Topic: Aimee Semple McPherson

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Aimee Semple McPherson (October 9, 1890 – September 27, 1944), also known as "Sister Aimee", was a Canadian-born evangelist and media sensation in the 1920s and 1930s who founded the Foursquare Church. She was a pioneer in the use of modern media, especially radio, which she used to create a form of religion that drew heavily on the appeal of popular entertainment.

McPherson was born as Aimee Elizabeth Kennedy on October 9, 1890, on a farm near the town of Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. Her father, James Kennedy, was a farmer, and her mother, Mildred, known as "Minnie", worked for the Salvation Army. Little is written about McPherson's father, and it is unclear what impact James Kennedy had on his daughter. It was through her mother that McPherson got her first exposure to religious exercise, which would have an impact on her later evangelical crusades. Mrs. Kennedy’s work with the Salvation Army included providing for people through soup kitchens. This reflected her idea of bringing faith to the people, which was reflected in Aimee’s later work in spreading the Gospel.

In historian Matthew Avery Sutton's biography of McPherson, he uncovered documents that, as a child, one of McPherson's favorite games was to play Salvation Army with her classmates, and at home she would create a congregation out of her dolls and would give them a sermon. As a teenager, McPherson would stray from the teachings of her mother. She started to read novels and attend movies and dances, all things the Salvation Army disapproved of at the time. Even more shattering to her faith, McPherson while in high school was introduced to the teachings of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

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