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McPHERSON, Aimee Semple née Aimee Elizabeth Kennedy - Controversial American Pentecostal evangelist and early radio preacher whose International Church of the Foursquare Gospel brought her wealth, notoriety, and a following numbering in the tens of thousands.


DS - Document Signed. ND, Los Angeles. Near fine unissued License to Preach signed by McPherson as president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Bears the gold corporate seal and multi-colored ribbons. Los Angeles, no date.  Accompanied by a vintage (1927) sepia-tone, matte-finish, litho print portrait of McPherson. Uncommon and highly desirable ensemble.


In 1923 the temple was dedicated as the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a name deriving from McPherson’s vision of a four-faced creature she interpreted as typifying Christ’s fourfold role as Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Coming King. Based on tenets of hope and salvation for the needy, her Foursquare Gospel appealed especially to migrant Southerners and Midwesterners who found themselves frustrated by the complexities of life in urban southern California. In 1927 she incorporated the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.


By 1944 McPherson’s Foursquare Gospel movement had grown to include some 400 branches in the United States and Canada and nearly 200 missions abroad, with membership numbering about 22,000. Her Bible College, founded in 1923 and from 1926 housed in the Lighthouse of International Foursquare Evangelism next to the Angelus Temple, had graduated more than 3,000 evangelists and missionaries. McPherson died from an overdose of sleeping pills that was declared accidental. Her son Rolf McPherson continued the movement.

McPHERSON, Aimee Semple (1890-1944)

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