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Aimee Semple McPherson

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Aimee Semple McPherson, also known as Sister Aimee, was an American-Canadian evangelist, and a celebrity in the media networks. She founded a church called Four Square Church. She has been known for using modern media, especially the radio. She was a strong and powerful woman who led many to Christ. Aimee was so loving and caring through her ministry, that God would use her to share with others, the story of Jesus Christ. Aimee as a child was able to get a first look at religion at a young age, which helped her out in later years. Aimee was born on October 9th, 1890 in Salford, Ontario, Canada, her father and mother, James and Mildred Kennedy, were loving and caring to Aimee. Her mother showed Aimee religion early by volunteering at Salvation Army soup kitchens, and Aimee took this and played, “Salvation Army,” with her friends at school. At home, she would gather up all her dolls and give them a sermon. When she got into high school, she turned away a bit from God and learned evolution, so she started questioning God and preachers, and she didn’t like the answers she got. So she started a crusade against the concept of evolution, beginning a lifelong passion.

Aimee met her soon to be husband, Robert James Semple, at a revival meeting in December 1907. After a short courtship, they married on August 12, 1908. They both went on a mission trip together to Europe and China, she became pregnant, but shortly after settling down in Hong Kong, both got sick with Malaria. Robert died two months later, and Aimee gave birth to their baby girl Roberta Star Semple, and both went back to the United States. Later joining her mother yet again at Salvation Army and met Harold Stewart McPherson, they both married and had a son, Rolf Potter Kennedy McPherson in March 2013. These moments were all challenging, but she made it through it by trusting God. God really started using her when she started a preaching career in 1913. In June 1915, she started having tent revivals; usually they were in tents so she could travel often.

McPherson spoke in tongues but rarely indicated it. She was known as a faith healer and there were claims of physical healing during her meetings, which brought her even more fame. By 1917, she started her own magazine, The Bridal Call, in the magazine she wrote many articles about women’s roles in religion, she portrayed the link between Christians and Jesus is like a marriage bond. The battle between fundamentalists and modernists escalated after World War I, with many modernists seeking less conservative faiths. She developed a strong church, the Foursquare Church, which blends contemporary culture with religious teachings. Aimee Semple McPherson’s faith healing demonstrations were written about a lot in the newspapers. Overtime though, she tried to take out the faith healing demonstrations because it was overwhelming the other parts of her ministry. Scheduled healing sessions were still held and many thousands have been claimed saved. McPherson’s career started taking the wrong turn, she was receiving many death threats, and she almost got kidnapped.

On May 18, 1926, McPherson went with her secretary to Ocean Park Beach north of Venice Beach to swim. Soon after arriving she disappeared and they thought she drowned, so many people decided to swim to find her, no one could. After many months of searching, Aimee’s mom got a letter asking for half of a million dollars, or else the kidnappers would sell her into slavery. A few months later Aimee crossed through the desert to a Mexican town called Agua Prieta, Senora, a Mexican town across the border from Douglas, Arizona. She claimed to have been drugged, tortured, and held ransom in a shack by a man and woman, but further evidence shows that she might have been lying. Later opened a commission in her church and started gaining the trust of the people again. Aimee went through a lot of rollercoaster rides throughout her religious career, but she was not forgotten. Foursquare Church is still full of life today. While Aimee had her ups and downs, she still was caring and nice throughout her sermons and showed the love of Jesus Christ. Try to love one another no matter what the costs, like Aimee did herself. “What is my task? First of all, my task is to be pleasing to Christ, to be empty of self and be filled with Himself, to be filled with the Holy Spirit; to be led by the Holy Spirit-“Aimee Semple McPherson.

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