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Woman of History: Marietta Webb, Christian Science Healer
By Katherine Leech, Contributing Writer
Published March 17, 2021

In 1950, Ebony magazine featured the photo above of Marietta Webb reading the Bible at age 86. (marybakereddylibrary.org)

In 1950, Ebony profiled Mrs. Marietta Webb, a long-time Los Angeles resident. Mrs. Webb was featured because for decades she had been a Christian Science prayer-based healer and member of the Christian Science church.

Christian Science was discovered by another remarkable woman, Mary Baker Eddy, an inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in the humanities.   Her book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” was selected by members of the Women’s National Book Association as one of 75 Books by “Women Whose Words Have Changed the World.”

Her work in theology and healing enabled both women and men to become practitioners of Christian Science healing based on the works and teachings of Christ Jesus as recorded in the Bible.

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The last chapter of “Science and Health,” entitled “Fruitage,” contains 100 pages of testimonies of healing, which resulted from the study of and inspiration gained from Eddy’s book. This chapter also contains a testimony by Marietta Thomas Webb (1864–1951) of Los Angeles, one of the first African Americans listed in The Christian Science Journal as a practitioner of healing.

In it, she states in part, “Nine years ago my only child was…pronounced…incurable, saying that if he lived, he would always be an invalid and a cripple…. It was while…I was in the darkest despair that I first heard of Christian Science. The bearer of the joyful tidings could only tell me to come and hear of the wonderful things that Christian Science was doing.

“I accepted the invitation, for I was willing to try anything to save my child,…and that night I realized from the testimonies given that Christian Science was the religion for which I had been searching for years…. On my way home I thought of some of the testimonies, which I had heard the night before, — of people being healed by simply reading ‘Science and Health.’

“I resolved at once to borrow a copy, and not dreaming of the sacrifice that my friend would make by conferring such a favor, I went and asked her for a loan of ‘Science and Health.’ ….I read it silently and audibly, day and night, in my home, and although I could not seem to understand it, yet the healing commenced to take place at once.

“The little mouth which had been twisted by spasms grew natural and the child was soon able to be up, playing and romping about the house as any child should… I was healed of all my complaints whilst seeking the truth for my child, and many of them have never returned. … Teeth have been restored and facial blemishes removed… All of this is, however, nothing to compare with the spiritual uplifting which I have received, and I have everything to be thankful for.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Ninth Church of Christ, Scientist Los Angeles – a member of the community for over a century – has commissioned an original talk, “Mary Baker Eddy, 19th Century Discoverer and Her Great Discovery,” by Michelle Nanouche, practitioner of Christian Science healing and international speaker. The talk is available online at christiansciencelosangeles.com starting Thursday, March 18, at 12 p.m.

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Categories: Religion
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