About the Founder of Foursquare and the Foursquare Denomination
The early 20th century evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson, was a pioneer of women in religion. Having experienced a profound religious conversion at age seventeen, Aimee began preaching across the United States and later, the world. In 1918, she established her base in Los Angeles, California, where in 1923, the 5,500 seat Angelus Temple was dedicated and became the center of her revival, healing and benevolent ministries. She was the first woman to receive an FCC radio license and was a pioneer religious broadcaster. Her sermons were the first to incorporate the contemporary communications of that day into her preaching of the Gospel. From Angelus Temple she performed an extensive social ministry, providing hot meals for more than 1.5 million people during the Great Depression. She summarized her message into four major points known as “The Foursquare Gospel,” and founded a denomination called The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
From its beginning at Angelus Temple, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel has now grown to include more than 1,900 churches in the United States and Canada, and over 50,000 churches worldwide. There are currently more than 3.5 million members in 145 countries around the globe. It presently ranks as one of the three or four most distinguish branches of Pentecostalism. Aimee Semple McPherson died in 1944, while conducting a crusade in Oakland, California.
The term “Foursquare” came about during an intense revival in the city of Oakland, California, in July, 1922. As thousands had gathered to hear the gospel, Sister Aimee, as she was called, described a vision God had given her, taken from Ezekiel’s vision in the book of Ezekiel, chapter one.
Ezekiel saw the revelation of a totally powerful God. He saw four faces – those of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. To Aimee, those four faces were like the four phases of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the face of the man, she saw Jesus our Savior, the “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3). In the face of the lion, she saw Jesus, the mighty baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire. In the face of the ox, she saw Jesus, the great burden bearer, who Himself took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses. In the face of the eagle, she saw reflected the coming King – Jesus, the bridegroom, who is retuning in power for His bride, the church. It was a perfect complete gospel for the body, soul, spirit, and for eternity. It was a gospel that faces squarely in every direction: thus, the name Foursquare.