McPherson, Aimee Semple

McPherson, Aimee Semple

biographical name

(born Oct. 9, 1890, near Ingersoll, Ont., Can.—died Sept. 27, 1944, Oakland, Calif., U.S.) Canadian-born U.S. Pentecostal evangelist. Born on a farm, she began preaching at age 17, and in 1908 she went as a missionary to China with her husband, Robert Semple. After his death she came to the U.S., where her second marriage, to Harold McPherson, ended in 1918 when she became an itinerant evangelist and healer. She settled in Los Angeles and founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. For nearly 20 years she preached to large audiences at her Angelus Temple; she also built a radio station, wrote books and pamphlets, and established about 200 missions. In 1926 she disappeared mysteriously for five weeks; on her reappearance her tale of kidnapping was greeted with skepticism. A third marriage ended in divorce, and she faced numerous trials for financial irregularities. She died from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.


McPherson, Aimee Semple orig. Aimee Elizabeth Kennedy

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on McPherson, Aimee Semple, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up McPherson, Aimee Semple? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.