CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

Mary Anne Norman

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. The earliest evidence of the appearance of Christian Science in Texas came in the 1889–90 Christian Science Journal, which, although it listed no churches in Texas, did mention two cities where Christian Science services were held, Austin and Galveston. The Texas Christian Science Institute in Galveston, managed by Ladd M. Waters, advertised for students that year. By 1899 there were ten Christian Science churches in Texas, including two each in Dallas and Houston. Christian Scientists in El Paso were holding regular Sunday services but were not incorporated as a church. There were also fifty-two practitioners (authorized healers) and three teachers in Texas. The Galveston school no longer existed, but Austin supported the Southern Christian Science Institute. Like its predecessor, this institute taught Christian Science, treated patients "both present and absent," and sold periodicals.

In 1908 seventeen different Texas cities, mostly east of what is now Interstate Highway 35, were the sites of Christian Science churches. Fifty-eight practitioners and eight teachers, the majority of whom were concentrated in the large cities, operated in the state. By 1955 there were sixty-five churches and thirty-eight societies in Texas. Since services were segregated in the 1950s, two "colored" societies, located in Dallas and Houston, existed to serve the religious needs of black Christian Scientists. A total of 228 practitioners, including four blacks, and seven teachers resided in Texas. In 1983 a total of sixty-six churches and thirty-two societies existed in eighty Texas cities and towns, Dallas and Houston having the greatest numbers. Christian Science college organizations held meetings on fourteen campuses including both public and private institutions. The Leaves, a Christian Science sanatorium in Richardson, provided practical but nonmedical health care for Christian Science patients. Christian Scientists were permitted to reside at the Leaves temporarily for the purpose of religious study. Although there was no official Texas committee on publication, Peter Vanderhof monitored the media and the legislature with regard to the interests of Christian Scientists and wrote The Legal Rights of Christian Scientists in Texas (1983).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Christian Science Journal 7, 17, 26, 73, 101.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Mary Anne Norman, "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE," accessed October 22, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ifc01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...