The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1879 in Boston, Massachusetts, by Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and founder of Christian Science. The church was founded “to commemorate the word and works of [Christ Jesus]” and “reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing”. Sunday services are held throughout the year and weekly testimony meetings are held on Wednesday evenings, where following brief readings from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, those in attendance are invited to give testimonies of healing brought about through Christian Science prayer.
In the early decades of the 20th century, Christian Science churches sprang up in communities around the world, though in the last several decades of that century, there was a marked decline in membership, except in Africa, where there has been growth. Several controversies have rocked the church and remain unresolved, according to dissidents. Headquartered in Boston, the church has a worldwide membership of about 85,000.