipe Organ was completed in the summer of 1961.
In July, 1966, the Reading Room property on Forest Avenue was purchased. The old building was removed and a new Reading Room was built and opened to the public on December 1, 1968.
Since 1970, the church properties have been lovingly maintained and updated as necessary. An extensive remodeling of the church auditorium in 1972 added the central wooden beam, chandeliers, wood paneling and louver windows and shutters. The entire church was repainted and re-carpeted. This major project was completed on a “pay-as-you-go” basis and expressed the warmth, beauty, and love of its members.
The Sunday School received a similar overhaul in 1978 with painting, decorating, new lighting, and reconfiguration of the entry, office, and classrooms. A second remodeling of the auditorium began in 1990 with new carpeting, new seat fabric, wood refurbishment, and a new sound system. Over the course of two years, updates were extended throughout the church. The Readers’ and Musicians’ rooms behind the podium, the ladies’ lounge and the foyer were all remodeled. The Clerk’s Office and Child Care Room were relocated, and the Bible Timeline was painted in the Sunday School.
A major update to the Reading Room occurred in 1999. New cabinets, furniture, lighting, and flooring were all installed, and the front room was reconfigured with an open layout.
In 2010, air conditioning was installed for the Sunday School Room, Committee Room and the Clerk’s Office. Soon afterwards, new heaters were purchased for the church auditorium and a new sound system was installed.
As loyal Christian Scientists, working together for the true concept of church, let us continue to demonstrate, step-by-step, our Leader’s statement in Science and Health, p. 233:6 “...progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.”
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