Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) discovered and founded Christian Science and is Pastor Emeritus for The First Church of Christ, Scientist.
Appointment and government
The officers of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, are appointed by the Christian Science Board of Directors and governed by the Church Manual By-Laws provided by Mary Baker Eddy.
Christian Science Board of Directors
Christian Science Board of Directors
The Christian Science Board of Directors has five members—each with an equal voice in overseeing both the Church’s long-term direction and day-to-day operations. The current members are:
, Robin Hoagland
, Allison W. Phinney, Jr.
, Scott Preller
, and Margaret Rogers
. All five board members are, first and foremost, Christian Science healers. That means they are all Christian Science practitioners
, providing professional healing services to the public. Each is also a teacher of Christian Science
(hence the "C.S.B." after each of their names), which means each one conducts an annual in-depth course of spiritual study
. According to the By-Laws in the Church Manual, the Directors fill any vacancy occurring on that Board. Below are short bios for each Board member.
Richard Evans, C.S.B. — Director
A healing of malaria while in the Peace Corps cemented for Rich what he had learned from childhood in Christian Science, that God, divine Love, is present and universal to heal and regenerate all mankind. With a BA in English from Principia College, and international experience, Rich obtained his law degree from Washington University. After an extensive career in law and global business, he transitioned to the full time public practice of Christian Science in 2005, becoming a Teacher in 2009. After eight years as Committee on Publication for Arizona, Rich moved to Boston where he worked as the manager of Committees on Publication (2015-2017), prior to becoming a Director. Each of these steps has been taken with the full partnership of his wife, Blythe, and the surround of love from their children.
Robin Hoagland, C.S.B. — Director
During college, Robin developed a raised-eyebrow reputation as the only rugby player on the team who didn’t drink -- an outward expression of her commitment to spiritual living and healing in every activity in which she participated. While graduating from Williams College Magna Cum Laude and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, she feels that raising two children with her husband has given her the richest education of all. Robin worked in publishing, public radio, and freelance writing before committing full-time to sharing this Science with others. In 1999 she began advertising as a practitioner in
The Christian Science Journal
, and in 2006 became a teacher of Christian Science. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity, and was a member of the Board of Lectureship from 2007 until 2013 when she was appointed to the Christian Science Board of Directors.
Allison W. "Skip" Phinney, Jr., C.S.B. — Director
As a teen Skip heard life-changing Christian Science healings recounted in casual family conversation. But what he says most stirred him was the entirely new dimension of God’s actuality he sensed behind those healings. College, service in the United States Army, work in publishing, and his own growing family came along. In 1960, however, he was drawn to work at The Mother Church, and positions followed as Manager of Committees on Publication, Clerk, Editor of the Christian Science periodicals, and President of the Board of Education. In 2009-2010 he served a term as President of The Mother Church, and 2015 as Teacher of the Normal class. His earliest glimpses of spiritual reality have deepened, but still impel his vision of the role Christian Science will continue to play in freeing and lifting the hearts of humanity.
Scott Preller, C.S.B. — Director
Scott feels the best thing about having earned a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Boston University is that it helped him gain a deeper appreciation for the biblical foundation of Christian Science. It also helped prepare him to serve as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force, and later as a staff editor for the Church’s religious periodicals. He began his full-time vocation as a practitioner of Christian Science healing in 1992 and became a teacher in 2006. Scott also served on the Board of Lectureship, and as President of the Board of Education. In addition to serving as a Director, Scott also currently serves as a Trustee of The Christian Science Publishing Society.
Margaret Rogers, C.S.B. — Director
As a teenager, Margaret volunteered in programs to help children of migrant workers and in inner city schools. This interest in improving people's lives grew into a conviction that Christian Science was the most powerful way to do this, and after college she became a Christian Science nurse and then a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science. Margaret also served as a member of the Board of Lectureship and as Second Reader of The Mother Church (1992-1995). She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Christian Science Publishing Society, in addition to the Christian Science Board of Directors.
Keith Wommack, C.S.B. — President
During his ten-year career as a musician based in Austin, Texas, Keith began spending less time practicing the guitar and writing songs and more time reading the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s writings. Keith found that healing others through prayer was more rewarding than entertaining them with music. In 1982, Keith left his band to enter the full-time practice of Christian Science healing, becoming a Journal-listed practitioner in 1983. In 1994, Keith and his wife, Joanne, and two stepsons moved to Corpus Christi, Texas. Also, in 1994, Keith became a teacher of Christian Science. Keith then served on the Christian Science Board of Lectureship (1999 – 2007) and facilitated practitioner workshops in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand for the Board of Education (2007 – 2008). Keith is currently serving as the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Texas (2009 – 2018). Keith has had thirty articles published in the Christian Science periodicals.
Louis Benjamin, C.S.B. — First Reader
After completing his schooling in Johannesburg, South Africa, Louis studied at the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, England, and then worked on the technical side of the clay-brick industry. He is a lifelong student of Christian Science who, when asked, always loved praying for friends and work colleagues. He has served his local branch church and community as First Reader, Second Reader, and on numerous church and interfaith committees, and has contributed to the global work of this Church as a member of the Board of Lectureship, frequent contributor to the Christian Science periodicals, Committee on Publication for the Northern Provinces of South Africa, as well as in other roles. In 2000 Louis began advertising as a full-time Christian Science practitioner, and in 2009 he became a teacher of Christian Science.
Diane Marrapodi, C.S.B. — Second Reader
As a child Diane attended the Christian Science Sunday School in Patchogue, Long Island, New York, U.S.A. After a significant healing at the age of eight, Diane’s desire was to study, apply, demonstrate, and share the good news of Christian Science. As the only Christian Scientist in a high school of 2,000 students, and then in college, she had several invitations to speak with sociology and comparative religion classes about Christian Science. Her work in the public practice of healing began in college, and after college she trained and served as a Christian Science nurse for ten years. In 1981 Diane began advertising as a full-time Christian Science practitioner, and has also served as a member of the Board of Lectureship and frequent contributor to the Christian Science periodicals, including
Chats. In 1985 Diane became a teacher of Christian Science.
Suzanne Riedel, C.S.B. — Clerk
After being introduced to Christian Science during college, Suzanne quickly saw the healing effect of prayer, both in praying for herself and praying for others. She graduated college with a BA, receiving "Highest Honors," and then an education degree, both of which equipped her well to be a secondary school teacher for the next 20 years. As she taught school, received a master's degree from the University of Texas-Austin, and raised her five children, she knew her heart was always in finding how close God is. This love for God has led her to serve church in various ways, including working for the Committee on Publication in Boston and serving on the Board of Lectureship from 2005-2014 as well as being a chimer of the bells in the Original Mother Church building.
Henry "Lyon" Osborn — Treasurer
As a child, Lyon was introduced to Christian Science when his mother was healed of broken vertebrae and a spinal arthritic condition by reading
Science and Health
by Mary Baker Eddy. In college, he was president of the Christian Science Organization at Yale University, where he majored in Political Science and graduated with honors. Lyon also earned an M.B.A. from Babson College. He served as First Reader, board member, and Sunday School teacher in his local branch church. Lyon held a variety of roles at The Mother Church, including Senior Manager of the Clerk’s Office and Manager of The Christian Science Publishing Society.