Aimee Semple McPherson

She's been written out of many history books, but Aimee Semple McPherson was one of the most famous female evangelists in the world. Described as "dynamic, irrepressible, and complex," she's been called the "most tragic figure in America." At the same time, she satisfied Americans' needs for spritual satisfaction, sensationalism, and sex appeal.

As Sarah Comstock wrote in Harper's in 1926:

"You may believe Aimee Semple McPherson to be a messenger direct from God Almighty to save His erring world. Or you may believe her to be the most unblushing fraud in the public eye today. Some do one, some the other; and there is every shade of opinion between. But the one fact that stands out is that her influence is incredible, that it carries as that of few evangelists has ever carried, that she is to-day one of the most amazing phenomena of power in this feverish, power-insane United States."

So who is the legendary "Sister Aimee?" And what can she tell us about the 1920s?
(Click on the buttons below to find out...)

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This page was constructed in 1999 by Anna Robertson, an undergraduate American Studies student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. To contact Anna, please send e-mail to asr4c@virginia.edu or check out her home page.