church_front

Photograph Circa 1939

In 1897 two pioneer residents of San Mateo opened their home on the corner of Tilton Avenue and Elm Street and invited friends and neighbors to hear Christian Science services.

In the March 1900 issue of the Christian Science Journal the card for this informal group appeared announcing regular Sunday services. Shortly the small group of Christian Scientists moved to Froebel Hall on Ellsworth Avenue and then in 1907, seven earnest students, including two public practitioners, formally organized the Christian Science Society of San Mateo and established its first Sunday School.

On April 18, 1907 the members incorporated their Society into First Church and adopted a governing set of by-laws at its June meeting. The new title of First Church of San Mateo subsequently appeared in the September 1908 issue of The Christian Science Journal and they opened the doors of their Reading Room in April 1908.

When membership grew, larger quarters became necessary and in the spring of 1910, the church began meeting at the newly-erected Masonic Temple. During these formative years Christian Science lectures were given at regular intervals by early workers Edward Kimball and Bicknell Young.

In June 1919 a lot at the corner of El Camino Real and Mount Diablo Avenue was purchased and during the following year the foundation was laid for the church edifice. In June 1921 the first unit of the new church building (which now houses the Sunday School) was opened for regular services.

During the fall of 1924 there was a need for a larger auditorium and Colonel Albert Norberg of the Army Corps of Engineers was employed to draw up plans. In November 1927 work was started and the laying of the corner stone was held at 7:00 in the morning on May 17, 1928, and the newly-completed church opened its doors July 22 of that same year.

 Dedication of this church was announced to the community on October 20, 1935.

In 1936, adjoining property was purchased from the Bessie Boston Dahlia Farm for use as a parking lot.

On September 20, 1951, a Reading Room was leased at 69 East Fourth Avenue and, in 1977, $70,000 was raised in gifts and loans to purchase this same property. The Reading Room was remodeled in 2006 and held a Grand Re-Opening on January 20, 2007.