There were several factors that made Aimee Semple McPherson the woman that she became. Her early life made a strong impression on her. A family whose members worked with the Salvation Army raised her. Even though when she was a teenager she turned into a nonbeliever, she had a strong grounding in Christianity and its tenets. In addition, she had a strong background of public speaking. She began her speaking career at the age of 13 and debated issues like evolution. Her first husband influenced Aimee Semple.
She converted when she met her Robert Semple.
He was a Pentecostal missionary. They traveled together on religious tours. They traveled to China and Europe and during their travels, Robert Semple died of malaria. After returning to New York she joined her mother who was involved with the Salvation Army. In New York she married again, this time to Harold Stewart McPherson, an accountant. After the birth of her son Rolf, she went into a post-pregnancy depression.
She was also tormented by God’s call to dedicate herself to Christian Service. She became very sick and had two operations within two years.
She felt sure that she would die. Then she responded positively to God’s call and was healed immediately. The substratum of her career as an evangelist was laid. Within a couple of years she was preaching and holding tent revivals. Her popularity grew with her abilities and soon she was addressing gatherings of record numbers. She held would hold meetings in auditoriums and tents.
Her popularity was growing. In 1916 she embarked on a tour of southern US in a touring car with religious slogans. She would preach standing from the back of the car!
When she was not sermonizing she would be composing sermons and religious material. This tour was important in forming the character of Sister Aimee. She followed this tour with her newspaper named “The Bridal Call”. The direct influence on her personal life was that her husband got frustrated with her and finally divorced her in 1921. The four years of traveling between 1918 and 1922 had a strong influence on Sister Aimee. She heard the voice of God again, who beckoned her to Los Angeles. Here she raised funds for Angelus Temple. This church with a seating capacity of 5,300 was full when she preached.
This church became her base and a starting point for her efforts. What made her remarkable was that she was charismatic. Some attributed this to her excellent speaking powers, pleasant personality and use of makeup and jewelry in pulpit. Still other attributed her success to her pleasant welcoming message of God that attracted devotees. Her unconventional approach included the use of stage props, modern music, scenery and costumes. She even used the radio to broadcast her sermons. Sister Aimee was adept at fundraising. The fundraising for the Angelus Temple honed her skills.
Finally, what made Sister Aimee so remarkable was that she avoided segregation. She helped ethnic minorities start ministries and would go the areas that were populated by black people and held services there. Sister Aimee practiced genuine spirituality. During her four years of travel that is between 1918 and 1922 she held several healing services. These are documented as indisputable. In addition, the demonstration of speaking in tongues was a display of authentic spirituality. Further, she espoused the cause of women at all levels in the church.
During the Great Depression she carried out great acts of charity. She was reputed to have kept people from starving to death. Her work included caring for unwed mothers and abandoned children (Epstein, D. 1993). To sum, Sister Aimee had a strong Christian message and approach towards her evangelism. Her childhood training, the sway of the events and people in her life and the call of God influenced her. She persevered in the path of spirituality.
Epstein, D. (1993) Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!
Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.get help with your assignment