There were accounts from a detective in San Francisco that McPherson was spotted at a railway station there. Aimee Semple McPherson at an evangelist meeting in London. Photo: Library of Congress. Newspaper headlines trumpeted alleged McPherson sightings in cities across the United States. Convinced her daughter was already dead, Minnie Kennedy threw away the letter. The woman at the center of this media storm was born Aimee Elizabeth Kennedy in to a religious family on a farm in Ontario, Canada.
In , she would support the prosecution in the famous Scopes trial.
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Before her 18th birthday, she married an Irish Pentecostal missionary named Robert Semple, became pregnant, and set off for Asia on an evangelical tour. But the young couple contracted malaria, and Robert succumbed to the disease in August In , she married an accountant, Harold Steward McPherson, but after giving birth to a son, Rolf McPherson, and trying to settle into a life as a housewife in Providence, Rhode Island, Aimee felt a sudden calling to preach the Gospel. As a female preacher and something of a Pentecostal novelty, Aimee Semple McPherson learned to whip up crowds by speaking in tongues and delivering faith-healing demonstrations in which crutches were tossed aside and the blind were made to see.
By , she was breaking attendance records set by the biggest evangelical names at the time, such as Billy Sunday , the former baseball star. In San Diego, more than 30, people turned out for one of her events, and the Marines had to be called in for crowd control.
There, McPherson laid hands on a supposedly paralyzed woman who rose from her chair and walked. The audience reached a frenzy. The constant travel began to take its toll, and McPherson decided to settle down in Los Angeles, where she raised funds to build the Angelus Temple in Echo Park.
She packed the 5,capacity building in services held seven days a week. Her style was light-hearted and whimsical at times , yet she spoke and sang with power and passion.
‘Sister Aimee’ Review: She Rivaled the Pope in Fame — Now She Gets a Curious Faux Biopic
By the spring of , McPherson had become a phenomenon—a household name across America. So it came as a surprise to the faithful on May 18, , when McPherson did not arrive at the temple to preach the scheduled sermon and her mother stood in. By the next day, the entire nation was in shock at the news that Sister Aimee had disappeared and likely drowned.
But the prayers of many were soon to be answered: After a month of mourning and unending rumor, McPherson turned up in Agua Prieta, Sonora, a small Mexican town just south of Douglas, Arizona. But she foiled the plan, she claimed, when she sawed through the ropes that were restraining her and staggered 20 miles through the desert to Agua Prieta. Minnie Kennedy rushed to Arizona to reunite with her daughter. The Lord has returned his own.
When McPherson came home, a throng of more than 50, showed up at the train station to welcome her.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Aimee Semple McPherson
In a massive parade featuring airplanes that dropped roses from the skies, the evangelist made a grand re-entrance. But despite the attendance of Los Angeles officials and dignitaries, not everyone was thrilled. The headlines, gossip and innuendo continued throughout the fall, until a judge determined that there was enough evidence to proceed with the charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice against McPherson.
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A jury trial was scheduled for January the following year. However, Keyes had begun to determine that some of his witnesses were unreliable, and he decided to drop the charges. The kidnapping remained unsolved, and the controversy over a possible hoax went unresolved. Critics and supporters alike thought McPherson should have insisted on a trial to clear her name; instead, she gave her account of the kidnapping in her book, In the Service of the King: The Story of My Life.
She would be mocked in the media for years, but the scandal did not diminish her popularity. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. SmartNews History. History Archaeology. World History. Science Age of Humans. Future of Space Exploration. Human Behavior. Our Planet. Earth Optimism Summit. Ingenuity Ingenuity Festival. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites. Company Credits. Technical Specs. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide.
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User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. A feature film about the life of Aimee Semple McPherson, the famed evangelist of the s. Director: Richard Rossi. Writer: Richard Rossi. What Is Cobie Smulders Watching? Biography Feature Film DVD Features - S. Christian Movies. Christian Movie Night List. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Photos Add Image. Edit Cast Credited cast: Mimi Michaels Leita Mae Carl Ballantine Realtor in China Teres Byrne Minnie Kennedy Kiera Chaplin Myrtle Ste.
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