Newspaper Article Excerpts
||The Winnipeg Free Press
First Church of Christ, Scientist,
Winnipeg home of Christian Science since 1911
January 22, 1955
Church in Winnipeg dates back to January 1907
January and December are notable months in the
history of Christian Science in Winnipeg.
It was in January, 1907, that the First Church of
Christ, Scientist, was incorporated. It was in December, 1924, that the large and fine
Christian Science Church on River Avenue and Nassau Street, completely debt-free, was
dedicated. Services had been held in the uncompleted building as early as March 19, 1911.
The first service in the completed edifice was held [Sunday] May 7 1916.
Sixteen years before the death of the noted
foundress of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in December 1910, the first Christian
Science congregation was organized in Winnipeg in 1894, and later for some years held its
meetings in the Liberal Club hall, 310 Notre Dame Avenue. In addition to their regular
Sunday services, a meeting was held every Wednesday evening. Lectures and the distribution
of authorized Christian Science literature formed an important part of the churchs
With the incorporation in 1907, the active
practice of healing methods of Christian Science commenced, and steps were at once taken
to choose a site and build a church. When the first services were opened in the ground
floor portion in 1911, they were held in the large Sunday School room, which had a seating
capacity of 350. The main auditorium was planned to seat 1,060.
One of the proudest days in the history of the
Winnipeg Christian Science congregation was the fine Sunday in May, 1916, when the first
service was held in the fully completed $100,000 church. The Free Press reporter who
attended the service wrote: This church is a notable addition to Winnipeg places of
worship. Built after the form of a Greek cross, the foundations of the building are of
white stone. Four grand stairways, each 5 feet wide, lead to the main auditorium, which is
fitted with mahogany pews. The floors are laid with handsome green carpet. The organ is
completely obscured from public view, increasing the charm and mystery of the musical
||Unknown Source -
(Likely The Winnipeg Free
One of Winnipeg's finest
River Avenue Edifice Nine Years in Building
Services in the First Church of Christ,
Scientist, on River Avenue, began in March, 46 years ago. The church was then
uncompleted, but the large Sunday school room, with its seating capacity of 350, was
A little over five years later, in May, 1916, the
first service was held in the then fully-completed church, which had cost $100,000.
This large debt was completely lifted eight and a half years after the completion of the
church, which was dedicated in Yuletide, 1924. The big Christian Science edifice as
it is popularly called, seats 1,060 in its main auditorium.
Well within the lifetime of Mary Baker Eddy,
founder of Christian Science, the organization of the first Christian Science congregation
took place in Winnipeg, in 1894. For some years, meetings were held in the hall of
the Young Liberal Club, across from the old Winnipeg theater on Notre Dame Avenue.
In addition to the regular Sunday services, a meeting is held every Wednesday
evening. Lectures, and the distribution of authorized literature, formed an
important part of the work.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was
incorporated in 1907. With this event commenced the active practice of healing
methods of Christian Science. An ample central site on River Avenue was chosen.
The ground plan indicated a building of a cathedral proportions, verified as the
great church rose. From corner stone to completion, the construction occupied about
||The Winnipeg Free Press
Changes to the interior of First
Church of Christ, Scientist
December 19, 1964
Christian Science Church Renovates
Beginning in April 1894, a small group of
students of Christian Science in Winnipeg held services in various small halls. This went
on until in 1910, for no suitably large hall was available.
The Christian Science organization bought land at
the corner of River Avenue and Nassau Street (then a new part of the City), and by March,
1911, the first unit the Sunday school room seating about 300, was completed
and services were held there. By this time the organization was incorporated as First
Church of Christ, Scientist in Winnipeg.
Soon it became apparent that a larger
accommodation was needed and although the First World War was on in 1915 a
substantial loan was underwritten by the members and friends and construction began that
The structure was completed and the first service
held on the first Sunday in June, 1916, in an auditorium seating about 1,060 people.
Accommodation for Sunday school which had grown to over 400 was provided in the first unit
of the Building.
At that time, in 1916, a Free Press reporter
wrote: "The interior is an architectural treat. It is finished in ivory white. Four
stairways, curving gracefully, lead to the main Auditorium, which is fitted with mahogany
pews and has a gradual slope, theatre style. The floors are laid with handsome green
"The windows are of a leaded glass, fish
scale pattern. The lighting is done from alcoves."
Healing through Christian Science was begun
before 1894 and has continued throughout the years. In a dedicatory address in December of
1924 (Christian Science churches are dedicated when free of debt), this statement was
included: "The growth of the church was marked by healings of many cases of disease
and moral infirmity when the individual felt there was 'no further help' available.
"In gratitude for such healings and
reformations, the congregation and membership grew until branches of The Mother Church
grew in number in Winnipeg."
Testimonial meetings on Wednesday evenings have
been held throughout the years, without interruption. Without prearranged talks, these
testimonies are given freely from the floor by those grateful for the healing of
themselves or their Friends.
Since 1962, additions have been made to the
original edifice, providing a nursery, in conjunction with the Sunday School. There, small
children, whose parents attend the church services, are taken care of. Committee rooms
were added through changes in the structure, new heating apparatus installed and other
improvements made. In 1963 new lighting was installed.
This has been described by member of the
improvement committee, as follows: "The great circular skylight over the center of
the auditorium has been replaced by a saucer-shaped panel of acoustic plaster. The old
lighting fixtures were replaced by 21 specially designed 30-inch globes of translucent
plastic which provide two levels of intensity and create an even distribution of light
throughout the auditorium.
"Twelve of these hang from the circular rim
of the central ceiling panel, creating a coronet of globes which contrasts effectively
with the straight line geometry of this impressively proportioned Renaissance
The Casavant Frères organ was also renovated
during the past five years and is considered one of the best of its size in the city.
The entire Auditorium, it is stated in a church
report, has been repainted in a "monochromatic scheme of old gold, ranging from the
deeper rich tones on the walls to the off-white of the ceiling. The total result is one of
unity, peace and harmony, thereby forming an appropriate and effective setting for the
church services." S.J.S.