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Eddy, Mary Baker (1821-1910), founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, and of Christian Science as a method of healing  

Mary Farrell Bednarowski

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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Haviland, Laura Smith (1808-1898), abolitionist and evangelist  

Effie K. Ambler

Haviland, Laura Smith (20 December 1808–20 April 1898), abolitionist and evangelist, was born in Leeds County, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Daniel Smith and Sene Blancher, farmers. She grew up in western New York State in a community of the Society of Friends and received several years of education in a Quaker school. In 1825 she married Charles Haviland, Jr.; they had eight children. In 1829 the young couple moved to Michigan Territory, where they joined her parents and siblings in establishing farms in the valley of the River Raisin (near present-day Adrian, Mich.) and living pious lives in a tightly knit extended family....

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McPherson, Aimee Semple (1890-1944), evangelist and founder of the Church of the Foursquare Gospel  

Kevin E. Stilley

McPherson, Aimee Semple (09 October 1890–27 September 1944), evangelist and founder of the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, was born near Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of James Morgan Kennedy, a Methodist farmer and road engineer, and Mildred “Minnie” Pearce, a Salvation Army volunteer. Minnie believed that her own call to preach the gospel had been frustrated by her marriage and therefore promised God that she would dedicate to his service a daughter if he would only give her one. Believing Aimee to be an answer to this prayer, Minnie dedicated Aimee as an infant during a Salvation Army jubilee and nurtured her to fulfill this calling....

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Stetson, Augusta Emma Simmons (1842-1928), Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and founder of the First Church of Christ Scientist, New York City  

Mary Farrell Bednarowski

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....