Christian Science got its start in Burlington on board a ship on Lake Champlain in 1896. Two women, one of whom was a Christian Science practitioner, were reading and discussing Christian Science literature on the deck when two other couples joined them and began asking questions. The four new-comers were intrigued by what they learned, especially about healing through prayer alone. Those four were joined by a third couple and started attending services at the apartment of one of the original ladies having the discussion on board the ship.
In the 1898 Christian Science Journal, Burlington was listed as a branch church. In 1908 that church disbanded and reformed in 1913 as a Christian Science Society recognized by The Mother Church. In 1920, having grown in numbers, it once again become a branch church. In 1927 a church edifice was built at the current location at 420 South Union St., with the Reading Room inside. In 1933 the Reading Room was moved to the downtown business area.
(Based on the book “I never found a kindlier people”: The Early History of Christian Science in Vermont by Cynthia Parsons)
In 2022, the Reading Room moved back into the church as an essential arm of outreach to our community. The Christian Science church in Burlington continues to follow its mission of spreading the Gospel—the “Good News” of God’s love for all of His/Her creation—to our community and the world, and its practice of healing spiritually through an understanding of God.