The Spiritual Science Mother Church was founded on May 29, 1923 by Reverend Julia Forrest at Carnegie Hall Studios, in New York City. It was organized by Mother Julia O. Forrest, a former Christian Science practitioner who had become a Spiritualist, and Dr. Carl H. Pierce. Broadly speaking the objectives of the church were:
- to make a systematic examination of the laws of being with regard to the spiritual person,
- to promote spiritual progress and ethical training along lines of applied psychology,
- to investigate and interpret psychic phenomena in the light of modern scientific research,
- to assist in the orderly and safe development of the seeker's soul,
- to assist seekers in spiritual integration, and
- to welcome every sincere truth-seeking infividual.
As they felt comfortable with the organization of the Christian Science movement they used its structure as a model for the structure of the Spiritual Science Church. Reverend Forrest became the pastor of the Spiritual Science Mother Church and head of the Ecclesiastical Council, which administers the church's affairs. She and Rev. Pierce also established and incorporated a Spiritual Science Institute for training ministers on December 6, 1923. The Ecclesiastical Council of the Spiritual Science Mother Church was incorporated on June 15, 1934. After the passing of Rev. Forrest, Rev. Glenn Argoe became the second President of the organization. She had been Pastor of the First Spiritual Science Church of N.Y.City. Rev. Argoe directed the Mother Church for over four decades, and she incorporated Message Giving into the services and the training of ministers. Many Spiritual Science Churches were soon established primarily in the Eastern part of the U.S. The principal ones wre locatd in various parts of New York City; Rochester, NY; Keyport, NJ; and Washington, DC. Most of these churches are now defunct.
Each individual Spiritual Science Church is authorized and structured as a Branch Church of the Ecclesiastical Council and offers the opportunity for various individuals to draw close to others of like mind.
In 1941, Rev. Alice Wellstood Tindall founded the First Spiritual Schience Church of Washington, DC, and she became a Trustee of the Mother Church. In 1969 Rev. Tindall was succeeded by Rev. Henry Nagorka and Rev. Diane Nagorka. That year they changed the name of the D. C. church to the National Spiritual Science Center. In the 1970's
the Washington, DC church had a dispute with the Mother Church (primarily over the ownership and revision of the lessons and the ownership of a printing press) and the National Spiritual Science Center split from the Mother Church. The Washington, DC church exists today, and its leadership is now in the hands of a Board of Directors. Its affiliates are the Baltimore Spiritual Science Center in Maryland and the Candlelight Spiritual Science Center in North Carolina.
In 1951 the Ecclesiastical Council certified the First Spiritual Science Church of Rumson, which was located in Rumson, NJ, and was headed by Rev. Myrtle Pinkney. On May 10, 1978 Rev. Pinkney retired and the church was moved to Keyport, NJ. The Pastor became Rev. Carolyn Rossiter. Around 1970 Rev. Ellen Resch succeeded Rev. Benjamin Powell as Pastor of the Fourth Spiritual Science Church of N.Y.C. and under the leadership of Rev. Resch the church became the largest of all of the Spiritual Science Churches. The First Spiritual Science Church of Rochester, NY, was incorporated on May 10, 1960 and the Pastor was Rev. Maymie Rosenbaum. She was succeeded by Rev. Paul Viel but the church later disbanded around 1983. The Second Spiritual Science Church of Rochester was incorporated on March 14, 1978 and was founded by Rev. Laura Smith.
For a long period of time The Mother Church was directed by Rev. Glenn Argoe as President with the following principal ministers on the Ecclesiastical Council: Rev. Carolyn Rossiter (Pastor of 1st Spiritual Science Church of Keyport, NJ), 1st Vice President; Rev. Lillian Corbin (Pastor of the 3rd Spiritual Science Church of N.Y.C.), Treasurer; Rev. Beatrice Hejda, Secretary; Rev. Ellen Resch, (Pastor of the 4th Spiritual Science Church of N.Y.C.), 2nd Vice President; and Rev. Paul Viel (Pastor of the 1st Spiritual Science Church of Rochester, NY, Trustee.
When Rev. Glenn Argoe passed on Jan. 29, 1987, Rev. Lillian Corbin became the third President of the Spiritual Science Mother Church. On September 19, 1987 a Branch Church was founded in Rochester, NY while Rev. Corbin was head of the Mother Church. This church was called the St. Germain Fellowship and its Pastor was Rev. Mary Gemming. It was the first Spiritual Science church to expand the Ascended Masters Teachings and not rely on Spiritualistic teachings. It disbanded on December 31, 1994. In 1988 Rev. Corbin became ill and in 1990 the Mother Church was moved from New York City to Rochester, NY. The church primarily became inactive for the most part for a number of years due to Rev. Corbin’s illness. However, under Rev. Corbin, on Jan. 26, 1991, the Mother Church’s Constitution and By-Laws were revised. It was through the tireless efforts of Rev. Steven Jarose (of the 2nd Spiritual Science Church of Rochesterand the Secretary of the Mother Church at that time) that the church was kept alive during the period 1989 through 1994. The Mother Church was revived after Rev. Corbin’s death in 1994 and Rev. Thai Jason (of the 4th Spiritual Science Church of N.Y.C. who succeeded Rev. Ellen Resch) was named President of the Mother Church. She was followed by Rev. Gail Clay (of the 2nd Spiritual Science Church of Rochester, NY) as President in 1997. In 2004 the Church moved back to New York City from Rochester, and Rev. Thai Jason again became President. In 2005 Rev. Stoyell Robbins (of the 2nd Spiritual Science Church of Rochester) was elected President of the Mother Church. On Oct. 30, 2005, the Spiritual Science Center of the Mountains, of Shawnee on Delaware, PA, became a Branch Church of the Mother Church; it essentially is metaphysical and is headed by Rev. Ray Brennan and Rev. Masomeh Moazampour.
Bergman, Jr.; and this semiannual Newsletter for members has been introduced.
The history of the Mother Church was never set down in any writing in the past. When the founder, Rev. Julia Forrest, passed away, her family burnt her personal and church papers. In 1978-79 Rev. Laura Smith, Pastor of the Second Spiritual Science Church of Rochester, NY, attempted to write a history but Rev. Glenn Argoe (who succeeded Rev. Forrest) and the senior ministers at the time, refused to cooperate with Rev. Smith and give her any information. When Rev. Lillian Corbin (who succeeded Rev. Argoe) passed, the persons who were living in her house at that time destroyed the existing church records that were stored there. The foregoing history was compiled through the efforts of Rev. Steven Jarose, Rev. George Bergman, Jr., Rev. MaryGemming, Rev. Thai Jason, and Rev. Ray Brennan. Of course, it was also with the help of the late Rev. Laura Smith’s notes. In 2006 Rev. Laura Smith (formerly of the 2nd Spiritual Science Church of Rochester) was elected President of the Mother Church. Under Rev. Smith the Church was regenerated mostly through the efforts of Rev. Thai Jason and the current members of the Ecclesiastical Council. Upon Rev. Smith’s passing on April 12, 2009, Rev. Thai Jason once again was elected the President of the Organization. On April 13, 2009 the Spiritual Science Church of Angelic Grace of Alexandria, VA, became a Branch Church of the Mother Church; it is primarily a healing church headed by Rev. Jay Quinn. So far in 2010 many innovations have been instituted: Rev. Jay Quinn designed a new logo for the Mother Church; Rev. Jason has moved the church into the 21st Century by instituting a web site presence on the Internet (http://www.spiritualsciencemotherchurch. org) which was designed and executed by Rev. George It should also be noted that the Spiritual Science Mother Church was founded as a Christian church. However, under Rev. Argoe its beliefs became essentially Spiritualist in nature although Rev. Resch introduced Buddhism and Buddha’s teachings into the church. Thereafter, Rev. Smith, Rev. Brennan and Rev. Moazampour introduced metaphysical aspects. It has since evolved into more of a universal church and now fully accepts that there are many Paths to truth. Thus, the Mother Church has grown to become totally non-denominational.