History of
the Foursquare Gospel Church

● Aimee Semple McPherson         ● History of ICFG

Aimee Semple McPherson

From the beginning of Sister’s McPherson’s ministry in Los Angeles, she made headlines. She had traveled from the East Coast to Los Angeles in 1918—along with her mother, two young children and a secretary—at a time when women could not even vote. By the time the Nineteenth Amendment (which gave women the right to vote) passed in August 1920, she was gaining world renown as an evangelist.

Her penchant for doing the unexpected and unprecedented never ebbed. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Sister McPherson oversaw a commissary ministry from Angelus Temple that fed more people in Los Angeles than government programs were able to care for. During World War II she cashed in on her celebrity and sold more war bonds than the most famous Hollywood stars. The denomination that she founded continues to be sensitive to social issues and to the needs of disenfranchised people.

Having devoted her life to making the most of every opportunity to spread the gospel, Aimee Semple McPherson met an untimely end. She died in 1944 at the age of 54, and the leadership of The Foursquare Church passed to her only son, Rolf Kennedy McPherson. He served as the president and chairman of the board of directors for 44 years, retiring in 1988; at that time the denomination comprised 355 churches.

Following Dr. Rolf McPhersons’ retirement, Dr. John R. Holland became the third president of The Foursquare Church. Since that time the mantle of the presidency has passed to Dr. Paul Risser (1998-2004) and Jack Hayford (2004-2009). Glenn Burris Jr., was elected president by the convention voting body in June 2010, and is now serving his first term as president. Currently The Foursquare Church has 1,865 U.S. churches; globally, The Foursquare Church has more than 64,000 churches and meeting places in 140 countries. Read more: History | The Foursquare Church

 

History of the ICFG

The ICFG (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel) was birthed in 1914 when Aimee Semple McPherson felt the Lord speaking to her to set up a home base in Los Angeles, California, where she could raise her children and train missionaries and evangelists. On June 18, 1921, she wrote a check for $100 as a down payment on property across the street from Echo Park near downtown Los Angeles, in the heart of the media district at that time. With $5,000 cash, she had plans drawn up and contacted contractor who told her, "Sister, you have enoughto dig the hole." Her response was, "You dig the hole and Ggod will fill it!" Construction began on Angelus Temple, and less than eighteen months later the work was completed. On January 1, 1923, Angelus temple was opened, debt free, at a cost of approximately $250,000.

The cornerstone of the Angelus Temple reads:

Dedicated unto the cause of
inter-denominational and
world wide evangelism.