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A brief history of the church

In January 1917, a group of Christian Scientists who had been meeting in Olympia since 1903 were formally recognized as a Christian Science branch church – starting what has been a 100+ year journey in prayer-based healing and service to the Olympia community.

In 2017, the Christian Science church celebrated its centennial with a series of events, including two public talks, a community picnic, and an open house at our newly remodeled Christian Science Reading Room on Washington Street during Olympia’s Fall Artswalk.

Olympia’s Christian Scientists have had several gathering places over the generations. They first began meeting in the Olympia Hotel on what was then Main Street (now Capitol Way). Later a house at 8th and Washington Streets was purchased and remodeled for church services. That house was razed in 1925 to allow construction of the large Greek Classic building that now sits in that location and served as the church from 1925 to 2004.

In 2004, church members voted to sell the building to Temple Beth Hatfiloh (a connection made through membership in Interfaith Works) and begin construction of a new church on Evergreen Park Drive in West Olympia. While the church was under construction, church services were held in the State Theater downtown (with ever- changing theatrical backgrounds).

The new church was completed and dedicated in 2009. Members will emphasize that the most important part of their church is not the building, but the spiritual growth and fellowship that is centered there.

Sunday services and Sunday school are filled with music and readings from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science textbook first published in 1875. In fact, these two books – not a person – serve as the “pastor” of the church.

Wednesday meetings include sharing of healings and spiritual insights by members and visitors alike. Various Bible study groups, picnics, monthly meet-and-greets, and participation in community events and organizations help members live and share what they are learning about God’s love.

Olympia’s Christian Science Church welcomes everyone, in the same spirit with which Mrs. Eddy wrote these words over 100 years ago: “God is universal; confined to no spot, defined by no dogma, appropriated by no sect. Not more to one than to all, is God demonstrable as divine Life, Truth, and Love; and His people are they that reflect Him — that reflect Love.”

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