Aimee Semple Mcpherson: Everybody's Sister

Aimee Semple Mcpherson: Everybody's Sister

Aimee Semple Mcpherson: Everybody's Sister

Aimee Semple Mcpherson: Everybody's Sister

Excerpt

Late one December evening in 1992, my husband and I sat at a small table in a crowded Irish eatery in Washington, D.C. Historians and graduate students in town for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association filled the place, which was noisy with music and conversation. The young professionals at the next table were deep into a discussion on religious formation when, to my surprise, one of them — the one who had been explaining why he was an atheist — started talking about Aimee Semple McPherson's influence on his family. Despite the distractions around them, his four companions listened intently to his stories. As I overheard their talk, the anomaly of the situation struck me: the crowd around me was culturally and geographically poles apart from Aimee Semple McPherson. Yet fifty years after her death, she still held fascination for a very different generation.

By any measure, in her day, Aimee Semple McPherson was an American sensation. The events of June 23, 1926, illustrate the extent and character of public fascination with this . . .

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