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Evangelism - Myers Mott Maggay Linthicum        

on Aimee Semple McPherson

The following are quotes from Edith L. Blumhofer's Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister (Eerdmanns, 1993). McPherson founded the International Church of the Foursquare Godpel. 

     "In addition to providing for her people's spiritual welfare, Sister showed a lively interest in civic affairs. In July 1924, the Los Angeles District Attorney Asa Keyes addresses a packed audience on 'The Part of the Church in Law Enforcement.' Sister was an honorary fire chief and showed warm support for efforts to raise the moral tone of urban life. Here involvement in the city's antinarcotics parade in July 1923 revealed her growing popularity in Los Angeles. All the Temple bands marched and played. ...Sister freely offered advice on local political issues and did not hesitate to tell her people how to vote on local affairs. Reporters dutifully carried such advice to the hundreds of thousands who read Los Angeles papers, making her a political figure with whom to reckon." (p. 264-5) (Bold Emphasis added)

     "Running in on a (radio) broadcast, McPherson pushed a startled singer aside, identified herself, and told the world there had been a terrible earthquake in Santa Barbara. On the spur of the moment, she asked her people to collect immediately whatever items of clothing and canned or cooked food they could spare. She instructed those who owned trucks to fill them with gas and bring them to the (Angelus) Temple. 'Be prepared,' she advised, 'to drive emergency supplies to Santa Barbara.' ... Before the Los Angeles Times special edition reporting the earthquake hit the streets, the first of two convoys from Angelus Temple was rumbling toward Santa Barbara, a hundred miles to the north. By the time the Red Cross convened a meeting to organize aid, a second convoy had arrived with blankets and food for the homeless. ... Sister's immediate practical response to the Santa Barbara crisis reflected her larger commitment to help the needy. ... she formally organized Angelus Temple's social work and offered regular assitance to the city's poor. But from the beginning she responded to individual requests with a Salvationist's ready determination to alleviate suffering and mend relationships." (p. 269-70)

     "She always insisted that her primary message was the call to salvation, and her teaching on salvation by faith colorfully conveyed the basic revivalistic evangelical message of the human need to confess sin and receive forgiveness in a crisis experience called the 'new birth.' ... her Canadian upbringing had accustomed her to an evangelical Protestant context that was decidedly less sectarian than the American, and her Salvation Army experience had shaped her thinking about poverty and other social issues." (p. 202-3, 211)

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