A first edition of Give Me My Own God tells of the travels and teachings of Aimee Semple McPherson – a pioneer of the modern Pentecostal movement in America and founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church.
Why is the author important?
The start of the 1900s in America saw revivalism begin to stir. Aimee Semple McPherson, born in 1908, would be among the first women to lead a major revivalist movement in the country.
Recognised as a key force in female preaching, McPherson was also well known for her bold and sometimes controversial teaching tactics. She travelled across North America and attracted many people to her sermons with her loud and occasionally flamboyant manner, and can perhaps be considered as one of the first ‘celebrity’ evangelists.
Why is the book so important?
Give Me My Own God acts as a kind of memoir of McPherson’s experience teaching the Word of God with a particular focus on the travels she undertook while preaching. McPherson believed she had been chosen by God to bring those lost from Christ back; to restore order in what she called a ‘topsy-turvy world’. The book begins with her journeys to Japan and follows her ventures to Madras, Tel-Aviv and Germany, to name a few. In the closing chapter, McPherson writes of her return to New York. Sailing past the Statue of Liberty she recalls the promise of this land and how it rekindles ‘a revival of faith in God’.
Eventually McPherson settled in Los Angeles and founded the Angelus Temple – the first Foursquare Church – a base where revivalism could take place every Sunday. The term Foursquare refers to the four scriptural roles that McPherson believed were the key aspects of Jesus Christ and thus made her Foursquare doctrine. They represent Christ the saviour, Christ as the baptiser with the Holy Spirit, Christ as healer and Christ as the coming king.
- Full title:
- Give me my own God
- 1936, New York
- Printed book / Book
- Aimee Semple McPherson
- Usage terms
Public Domain. Please consider cultural, religious & ethical sensitivities when re-using this material.
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Charles Lippy
Dr Chuck Lippy explores Christianity in America, considering the separation of church and state, the emphasis on personal experience and the impact of immigration. He also touches on the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening, as well as the development of the Mormons, the Shakers, and the Pentecostal church.