Christian Science has a long history in Battle Creek, beginning in 1885 with the arrival of Dr. A. J. Swarts, who opened an office for metaphysical healing and instruction. He was a student of Mary Baker Eddy and had on sale her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures which is the textbook of Christian Science.
The first healing recorded is that of a young woman who had been confined to her bed for many months with spinal trouble. Physicians had been unable to heal her. Dr. Swarts was asked to help her and within two days she was able to get up and walk. In a very short time she was perfectly healed and lived a normal life for many more years. This healing caused people to marvel, and they flocked to Dr. Swarts for healing and instruction. He remained in Battle Creek a short time and left behind a small number of spiritually minded men and women.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adams became leaders of the group which met for the study of the textbook in private homes for about 10 years. In 1895 they held their first public service in Battle Creek. A Sunday School and Reading Room were also established at that time.
An outstanding healing occurred in 1891 which is recorded in the biography of C. W. Post by Nettie Leitch Major. Mr. Post came to Battle Creek from Chicago seeking a healing at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. After months of treatment Dr. John Harvey Kellogg told Mrs. Post that her husband probably would not live much longer. Mrs. Post was advised by a cousin to seek Christian Science treatment from Mrs. Elizabeth Gregory, a practitioner. Mrs. Post made arrangements for her husband to stay at Mrs. Gregory’s home where he received Christian Science treatment. Within a few days he was eating normally which was more than he had been able to do for many years. In a very short time he was completely healed and returned to his home. The Posts gave Christian Science the credit for this healing and were generous in their support of Christian Science in Battle Creek over the years.
In December of 1898 the Secretary of State granted the charter establishing First Church of Christ, Scientist, Battle Creek, as a branch of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.
From 1898 until 1906 services and Sunday School were held in rented rooms throughout the community. In 1906 property was purchased to build the first church edifice at the corner of Adams and Maple Streets.
Services continued there until 1928 when a larger edifice was built on Maple Street now Capital Avenue, NE.
The Sunday School in the lower level was used for services until 1941 when the church building was completed.
The church moved to its present location in December 1996 at the corner of North Avenue and Calhoun Street. A committee of church members and a local architect worked diligently to design a unique structure that was easily accessible and inviting, with an open and bright interior. The facility also houses the Reading Room with its own entrance on Calhoun Street.