This Is How It All Began…

(Transcribed from JANUARY 1963 Printing)

The beginning of Christian Science in Atlanta, Georgia, and probably in the South, and leading to the organization of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta, commenced with the healing in Christian Science of an Atlanta woman, Mrs. Sue Harper Mims.

Mrs. Mims and her husband, Major Livingston Mims, came to Atlanta, by way of Savannah, Georgia, in the early 1880’s when Major Mims was appointed General Agent for Georgia for The New York Life Insurance Company.  They were a charming and cultured couple and soon became leaders in Atlanta’s social and civic affairs.  Major Mims was elected Mayor of Atlanta in 1901 and served a term with considerable distinction.  He was also President of the exclusive Capital City Club for many years when the club occupied a very large white frame dwelling on Peachtree Street at Ellis Street.

In 1886, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, sent to Atlanta one of her first students, Miss Julia Bartlett, to teach Christian Science and to take patients for healing by Christian Science treatment.  Miss Bartlett was an inspired choice; devoted to Mrs. Eddy, she was well qualified for the task undertaken.  In Sibyl Wilbur’s biography of Mary Baker Eddy, the author writes that “Miss Bartlett was probably the first member of the Christian Science Church who remained unfalteringly loyal to the cause.”

For many years Mrs. Mims had been suffering from a physical difficulty leading to invalidism.  Many fine physicians and many material methods and treatments had failed to afford her any relief.  Hearing of Miss Bartlett, Mrs. Mims applied to her for treatment in Christian Science and received a quick and permanent healing.  She immediately became an earnest student of Christian Science and later received Primary Class Instruction from Miss Bartlett during the latter’s stay in Atlanta.

Mrs. Mims was a woman of action. Her idealism was such that it had to be applied to practical affairs.  Thus, it was not possible for her to receive a remarkable healing through it a clearer understanding of God without sharing with others the message of Christian Science which had been given to the world by Mary Baker Eddy in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Mrs. Mims adopted wholeheartedly this revelation and became so imbued with the deep spiritual significance of its teachings that soon a few others who had expressed a desire to learn more of this new religion were meeting with her in the library of her home.  At that time the Mims’ home stood at the present location of the Georgian Terrace Hotel on the northeast corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue.  So it may be said that in that house, then 575 Peachtree Street, occurred events leading to the organization of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta.

As interest in this new religion grew and attendance increased at the meetings, it was soon necessary to obtain other quarters that would be more suitable and convenient.  In The Christian Science Journal of 1891, we learn that a “Christian Science Room” was established at 57-1/2 Peachtree Street.  This room was on the second floor of a building, since demolished, which was situated on the east side of Peachtree a few paces southwest from Auburn Avenue.  Increased attendance resulted in another move in the following year or so, and The Christian Science Journal of 1892 lists a “Christian Science Sunday School” at 42-1/2 North Broad Street, with services each Sunday at 10:00 AM.  There was also a Reading Room.  This room was again on a second floor, seated about 200 persons, and at night was used as a Masonic lodge hall.  This building, now demolished, was on the corner of Marietta and Broad Streets.

In 1893 the church was formally organized and a charter of incorporation for a religious organization was obtained.  This charter was dated January 30, 1893 and a copy is now included in the appendage of this volume.

Undoubtedly, the high standing of Major and Mrs. Mims in the business, civic, and social circles of Atlanta was of great assistance to the cause of Christian Science.  Their position was such that much criticism was silenced and active opposition subdued.  However, most of the present accomplishment of Christian Science in the Atlanta field was due to the zeal and enthusiasm of those first few pioneers whose devotion can be clearly traced.  Sue Harper Mims was indeed a dedicated pioneer.  Among the cards of Christian Science Practitioners in Volume 11, the Christian Science Journal, years 1893-94, we find appearing for the first time the name of Mrs. Livingston Mims, C.S., 575 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia.”  She became one of the first four Christian Science lecturers and one of the first two women lecturers to be appointed to the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and for sixteen years she lectured all over the United States.  Mrs. Mims was “the member from Georgia” mentioned by Irving C. Tomlinson in his Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy where he writes of the 70 outstanding Christian Science workers who were called to Mrs. Eddy’s famous Last Class of 1898.  At the conclusion of the class, the degree of C.S.D. was conferred on Mrs. Mims.  In correspondence covering many years, Mrs. Mims exchanged frequent letters with Mrs. Eddy and their association was close and loving.  Mrs. Eddy called her “The Queen of the South” and undoubtedly Mrs. Mims was the one Mrs. Eddy referred to in her Message to this church where she writes in Miscellany (My. 188:21) “… where the heart of a Southron has welcomed me.”

Mrs. Mims was lovingly supported and encouraged by Major Mims in all her Christian Science activities as the following incident illustrates:

In 1984, when the original Mother Church edifice was being erected in Boston, Mrs. Eddy called upon certain Christian Scientists throughout the country to contribute $1,000 each, and Mrs. Mims was one of the 44 two whom Mrs. Eddy gave this privilege.  When Mrs. Eddy’s letter came to Mrs. Mims, she did not have the thousand dollars immediately available, but when she read the letter to her husband, he said: “Why of course, dear, you must make this contribution,” and he at once gave her the $1,000 to be contributed.

Since Major Mims was not a member of the church, Mrs. Mims was deeply touched by this incident and she wrote of it to Mrs. Eddy, asking that when her name was placed in the cornerstone of The Mother Church, along with the names of the other contributors, it be written not, “Mrs. Sue Harper Mims,” according to the way in which names of married women are usually listed in the church records, but that it be written, “Mrs. Livingston Mims,” in recognition of her husband’s contribution.  Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mrs. Mims that she could indeed sign her name, “Mrs. Livingston Mims,” stating that she liked the thought of “living stone” placed in the cornerstone of The Mother Church.

In January 1896, the operation of divine Love was indeed evident in the Atlanta church’s steady progress and larger and more pretentious quarters were rented in a modern and almost new building, the Grand Theatre Building, eventually renamed the Loew’s Grand Theatre Building.  A copy of The Christian Science Journal lists First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta, Mrs. Sue Mims, Pastor, Services: 10:30 A.M.  Sunday School: 11:15 A.M.  “The Grand”, Peachtree Street.

Of course, First Church, Atlanta, wanted a church edifice of its own and this thought was ever present in the minds of the members, but by 1896 so much of the organization’s surplus funds had been contributed to the building of The Mother Church in Boston, and to other church building funds, that its own building fund grew slowly.  Notwithstanding, about Easter of 1897 a building fund was started for First Church and about $204 was contributed at the first meeting.  The minutes of the meeting read: “Though not a full meeting, the responses to the call were enthusiastic and general, the sum of about $200 being contributed with a willingness and vim which bodes well for the movement in the future”.  How truly prophetic were these words will be demonstrated later.

The Building Fund grew rapidly and on June 22, 1898 a member, acting for the Church, purchased No. 17 West Baker Street, a frame house on a lot, 50 by 210 feet, on the north side of Baker Street and 192 feet west from Peachtree Street.  The consideration was $5,000, payable $1,500 in cash and the assumption of a loan of $3,500.  The property was transferred to the Church Corporation on December 31, 1898.  Construction of the new church edifice had already started, preceded by the demolition of the dwelling that was on the lot.

Slowly but steadily the Building fund grew.  Obstacles were overcome, prejudice lifted, misunderstandings and direct criticism in the community were corrected.  From an early source this quote is significant: “We all remember a students’ meeting one broiling hot July day when, duly impressed with the importance of demonstrating the building at once, Mrs. Mims bade us hold steadfastly to the thought that the infinite Mind is our builder, the infinite Mind is our architect, our artist, our attorney, our illimitable source of supply.  As this enlarging, magnifying thought of the infinitude of Good was earnestly held, the very plans and specifications widened into larger dimensions and greater beauty.”

These basic truths were unconquerable.  Through many vicissitudes – clearing of titles, freezing weather which threatened the plastering, a fire of unknown origin in one of the rooms – these early workers leaned on the sustaining Infinite and proved Mrs. Eddy’s words (Science and Health, p. 494), “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”

There was ridicule from the press, there were attacks from the pulpit, and there was derision from the public.  One by one these were silenced.  Referring to the all-protecting power of Truth, one student wrote: “ But divine Love had given us a teacher whose watchword was then as it had always been – obedience – and courageously did she confront each staggering demand, each call of God to ‘come higher’.”

The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures were the daily guides of each member.  As the sick were healed, the sorrowing comforted, and Love proved to be All-in-all, ridicule was turned into respect, and criticism was replaced by interest, as indicated by the attendance at the Christian Science lectures.

The cornerstone of this church, the very first Christian Science church to be erected in the south, was laid January 30, 1899, and contained The Bible and copies of all of Mrs. Eddy’s writings.  On Easter Sunday, April 2, 1899, almost exactly two years after the starting of the Building Fund, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta, held its first service, and which was also its dedicatory service, in the auditorium of its own debt-free edifice.  This was a magnificent demonstration and ample reason for triumphant joy, praise, and thanksgiving.

An early member wrote at that time: “It is not alone because of its beauty, though it is indeed ‘fair, royal, and square’, that the little temple of Christian Science means so much to those who have loved and labored to this end.  It is not because it has placed the Cause cause of Christian Science on an equal footing with other churches and religions in the community, though this has been accomplished.  It holds for each of us a deeper meaning, as we look gratefully up at its fair white walls.  It represents to us the triumph of Truth in the long warfare with error, the overcoming of self and sense – victory of Love over hate.  It stands as a beautiful demonstration of the infinite power of good, the understanding of the Church spiritual made manifest.  From its sure foundation to the shining dome, it typifies to us the real temple of Spirit, pure and holy, made in the image and likeness of God.”

The first service was conducted by Mrs. Mims, First Reader, and Mr. Edward H. Carman, Second Reader.  The following address of welcome was read by Mrs. Mims and is reprinted here by special permission of the Christian Science Publishing Society and may be found in the bound volumes of the Christian Science Sentinel, Volume 1, No. 33, Page 7, of date April 13, 1899.

“With deep and tender love do we welcome all our guests; some who are walking with us in ‘the joy of paths untrod,’ who have come from afar to share and increase our gladness in this demonstration of our own ‘vine and fig tree,’ under which to worship the one Supreme Good; rejoicing with us, because they know what it means.  Equally welcome are our friends of other denominations.  We love for them to know our work – that it is of God.  This dear church represents to us and to the world that in this fair city is established the Science of Christ – or Scientific Christianity – the Comforter leading into all Truth; that in an age of gross materialism the power of the spiritual Idea of Life, as eternal, self-existent Mind; the spiritual Idea of Love, as infinite, universal, ever-present; the divine Idea of Truth, as omnipotent to destroy sin, sickness, and discord, have been proven and attested by word and deed among us.

“Not money, but the demonstration of Love, and trust in the everpresent Good have built for us this temple to the living God.  Its unwritten history would astonish the worldly wise and prudent.  Yet here it stands ‘fair, royal, and square,’ unfettered by any kind of Debt, unembarrassed by a single solicitation.

“This Church of Christ, Scientist, is not a menace to any other church, nor to anything but to sin, and sorrow, and discord.  It has a message of love, and peace, and joy, and good will to all who love Good-God.  Its mission is not to establish another sect.  Our beloved Leader in Science and Health tells us ‘there are already too many sects and not enough Christianity,’ but it brings the message of Spirit to the churches and to the world.  It says, not by vicarious atonement are men saved, but by working out their own salvation in the way that Jesus, our great way-shower, taught and exemplified.  ‘If ye believe in me, the works that I do shall ye do also.’  Christian Science brings the rebuke of Spirit to our modern lethargy and proclaims: ‘ He that hath an ear, let him hear what Spirit saith unto the churches.’  ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I am set down with m Father in his throne.’  It inaugurates the grand warfare between Soul and material evidence, and this struggle and triumph casts out evil, heals the sick, and raises the dead in trespasses and sins into newness of Life in Christ.

“On this fair Easter morn – like the waiting women at the sepulcher, we, too, see the stone of mortal belief rolled away and we begin to apprehend that Life is God – deathless, eternal Mind, and that man is God’s idea, the image of His love, inseparable from the Father – Life – Principle.  We do rejoice that we are risen with him to see the dawn of an eternal day, when the power and demonstrations of primitive Christianity shall redeem the whole world through the merits of Christ.

“Words cannot express our debt of loving gratitude to our beloved Leader, Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, who, through sore travail, untiring watchfulness, and unspeakable love, has brought to this age the revelation and recognition of the divine power and presence – Immanuel – God, Good with us now and here – the ever-present Love, the divine, all harmonious Principle of man and the universe – inseparable from its ideals.  We are safe in having the fortune to unveil more and more the immeasurable glory of her mission, her life, and her work.  Her reflection of Love overflows in a message to us, which I now have the pleasure of reading to you.”

The following message from Mrs. Eddy, also read by Mrs. Mims, on this occasion, was later published in “The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” by Mary Baker Eddy, and may be found on page 187.  The first paragraph, quoted here with the permission of the Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy, reads as follows:

“My Beloved Brethren: — You have met to consecrate your beautiful temple to the worship of the only true God.  Since the day in which you were brought into the light and liberty of His children, it has been in the hearts of this people to build a house unto Him whose name they would glorify in a new commandment – ‘ that ye love one another.’  In this new recognition of the riches of His love and the majesty of His might you have built this house – laid its foundations on the rock of Christ, and the stone which the builders rejected you have made the head of the corner.  This house is hallowed by His promise: ‘I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.’  ‘Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.’  Your feast days will not be in commemoration, but in recognition of His presence; your ark of the covenant will not be brought out of the city of David, but out of ‘the secret place of the most High,’ whereof the Psalmist sang, even the omniscience of omnipotence; your tabernacle of the congregation will not be temporary, but a ‘house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens;’ your oracle, under the wings of the cherubim, is Truth’s evangel, enunciating, ‘God is Love.’”

At the conclusion of the reading of Mrs. Eddy’s message The Christian Science Journal of 1899 (Vol. 17, pages 79-88) recounts, “It is impossible to describe the rapt attention with which this beautiful address was received.  The Church was hushed to a spell-bound silence.”

Mr. Edward H. Carman, the Second Reader, then presented a brief synopsis of the valiant efforts and their fruitful results.  This was also published in the Christian Science Sentinel, Volume 1, No. 33, page 7, date of April 13, 1899, and is reprinted here with permission:

“Two years ago the members of this church saw that the time was near at hand in which a building must be erected in this city to the glory of the God who is Love, and as a testimonial of their gratitude for the many blessings received by them through the understanding of Christian Science.  The work of raising the money wherewith to pay for such a building as would be a credit to the cause and to this beautiful city was inaugurated during the fortnight just prior to Easter Sunday, 1897.  At the morning service on that day, contributions to the building fund amounting to $204. were received.  Since then the work has been progressing, not according to methods usually employed for the raising of funds wherewith to pay for church buildings, but in the way that is considered ideal, but not practical.  By seeking first the establishment of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, the members of this church have been able to prove the truth of the Christ promise, ‘And all things that the Gentiles seek shall be added unto you.’

“The financial aid of no one has been solicited; there have been no fairs, suppers, sales, or entertainments of any kind given for the purpose of raising money.  The financial aid of friends outside of the immediate membership of this branch church amounted to less than a thousand dollars.  There is not a member of this church who, to human sense, possesses an affluence, and yet in two years free-will offerings have been flowing into the treasury in such measure as to enable us to announce that at this time the treasurer of the building fund is in possession of means wherewith to pay every bill that has been contracted.

“The building stands as an outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace wherewith are possessed all who honestly, fearlessly, and intelligently endeavor to follow the Christ made manifest in the flesh nineteen hundred years ago and in the Christian Science textbook today.

“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is a branch of The Mother Church of Boston, and an expression of Love, a testimonial of gratitude to Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, who has taught us to know God – Good, as Eternal Life.  She it is through whom God has spoken to this age, in the little book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  To us it is the Key that has unlocked the hidden mysteries of the Bible.  Many of us who had closed this blessed Book years ago on account of its seeming contradictions, have, since utilizing the Key that revealed to us its hidden treasures, been enabled to rejoice that we can come to this fount and drink the spiritual facts of being.

“Loving congratulations and expressions of joy have poured in like a stream from other branch churches of the Mother Vine.  A word should be said about our beautiful candelabra, a gift from the children of our Sunday School.  The fund was started by a little boy in an adjoining state, who was healed of blindness by one of our members.”  The collection from this service was over $1,000.

Further progress was evidenced in 1904 with the opening of a downtown Reading Room in 812-14 English-American Building.

In about 10 years The Mother Church in Boston outgrew the original edifice and made necessary the magnificent Mother Church Extension.  First Church, Atlanta was keeping step with the expansion of the movement, for also in about 10 years, No. 17 Baker Street became too small for the rapidly growing congregation and a larger meeting place was becoming imperative.  So, in the latter part of 1909 the little Baker Street edifice was sold and early in 1910 the congregation rented Cable Hall for church services and meeting for Sunday School.  This hall seated 375 persons and was on the second floor of the Cable Piano Building on Broad Street.  Sunday School convened at 9:45 A.M. and Church services later at 11:00.  The Reading Room was then located in a remodeled dwelling on the corner of Broad and Luckie Streets adjoining Cable Hall.

The Baker Street Church was sold for $10,500 and the purchaser very soon thereafter sold it to the Atlanta Woman’s Club, a civic organization, for a meeting place and club offices.

A committee of church members was appointed to investigate possible sites for another church edifice.  Ansley Park was rapidly developing into a very desirable home section and a fan-shaped lot large enough for a church building was available on the northeast corner of Peachtree and Fifteenth Streets.  At first, some members objected to the proposed location feeling that it was too far out from town.  However, a member, J. T. Holleman, Sr., with loving foresight, purchased the lot personally for $16,000 and held it to forestall anyone else acquiring the site.  After a further sixteen months search for a site, the membership decided that the Peachtree and Fifteenth Streets lot was the most suitable situation for the new edifice of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta, and title to the lot was transferred by the church member owner on January 5, 1910 to the Church corporation.

Again the membership of First Church, Atlanta, faced the challenge of building a church edifice which would be an outward manifestation of the faith in the teachings of the Christ, of the Comforter, a church teaching the Science of Christ which, if understood, would destroy sin, sickness, and discord.  A member of First Church and an outstanding architect, Mr. Arthur Neal Robinson, was commissioned to prepare plans for the proposed edifice and to supervise its construction.  Mr. Robinson was a cousin of the James A. Neal who was mentioned in Sibyl Wilbur’s Biography of Mary Baker Eddy.  Mr. Neal was one of the two young men entrusted with guarding the contents of the cornerstone of the original Mother Church when the container was transferred to the cornerstone of The Mother Church Extension. He was later a member of the Board of Directors of The Mother Church.

It was the hope of the congregation that the cost of the new building and furnishings would not exceed $70,000, however, at the regular quarterly business meeting of the membership of January 9, 1913, the Building Committee reported that after many conferences and discussions with the architect and building contractors, and the revising and modifying of the construction program, the lowest estimate of the cost of the completed edifice and furnishings would be $87,272.

Construction was started and at 5:45 A.M. June 13, 1913, and the cornerstone of our present “grand Cathedral” was laid.  Our church edifice is one of Atlanta’s outstanding monumental buildings and notable for its design and perfection of detail and workmanship.  Of particular excellence is the intricate brickwork and masonry of the exterior walls of the building.  For many years after the completion of the edifice, brick-masons would claim to have worked on “that church on Peachtree and Fifteenth” as an example of their craftsmanship.  In fact it has been said, humorously, that if every bricklayer actually worked on our church building who claimed to have done so, only a few dozen bricks could have been laid by any one of them.

In 1914 services were once again held in a church edifice.  When one considers what had been, and what was being, accomplished by a mere handful of dedicated church members, an infinitesimal number when compared to the membership numbered in the thousands as of other churches, truly it was proof of continued spiritual growth and of Mrs. Eddy’s words, “progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.”  (Science and Health, p 233)  When the building was completed, the paneled wainscot and other woodwork in the auditorium was of very beautiful oak with a dark stained finish matching the pews and Reader’s desks as they are today.  The walls and dome were left in the original white plaster painted another color.  Also, when the new edifice was first completed, the two seven-branched candelabra from the Baker Street Church were installed on the platform, flanking the Reader’s desks, and remained there for many years.  The face of the cornerstone from the Baker Street Church was preserved and installed on the wall in the Sunday School room.  The beautiful Reader’s desk from Baker Street is now on the platform in the Sunday School room, also.

The congregation was not without difficulties in financing the construction and maintenance of the new edifice, and thus far there were no funds available for an organ worthy of our edifice, but step by step, day by day, seeing every problem as an opportunity and not a trial, the membership made its demonstration for an organ and in the later part of 1919 a contract was awarded the Pilcher Company to install one for the sum of $23,250.  When completed it was one of the finest and largest in the southeast.  Six years later, on May 9, 1926, the new church edifice was dedicated.

The Reading Room was moved to the Grand Theatre Building from Broad and Luckie when the congregation moved to the new church and remained there until moving on April 1, 1925 to the Mortgage-Guarantee Building.  In addition to the space used for the Reading Room, adjoining rooms were leased for our Clerk’s office and Directors’ Room and for a committee room across the hall.

The Christian Science Board of Directors was advocating ground floor locations for Reading Rooms, which, to use the words of our Leader, would “woo the weary wanderer to your door,” (Miscellaneous Writings, p 155).  In the fall of 1947 First Church joined with Second Church in maintaining a downtown Joint Reading Room on the ground floor of the Rhodes-Haverty Building, 103 Forsyth Street, N.W., the corner of Williams Street.  A couple of months later, its own Reading Room was moved from the Mortgage-Guarantee Building to the Tenth Street business community, 1034 Peachtree Street, N.E., near our Church.  At the same time the church offices and committee rooms were relocated in the Church edifice.

Our Sunday School was expanding and the room was becoming overcrowded. Rooms were also needed for the Clerk and committees.  A residence, 150 Fifteenth Street, N.E., adjoining our Church property on the east, was offered for sale and was purchased by the church for $25,000.  The well-built and attractive brick home was remodeled and now houses a commodious nursery, Clerk’s office, Directors’ Room, and four attractive and much used committee rooms.  Known as the Church Annex, the inclusion of the property with the church also afforded a paved parking lot in the rear of the buildings.

For some years the advantages of having an elevator installed in the church edifice was discussed.  When it was decided to investigate the possibility of installing an elevator, it was discovered the original design had provided for such an installation and an elevator shaft was already “framed-in” as part of the church structure, thus attesting to the truth of the words, “proof of its utility”, as in the definition of “Church”, found on page 583 of Science and Health.  The elevator was installed in 1956 and has been of great convenience and comfort to the congregation.

The Pilcher organ which had given nearly forty years of “A” service was getting more and more difficult to tune and keep in repair.  A new organ was urgently needed.  After considerable research and study, specifications were drawn for a new organ, and a contract for its manufacture and installation was awarded to M. P. Moeller, Inc. in January 1958.  The total cost of the organ and installation exceeded $56,000 and the work was completed in December 1959.  This organ, one of the largest and finest in this area, was tested at a special meeting by a nationally known organist and was proclaimed a very fine instrument in every respect.

During World War II three War Ministers and three Chaplains were from First Church.

From this history, one sees an adventurous beginning, substantive growth, and thought equipped with the Christ Spirit to heal and enlighten the community.  The unity and fidelity of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta, to the teachings of Christian Science as revealed by its Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, ensures its continued progress.


 

Appendage

Charter Book “A” Page 788

To The Superior Court of Said County,

The petition of John S. Coon, Isaiah A. Morrow, Adeline Wheeler, Margaret Hall and John R. Lewis, all of said county, shows that there has been established in said county a church of which your petitioners are members, but which has never been incorporated and your petitioners ask that they, their associates and all in said church be made a body corporate under name of:

FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST,

said corporation to be as said church has been a religious and charitable organization – there is to be no capital stock, and it is not to be conducted for pecuniary gain.  Petitioners ask for said corporation the right and privilege for the purpose of said organization to buy, hold, sell, lease, rent and otherwise keep or dispose of any kind of real or personal property, to mortgage or otherwise encumber the same; to borrow money, make promissory notes, and to make all contracts necessary or proper to the conduct and welfare of said organization, also the right to receive donations or bequests whether money, real or personal property, and to enforce good order in its meetings, all of which rights and privileges are asked, not for purpose of trade or profit, but for promoting the general design of said organization, and to look after the general interest of the establishment.  Petitioners desire the right to sue or be sued under their corporate name, and to have and use a corporation seal, also to make proper rules and by-laws, not inconsistent with this charter, or the laws of the state concerning the government of said church, election of officers, and other matters pertaining to petitioners’ business affairs.

Wherefore petitioners pray for an order incorporating them with above powers as well as those of corporations of like character, for the full term of 20 years.

Anderson & Birney,

Attys. For Petitioners

Upon reading and considering the above application for incorporation, and it appearing to the court for said petitioners that the design of the corporation asked for is religious and charitable, and that it is within the purview and intention of the laws of Georgia, and 1676 (a) of the code of 1882, it is ordered that said petitioners be incorporated under the name of

FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST,

 

for the term of 20 years, with right of renewal,

This January 30, 1893 Marshall J. Clarke, Judge

Filed in office January 30, 1893 C. H. Tanner, CSC

Recorded January 31, 1893 C. H. Tanner, CSC

Note: This is copy of the Charter of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Atlanta, Georgia, filed in Fulton County, January 30, 1893.

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