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Mary Baker Eddy. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100584).

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Eddy, Mary Baker (16 July 1821–03 December 1910), founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, and of Christian Science as a method of healing, was born near Concord, New Hampshire, the daughter of Mark Baker and Abigail Ambrose. Historians are generally agreed that Eddy’s father was a volatile, ambitious, and theologically rigid Calvinist and that her mother was a self-effacing woman devoted to home, family, and a gentler form of religious piety. Eddy was admitted to membership in the Congregational church at Sanbornton Bridge, New Hampshire, in 1838 in spite of her rejection of predestination and her inability to pinpoint an experience of conversion. Her family’s devotional life emphasized prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, study of the Westminster Catechism, and intense theological discussion and provided her with a kind of informal theological education....

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Morgan, Mary Kimball (08 December 1861–13 October 1948), Christian Science educator and college president, was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, the daughter of Freeman Aaron Kimball, a Union officer in the Civil War and later a merchant, and Helen Maria Chapin. Mary was educated in the St. Louis, Missouri, public school system and later tutored at home. Poor health prevented her from attending college. In 1885 she married William Edgar Morgan; they had two children....

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Augusta E. Stetson Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111854).

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Stetson, Augusta Emma Simmons (12 October 1842–12 October 1928), Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and founder of the First Church of Christ Scientist, New York City, was born in Waldoboro, Maine, the daughter of Peabody Simmons, a carpenter and architect, and Salome Sprague. During her childhood in Damariscotta, Maine, Stetson developed her considerable musical talent, which she put to use as an organist at the Methodist church in which her parents were active. She attended the Lincoln Academy, New Castle, Maine, after high school. Her marriage to shipbuilder Frederick Stetson in 1864 took her to England, India, and Burma, but his ill health required that he leave the family business, and the couple, who had no children, returned to live with her family in Boston. To earn a living, Stetson chose to develop her already acknowledged talent for public speaking by attending the Blish School of Oratory in Boston in 1882....