History of the Christian Science Society, Scientist - Stevens Point
The Stevens Point congregation began when two local people in the early
1900s learned that they shared a common interest in the study of Christian
Science. They met to read the weekly lesson sermon. As others joined them,
the group began meeting in private homes for regular Sunday services in 1914.
The first meeting was on Sunday, December 6, 1914 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert K. McDonald, S. River Drive. The group met every Sunday after that at various homes until meeting every week at the home of Mr. and Ms. Joseph Whittaker, 618 Main Street (now 41 Park Ridge Drive) until 1917. Then the group held services at the McDonald office building over Church's Plumbing and Heating shop, 311 Clark Street (now 925 Clark Street).
In December 1925, the members purchased the former German Methodist Church on the corner of East Avenue and Center Street, and remodeled it in 1928.
In January 1926, the group was accepted as a society by The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts and became known as Christian Science Society, Stevens Point. The church has no ordained pastor. Two readers, who are elected by the congregation, conduct the services. The Pastor is the Holy Bible and the church's textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Wednesday evening meetings were added, where, after inspirational readings, the congregation is invited to give thanks and to share testimonies of healing. Sunday School for children and young people up to the age of 20 was initiated at this time, also.
In 1938, the Society qualified as a branch church and became known as First Church of Christ, Scientist, Stevens Point. In 1957, a lot was purchased at the northeast corner of Main Street and Minnesota Avenue for erection of a new church edifice. Building of the church was started in 1958. The first service was held on January 4, 1959. The church was dedicated, being free of debt, on April 30, 1960 and continues to hold services at that location.
The church has maintained a Christian Science Reading Room since 1938 in various locations. In 1975, the Reading Room was moved to a downtown location from the church. This move allowed ready access for the public for prayer and study during the week. Available for loan or purchase are the Bible, study aids and the writings of the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, magazines dealing with contemporary issues and the Christian Science Monitor, an international newspaper. This move provided additional room for Sunday School classes at the church and, for the first time, a children's room during Sunday Services. During the period of the late 1960's and early 1980's, church members assisted with many activities of the UWSP Christian Science organization.
From 1984 to 1988, the Reading Room was relocated at the church because of the downtown renovation. In 1988, the congregation voted to return to the downtown area at 1336 Strongs Ave, where it remained until 1997. At that time, the Reading Room was returned to the church and is now open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon until three p.m. for the public.
The church holds a Sunday service and Sunday school at 10:30 a.m. and a Wednesday service at 7:45 p.m. Its primary outreach to the community, in addition to the services and the Reading Room, includes weekly Bible Lessons, broadcast three times a week over Channel 3, Community Access TV, and a yearly lecture. The members also participate in workshops, such as the Wellness Conference, and provide guest speakers at UWSP religion classes.