When thirty-three-year-old William McKenzie first met the seventy-three-year-old Leader of Christian Science on Christmas Day 1894, he said that then and there he became her man, "like a clansman giving allegiance." McKenzie letter to Lyman Powell, August 19, 1932, Archives and Library of The Mother Church.
This vivid word picture of a young man's faithful devotion to Mrs. Eddy and to her religious mission—so ardently expressed by him almost forty years after that December meeting— also paints a portrait of the man himself. It has the highlights of his Scottish integrity, his Christian idealism, his poetic eloquence.
As the first son and the grandson of Scottish Presbyterian ministers, Canadian-born William McKenzie was consecrated by his parents to the ministry. His search for a satisfying understanding of God began early. "At fourteen," he recalled, "I had many a wakeful night over the puzzle of the atonement & the horror that 'hell' suggested." McKenzie letter to Septimus J. Hanna, September 22, 1894, Archives.