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 Aimee Semple-McPherson

Aimee Semple-McPherson

Birth
Saltford, Huron County, Ontario, Canada
Death 27 Sep 1944 (aged 53)
Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Sunrise Slope section (SouthWest portion), Map #01, Distinguished Memorial – Sarcophagus 1317 (“Invocation” statue); large, low marble display near the Great Mausoleum.
Memorial ID 700 · View Source
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Evangelist. She was born Aimee Elizabeth Kennedy in Ontario, Canada to a farmer father and a mother who was a minister with the Salvation Army. she was converted to Evangelism at a tent revival conducted by Robert Semple who was destined to become her first husband. He died during a mission to China. Upon her return to America, she added a second husband, Harold S. McPherson, which ended in divorce. On her own, she began an itinerant revival ministry. She arrived in Los Angeles in 1918 driving an Oldsmobile dubbed the "Gospel Auto" which signaled a flamboyant and controversial life soon to follow. She advertised her services in the theater section of newspapers, dropped leaflets from airplanes and entered floats in the Tournament of Roses Parades. She named her new venture in Los Angeles "The Church of the Foursquare Gospel," and it was soon housed in a newly constructed 5,000 seat Angelus Temple located in Echo Park. Her services featured bands, massive choirs, theatrics and dynamic preaching. Radio broadcasts made her a national phenomenon. Scandal ensued, Aimee disappeared from Venice Beach while swimming. She was believed drowned and a funeral in absentia was held at the Temple. Five weeks later, she turned up at in the Arizona desert disheveled, dazed and dehydrated claiming to having been kidnaped then tortured. Investigation produced no suspects. It was rumored the staged experience and embellishment of the account was merely a cover up for an affair with a former employee. The district attorney in Los Angeles was not impressed and charged her with obstruction of justice. Aimee stood trial but the charges were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence. She was once again married and divorced. Over the years, Aimee experienced many publicized failures in her personal and business life. Marital problems, feuds with her mother and a law suit over control of the church took its toll. Her career ended in Oakland, California where she went to dedicate a new Foursquare church and overdosed on Seconal. Her remains were returned to Los Angeles to lie in state at Angeleus Temple where over 60,000 passed by her bier paying their respects. Thousands unable to gain access to the auditorium waited outside. The church's ministry continues today with foreign missionaries in over twenty countries and an American congregation numbering over 100,000.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 700
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Aimee Semple-McPherson (9 Oct 1890–27 Sep 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 700, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .