Mary Baker Eddy had originally wanted to name her church “Church of Christ.” But the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could not grant a charter to the group, because a church with that title had already been incorporated. After learning of this, Eddy added the word “Scientist,” and the church was chartered in 1879 as “Church of Christ (Scientist).” Here “Scientist” gave denominational information—at that time it was not uncommon for a church name to read “Church of Christ (Congregational)” or “Church of Christ (Methodist).” When Eddy reorganized her church in 1892, she had discussions with her lawyers, Board of Directors, and the Massachusetts Commission on Corporations. They found that in order to provide a clear, unique, and legal name for her Church and its new legal form, there would need to be a modification of the 1879 name. Thus the decision was made to use “The First Church of Christ, Scientist.”

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