The Early Years, 1960s
In 1964 a small Christian Science care facility, named Clearfield, was available in the Washington, D.C. area. It was a privately run home in Colesville, MD owned and operated by a Mrs. Stewart. A few people perceived the need for an expanded facility and began to meet and make plans. Despite an apparent shortage of funds and Christian Science nurses, they formed a non-profit corporation designed to acquire and run a nursing home for Christian Scientists known as Clearfield, Inc.
|1967||An opportunity arose to purchase a “successful, operating nursing home” in Alexandria, Virginia, for $700,000. It was adequate to provide a “nursing home and rest-home type of service,” as well as have room for a chapel and private consultation parlor. That same year, the name “Clearfield, Inc.” was changed to “Lynn House of Potomac Valley, Inc.” so as to differentiate between the project of building a facility, and the small nursing home in Colesville.|
|1968||The Christian Science Board of Directors in Boston, Massachusetts approved the actual establishment of a facility for nursing and sheltered care, “provided adequate financial support is available.” The Mother Church then informed the Lynn House Board that a bequest was being held in a trust for the purpose of covering the cost of a nursing and care facility in the southeastern United States. The trust was close to $700,000, which covered the cost of the purchase.|
|1969||A notice went out to the field announcing the availability of Christian Science nursing care at Lynn House with semi-private accommodations for 56 people. By the end of that year, accommodations were improved and made private, which reduced the rooms to 24.|
Accreditation and Remodeling, 1970s
Lynn House met the standard in its nursing for Certification of Accreditation from the Department of Care of The Mother Church in 1970. This recognition as a sanatorium also qualified Lynn House as a hospital with the Commonwealth of Virginia and for the Federal Medicare Program as well as insurance reimbursements.
|1973||Another remodeling effort created 8 new rooms. The Mother Church also approved the use of a larger part of the facility for “Sheltered Care” guests for up to six months with a proviso for extension. Thus Lynn House offered residential living and extended care, in addition to regular nursing services and rest and study.|
|1974||Lynn House began training Christian Science nurse’s aides and offering on-the-job training for student Christian Science nurses who had received classroom training at one of the Christian Science nurses’ training schools.|
The mission and services grow, 1980s
In order to better serve its field, an “open admission” policy was established in 1987. It meant that no one needing to come to Lynn House would be denied admission, knowing the needed staff would be available. An invitation was issued to the six-state area, making people feel welcome to come to Lynn House whenever necessary, and also to call upon Christian Science nurses for care in their homes. These home care services were provided in addition to that of the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) in Washington, D.C., and the Christian Science nurses traveled well beyond the VNS 25-mile radius.
|Nursing seminars were conducted at Lynn House and within the six-state area. As the vision of nursing care enlarged, it became apparent that a new nursing facility was needed. The building, if renovated, would cost around $1 million, and still have serious limitations. The building was originally designed and built in 1954 by Louis Sutton as a nursing home, not as a Christian Science nursing facility. For about two years, consideration was given to selling the property and moving further away from the city. But as time passed, it became evident that the current property was ideally located. So, after much prayerful consideration, the Executive Board voted to begin plans for a new building.|
|1989||A plan of action was begun which included consecrated prayer and reaching out to the field. A building committee was selected, and in 1989, the firm of Walton, Madden, Cooper of Landover, Maryland was hired to design the new facility. The first requirement was that certain qualities were to be expressed in the design, e.g., light, quiet, harmony.|
Building the new building, 1990s
From 1989 to 1991, Lynn House conducted meetings in its six-state area to let fellow Christian Scientists know of the services it offered, of its plans to design a new facility, as well as clarifying the ministry of Christian Science nursing. The new building would be dedicated in 1996.
|1990||In September, the first Lynn House Building Update was published and issued to the field. The Kettler Brothers Construction Company, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Maryland was hired to do the building, even as daily operations were maintained.|
|1992||When the groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 22, everyone could see that this project was now engaged in earnest, and that the vision and planning would become a reality. The outpouring of financial support from the field was evident, with donors giving at all levels. The bank agreed to provide Lynn House with a needed loan because of this widespread and continuing grass roots support. At the time, Lynn House was consistently receiving $70,000 a month in donations.|
|1993||On April 28, the guests moved into the new Lynn House. Gradually the daily routine smoothed out, though the administrative wing had not yet been built. The old building still occupied the area where the new wing was to be located. By October, the administrative wing had been finished and the official opening was within sight. On Sunday afternoon, November 17, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in the Courtyard garden. The entire field had been invited, with about 300 in attendance, including the Mayor of Alexandria–one of the speakers. It was a lovely occasion.|
|1996||The dedication ceremony was held on a beautiful day in October.|
Millennial Progress, 2000s
After prayerful consideration, the Visiting Nurse Service of Christian Scientists, Inc. of the Washington, D.C. area decided to merge its activity into the Lynn House Home Care Department. In 2001 the new name became Lynn House Visiting Nurse Service.
|2006||On July 1, The Residences at Lynn House, residential and assisted living program opened its doors after several years of planning and preparation. During the preceding two year period the west wing of the nursing/rest and study wing was completely renovated providing Lynn House with six lovely individual rooms and two wonderful sitting plus all-purpose rooms for use by the residents. The funds for this were made available from the Washington DC based, Residential Home Committee, a group of Christian Scientists dedicated to providing the area with a residential assisted living program that would meet the needs of active Christian Scientists seeking the spiritual support and various amenities Lynn House has to offer. This program is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Social Services.|
|2007||Lynn House Visiting Nurse Service changed its name to Lynn House Visiting Christian Science Nurse Service.|
|Today||The faith, support, unselfishness, and generosity of the field in building this beautiful Christian Science nursing facility for our community is bearing fruit. Comfort and healing are evident daily—proof that Lynn House was and continues to be the field’s demonstration of its love for the healing practice of Christian Science.|
The following verse from a favorite hymn shows this history of Lynn House in its true light as the unfolding of God’s divine love and purpose for his children:
We thank Thee and we bless Thee, O Father of us all,
That e’en before we ask Thee Thou hear’st Thy children’s call.
We praise Thee for Thy goodness and tender, constant care,
We thank Thee, Father-Mother, That Thou hast heard our prayer.”
Christian Science Hymnal, Hymn 374, v. 1