AN INSPIRED HISTORY
The Original Peace Haven Doors
Christian Science nursing was established in 1916 when The Mother Church Board of Directors in Boston, Massachusetts, responded to Mary Baker Eddy’s vision for “…properly conducted institutions where those seeking relief through Christian Science might find such care and attention as would assist in their recovery” (Christian Science Sentinel Vol 19:110, October 7, 1916). Peace Haven is one of those “properly conducted institutions” envisioned by Mrs. Eddy and founded on the Manual of The Mother Church By-law, Christian Science Nurse. Article VIII, SECT. 31.
Peace Haven Association has a rich and enduring history. In the early 1940s, an earnest group of local Christian Scientists began to explore founding a Christian Science care facility in St. Louis. By this time the
Benevolent Association in Boston was well established, having been put forward by The Mother Church Board of Directors in response to Mrs. Eddy’s vision for “…properly conducted institutions where those seeking relief through Christian Science might find such care and attention as would assist in their recovery” (Christian Science Sentinel Vol 19:110, October 7, 1916).
The local group was granted a formal charter in 1945, and over the next two years they purchased property and designed a building. But in those post-war years, the escalating cost for new construction put that plan out of reach. The group continued to meet, pray for guidance, and seek other solutions. A report to the field stated, “The Trustees are prayerful in this matter and are …mindful of our Leader’s statement from page 82 of Retrospection and Introspection: ‘The wisest power and strongest growth have always been attained by those loyal students who rest on Divine Principle for guidance, not on themselves.’”
The decision was made to search for an existing building that would meet the need, and after vigorous searching, they found the Kahle estate. An advisory meeting in early 1951 drew enthusiastic support, and within 16 months, sufficient funds were received to pay for the home in-full, including furnishings, minor alterations, and initial operating expenses. On May 8, 1952, Peace Haven Association opened its doors, free of debt and fully prepared to serve the Christian Science field.
The demonstration of Christian Science nursing throughout Peace Haven’s history is filled with seven decades of healing. From its inception, Peace Haven has never been about a building—its physical structure. It was, and continues to be, about supporting those who are relying wholly on prayer and the teachings of Christian Science for healing. Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy on the principles taught by Christ Jesus and expounded in the Bible.