By Matthew Avery Sutton
From the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock to Christian Coalition canvassers operating for George W. Bush, american citizens have lengthy sought to combine religion with politics. Few were as profitable as Hollywood evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. in the course of the years among the 2 global wars, McPherson was once the main flamboyant and debatable minister within the usa. She equipped an vastly profitable and leading edge megachurch, proven a mass media empire, and produced spellbinding theatrical sermons that rivaled Tinseltown's fantastic indicates. As McPherson's energy grew, she moved past faith into the world of politics, launching a countrywide campaign to struggle the educating of evolution within the faculties, protect Prohibition, and resurrect what she believed was once the U.S.' Christian history. confident that the antichrist used to be operating to wreck the nation's Protestant foundations, she and her allies observed themselves as a besieged minority referred to as by means of God to affix the "old time faith" to American patriotism. Matthew Sutton's definitive learn of Aimee Semple McPherson finds the lady, normally remembered because the hypocritical vamp in Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry, as a trail-blazing pioneer. Her lifestyles marked the start of Pentecostalism's increase from the margins of Protestantism to the mainstream of yankee tradition. certainly, from her position in Hollywood, McPherson's integration of politics with religion set precedents for the non secular correct, whereas her superstar prestige, use of spectacle, and mass media savvy got here to outline sleek evangelicalism. (20070409)
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Additional info for Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America
They are the retired farmers, grocers, Ford agents, hardware merchants, and shoe merchants from the Middle West and other parts of these United States. . They are old and rheumatic. ” These men and women gave Los Angeles “the aspect of a great, overgrown village. They brought with them their preachers, evangelists, and Sunday-school superintendents. ”31 They would not starve for long, though. Blossoming religious movements set the tone for postwar Los Angeles. ’ Old men,” he went on, “in shabby clothes, their eyes like cold ashes, slowly paced the sidewalks, bearing sandwich-signs inscribed: ‘The end of the world is near.
Our family had been a straight line of Methodists . . ”6 McPherson’s separation from the Assemblies created new problems for her. As a woman preacher, she needed the legitimation of working with an organized denomination, so she turned to the Baptists. She sought and received a controversial ordination in San Jose, California. ” She did not ever deny the legitimacy of speaking in tongues, but she also refused to give it the emphasis that other pentecostals did. ” Despite her work with “traditional” The Foursquare Gospel • 43 churches, she never compromised her pentecostal theological beliefs but simply inserted them into the context of American revivalism.
A blind Chinese boy; a stout negress; a mother carrying a child . . ” But the official membership records reflected far less diversity than journalists’ impressions. Most church members (74 percent) listed their nationality as American, which in a few cases may have included racial and ethnic minorities, such as Mexicans and African Americans, but most often referred to white Americans. The majority of non-“American” members were either Western European or Canadian. 4 percent). Other wellrepresented groups were Scots, Norwegians, and Irish.
Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America by Matthew Avery Sutton