The Bridgeport Post from Bridgeport, Connecticut on June 14, 1964 · Page 49
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The Bridgeport Post from Bridgeport, Connecticut · Page 49

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 14, 1964
Page 49
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BRIDGEPORT SUNDAY POST, JUNE 14, 1964 C--FIVE Christian Scientists Erase Debt, Dedicate 5-Year-Old Church Today By VINCENT E. CLARK , Marking a major milestone in the history of their church in Bridgeport, members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, today will dedicate the structure at , Clinton and North avenues that they opened slightly more than five vears ago. This a gala event for these church members, inasmuch as it is unusual to reach this point so quickly, because under the rules of the Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in ' Boston, each individual branch ,church may not be dedicated until all financial encumbrances against it have been erased. Depending upon the type of building, the type of property on which it stands and other elements, the time required to reach the dedication stage dif- j fers in each individual case. TODAY'S DEDICATION ceremony is the direct result of a meeting conducted on Sunday, April 4, 1897, attended by 10 per. .sons at the home of George M. ' Cleland, 67 Seeley street, at which it Was decided to begin Christian Science meetings regularly. Those attending that meeting Included Mr. and Mrs. Cleland, Mr. and Mrs. George E. Belts, Miss Haltie L. Belts, Mrs. Mary E. Foote. Mrs. Mary Cooper. Miss Lizzie Home, Miss Emma Van Dyke and Frank M. Canfield. Mr. Canfield was elected First Reader and Miss Belts, Second Reader. For the next two years the number of attendants increased as services were conducted in various homes. Then, in May 1899, with the arrival of a praclitioner, the organization of a Christian Science society took place. This formal proup engaged a room in the Court Exchange building and furnished it for services. The first of these were conducted on June 7 of that year. A reading room "was established simultaneously in "the church quarters. The" first official practitioners were Mrs. Gladys L. Hotchkiss and Miss Louise B. Warner, and the earliest studenls in addilion to the founding members included Miss Lillian H. Hodge, Homer L. Hodae, Mrs. Mary H. Kinsley and Dr. Frederick C. Hotchkiss, a dentist. . Meanwhile progress was being made and on Dec. 23, 1899, the society was dissolved and a charter organization, establishing the First Church, took its place. The charter members included Lulher S. Ayers, Miss Warner, Mrs. Orrisa J. Belts, Miss Van Dyke, Mrs. Foote, Mr. Belts, May Maginn. Charles P. Lamb, Mrs. May Lamb and Alice E. Lafferty, In- .corporalion followed and by-laws were adopted in February, 1900. DURING THE NEXT two years, the church membership grew apace and in 1902, the services were moved to quarters rented in the Froebei Kindergarten, 871 Lafayette street. Si\ years later, the church purchased the property which later was used for the Sunday school and an addition containing an auditorium was constructed, in which an organ was installed. . . The reading rooms, the first of which was located in the church rooms in the Court Exchange building, later were moved to the Security building and after a few years, were relocated on an upper floor at 1183 Broad street. -Subsequently, the rooms were moved to 126 Bank street for a s lort lime and then were re- lurncd to 1183 Broad street, but .his time on the ground floor, where they have remained. Meanwhile, the growlh of the church necessitated acquisition of additional land for use as a parking lot for members' cars and the trustees were authorized to purchase the adjacent Cole and Walker properties at Liberty and Lafayette streets for that purpose. THE .SITE OF the present church was acquired in March .1957 from the Frouge interests Who had purchased it for use as an apartment building site. Zoning restrictions, however, pre- · eluded this and after the Christian Science church made settlement, bids were closed for the building'during the same month by the building committee. -. The tafayette street location then was placed on the market and eventually was sold and do molished as it was situated with in the area designated for the , urban development project. · The architects for the now church were Monahan, Meikle and Johnson, of Pawtucket, R.I., and the general contractors were Tomlinson and Hawley, Inc., of 472 North avenue. The ·design is that of the traditional New England church. ONE OF THE outstanding features is the crystal chandelier, ·centered in the auditorium, that · was imported from Czechoslovakia, which serves to illuminate that chamber. Installed was a Baldwin elec- · Ironic organ that also controls Uin chimes in the belfry of the THE TRADITIONAL New England structure of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, located at that will be dedicated today at two services. Clinton and North avenues, Here's hot water, not wishes, to wash all your dishes rent a reliable f lameless electric water heater $ 2 a month · No deposit or down payment« New low If off-peak rate · Free normal installation · Free service · Free delivery. Call Bridgeport, 334-1112; New.' Haven, 777-6511 or Derby, 734-2585. .Or see your plumber, electrician or electric dealer now. O United Illuminating an investor-owned electric light and power company VIEW OF SERVICES IN the auditorium of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, showing the imported crystal chandelier. SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES are conducted in the spacious quarters allocated for that purpose In the First Church of Christ; Scientist. , , steeple, the tower of which-also houses a public address system that) can be used, if desired, to broadcast hymns and music. That' spire, rising 75 feet, and the church building are floodlighted at night and they have become a landmark in the vicinity. Adjoining the slructure 1 is a large parking lot to accommo date members and visitors' cars. Carpeted in green .broadloom twist, the main auditorium contains pews of brown and white color and the window draperies match the carpeting. The dorsa is of sea green to contrast with the draperies and carpeting, and the platform Chairs are up bolstered in sea green. The entire church building is air-conditioned. THE EDUCATIONAL a r e a consists of a large Sunday-schoo room, committee rooms and aj nursery where children of pre- Sunday school age can receive care while their parents are attending services. Completion of the slructure was followed closely by the opening that took place on April 5, 1959, wilh Iwo services at 11 a.m. and p.m., and since then it has served the members in their various · activities, Sunday services and Wednesday night testimonial meetings. Today's dedicatory programs ..ill be conducted at similar hours, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and will consist of the Lesson-Sermon by the First and Second Readers, musical selections, prayers and hymns. Christian Scientists from throughout the Bridgeport area are expected to participate. · . · LEARN REAL ESTATE Become a Successful Broker REGISTER NOW FOR JULY 6 CLASS WARREN 453 FAIRFIELD AVE., BPT. -- 336-3563 Approvtd by TH« Conn. Si«i« Board of Education

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