What is the Foursquare Gospel?
The Foursquare Gospel Church was founded in 1923 by Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), a revival evangelist and flamboyant media sensation known to her followers as "Sister Aimee." Although born to devout Methodists and raised by workers of the Salvation Army, she became an atheist at an early age, but converted to Christianity after meeting her first husband, Robert James Semple, a Pentecostal missionary from Ireland who died of malaria while on a missions trip to Hong Kong. Following the birth of her second child while married to her second husband, an accountant named Rolf Potter Kennedy McPherson, Sister Aimee suffered from postpartum depression and experienced a near-death experience, afterward to embark as an itinerant Pentecostal preacher in her "Gospel Car" throughout Canada and the U.S. She settled in Los Angeles, CA, where she founded the Foursquare Gospel Church (deemed the "Salvation Navy") and built Angeles Temple in 1923. Her sermons were marked by faith healings, speaking in tongues, contemporary music, and elaborate morality plays. Satellite churches were known as "lighthouses." She utilized printed media and radio broadcasts to propagate her message and was the first woman in history to preach a radio sermon and be granted a license by the FCC. In 1926, she reportedly drowned while swimming at Venice Beach, 32 days later to turn up alive in Mexico and claiming to have escaped from being kidnapped, drugged, tortured, and held for ransom. A grand jury convened to investigate the matter, but adjourned citing lack of evidence to proceed. However, several witnesses then came forward stating that they had seen McPherson and her secretary, Kenneth G. Ormiston, at various hotels over the 32-day period. The grand jury re-convened and received further testimony, corroborated by documents from hotels in McPherson's handwriting. McPherson stuck to her story that she was approached by a young couple at the beach who had asked her to come over and pray for their sick child, and that she was then shoved into a car and drugged with chloroform, however, when she was not forthcoming with answers regarding her relationship with her secretary, she was charged with obstruction of justice. She continued to preach after this episode, although struggling with bad publicity, a nervous breakdown, and a failed third marriage. During the Great Depression, McPherson was active in creating soup kitchens, free clinics, and other charitable activities. During World War II, she became involved in war bond rallies. She died in 1944 from an overdose of barbiturates and her son, Rolf, took over leadership of the Foursquare Gospel Church for the next 44 years. Today, Foursquare Gospel continues with 2,000 churches in the U.S. and Canada and over two million members worldwide (over four million, according to their website), the majority of whom are outside the United States.
The term "Foursquare" stands for the four-fold ministry of Jesus Christ as the Savior (Romans 10:9), Baptizer with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16), Healer (1 Peter 2:24), and coming King (Acts 1:11). McPherson revealed this idea at a revival in Oakland, California in 1922, and claimed it came to her in a vision from God based on Ezekiel's vision as recorded in Ezekiel chapter one. The four faces (a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle) represent Jesus Christ -- the man (man of sorrows, Savior), the lion (baptizer with the Holy Ghost and fire), the ox (the Great Burden-bearer, Healer) and the eagle (the Coming King). The Foursquare Church actively participates in the National Association of Evangelicals, The American Bible Society, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, the Pentecostal World Conference, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies. Following is an abbreviated declaration of faith, as drafted by Foursquare founder Aimee Semple McPherson, obtained from Foursquare International's website (www.foursquare.org):
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Bible is God-inspired (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
The Eternal Godhead
We believe God is Triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that by voluntary disobedience he fell from perfection (Romans 5:12).
The Plan of Salvation
We believe that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, signing the pardon of all who believe on Him (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
Salvation Through Grace
We believe that we have no righteousness and must come to God pleading the righteousness of Christ (Ephesians 2:8).
Repentance and Acceptance
We believe that upon sincere repentance, and a whole-hearted acceptance of Christ, we are justified before God (I John 1:9).
The New Birth
We believe that the change which takes place in the heart and life at conversion is a very real one (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20).
Daily Christian Living
We believe that it is the will of God that we be sanctified daily, growing constantly in the faith (Hebrews 6:1).
Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that baptism by immersion is an outward sign of an inward work (Matt. 28:19). We believe in the commemoration of the Lord's Supper by the symbolic use of the bread and juice of the vine (I Corinthians 11:24, 25).
Baptism with the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is to endue the believer with power; and that His incoming is after the same manner as in Bible days (Acts 2:4).
The Spirit-Filled Life
We believe that it is the will of God that we walk in the Spirit daily (Ephesians 4:30-32).
The Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit has gifts to bestow upon the Christian; and that we should show spiritual fruit as evidence of a Spirit-filled life (I Corinthians 12:1-11; Galatians 5:22).
We believe that the experience and daily walk of the believer should never lead him into extremes of fanaticism (Philippians 4:5).
We believe that divine healing is the power of Christ to heal the physically sick in answer to the prayer of faith (James 5:14-16).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
We believe it is our sacred duty to identify ourselves with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 16:5; Hebrews 10:25).
We believe that rulers should be upheld at all times except in things opposed to the will of God (Romans 13:1-5).
The Final Judgment
We believe that all shall stand some day before the judgement seat of God, and there receive eternal life or death (2 Corinthians 5:10).
We believe that Heaven is the glorious eternal home of born-again believers (John 14:1-3; Revelation 7:15-17).
We believe that hell is the place of eternal torment for all who reject Christ as the Savior (Revelation 20:10,15).
We believe that soul winning is the most important responsibility of the Church (James 5:20).
Tithes and Offerings
We believe that the method ordained of God for the support and spread of His cause is by giving of tithes and free-will offerings (Malachi 3:10; 2 Corinthians 9:7).
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."
(1 Peter 2:24)
"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Australia
"What the Foursquare Church Believes: The Holy Scriptures 2 Tim. 3:16,17 We believe the Bible is God inspired. The Eternal Godhead 1 John 5:7 We believe God is Triune: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Fall of Man Rom. 5:12 We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that by voluntary disobedience he fell from perfection. The Plan of Redemption John 3:16 We believe that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, signing the pardon of all who believe on Him. Salvation Through Grace Eph. 2:8 We believe that we have no righteousness and must come to God pleading the righteousness of Christ. Repentance and Acceptance 1 John 1:9 We believe that upon sincere repentance, and a whole-hearted acceptance of Christ, we are justified before God. The New Birth John 3:3 We believe that the change which takes place in the heart and life at conversion is a very real one. Daily Christian Life Heb. 6:1 We believe that it is the will of God that we be sanctified daily, growing constantly in the faith. Baptism and the Lord�s Supper Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:28 We believe that baptism by immersion is an outward sign of an inward work. We believe in commemoration of the Lord�s Supper by the symbolical use of the bread and the juice of the vine. Baptism of the Holy Spirit Acts 2:4 We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to endue the believer with power; and that his incoming is after the same manner as in Bible days. The Spirit-Filled Life Gal. 5:16,25 We believe that it is the will of God that we walk in the Spirit daily. The Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Gal. 5:22 We believe that the Holy Spirit has gifts to bestow upon the Christian; and that we should show spiritual fruit as evidence of a Spirit-filled life. Moderation Phil. 4:5 We believe that the experience and daily walk of the believer should never lead him into extremes of fanaticism's. Divine Healing James 5:14-16 We believe that divine healing is the power of Christ to heal the sick in answer to the prayer of faith. The Second Coming of Christ 1 Thess. 4:16,17 We believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent. Church Relationship Acts 16:5 We believe it is our sacred duty to identify ourselves with the visible church of Christ. Civil Government Rom. 13:1-5 We believe that rulers should be upheld at all times except in things opposed to the will of God. The Final Judgment 2 Cor. 5:10 We believe that all shall stand some day before the judgment seat of God; and there receive eternal life or death. Heaven 1 Cor. 2:9 We believe that heaven is the glorious eternal home of born-again believers. Hell Rev. 20:10,15 We believe that hell is a place of eternal torment for all who reject Christ as their Saviour. Evangelism James 5:20 We believe that soul winning is the one big business of the church on earth. Tithes and Offerings Mal. 3:10; 2 Cor. 9:7 We believe that the method ordained of God for the support and spread of His cause is by giving of tithes and free-will offerings."
Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada
"The Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada is a Christ-centred, national movement dedicated to serving people through planting and sustaining healthy, local churches. The FGCC is focused on the Body of Christ in the world which regularly comes together in churches of all sizes. FGCC is structured organizationally to support and to supply resources to each individual in each local church. We use the metaphor of a
"Fruit Bearing Tree" to help us picture the life-flow of our church family."
Foursquare Missions International
"Often, when speaking on missions, I will have someone approach me and mention that they are waiting for a �door to open� into missionary service. Usually they are referring to a change in circumstances, finances or opportunities. They are real issues and I always appreciate doing what I can to clarify their call. But rather than a �door to open,� if we could see missions as a �window to open� we would get the bigger picture. Let me explain. A door can be closed or shut. A window, even while closed allows you to see beyond. The window always presents the need and opportunities even while closed. The point being is that everyone can be involved in missionary service�even while waiting for the call to go. So many people view missions as something, somewhere beyond themselves. You or your church can have a profound global impact and never leave your city. Really! If you literally open the window from your home, office or church, there is a good chance you will see an opportunity to �bless the nations.� It may be the mailman who is Afghani, the neighbor who is Chinese or the police officer from El Salvador. It might be a word or a prayer that you offer, but it all begins with a heart opened by the Spirit, to see your world in terms of the world�lost without the love of Christ. And there is more. Learn how you can become a vital part of our global team or family that reaches into our 137 countries. See how your prayers, your resources, your time is needed around this world. The window of opportunity is wide open."
Google Directory -- International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Society > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity > Denominations > Pentecostalism > International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
"The vision of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG) is to present Jesus Christ, God's Son, to every person in every culture and nation as The Savior, The Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, The Healer, and The Soon-Coming King. Since its founding, in 1923, that vision has been realized through evangelizing the lost and establishing local congregations in the United States and abroad, through the nurturing and training of believers into leadership on all levels of Church life, and in cooperation with other members of the Body of Christ at large in the fellowship of the Gospel and the fulfillment of the Biblical mandate to be "light" and "salt" on the earth. Today, the number of members and adherents in the Foursquare Church worldwide now stands at 4,113,981 worshiping in 38,217 churches and meeting places in 138 countries. At the end of the reporting year, there were 49,287 Foursquare ministers and workers. The Foursquare Church actively participates in the National Association of Evangelicals, The American Bible Society, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, the Pentecostal World Conference, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies. Many of its leaders, pastors and members serve on the executive boards and committees of para-church agencies and endeavors, such as the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization and the America 2000 Outreach."
"The King's College and Seminary are preparing leaders for the 21st century with education at its best. Living Way Ministries serves to develop and distribute the messages, books, tapes, and other resources from the respected teaching ministry of Pastor Jack Hayford. The Church On The Way --
Following the sudden homegoing of Pastor Scott Bauer on Oct. 24, 2003, Founding Pastor, Jack Hayford, has agreed to provide primary leadership and serve for an extended season as Interim Senior Pastor while continuing his role as Chancellor of The King's College and Seminary. The Jack W. Hayford School of Pastoral Nurture -- This special "leadership advancement program" is focused on increasing ministry effectiveness of pastors and leaders by facilitating personal growth and renewal. Join a small group of 35-45 pastors and spend an intensive week with Pastor Jack Hayford in disciplined reflection and interaction."
Living Way Church
"The Foursquare Church in Sri Lanka now ministers to over 12 thousand persons through over 800 churches and meeting places. We have a leadership team of nearly 300 pastors and pioneer workers (including volunteers) and have established Churches in 22 of the 25 districts in the Island. We have 12 Discipleship Institutes. The Bible Correspondence School started by us in 1990, now has several thousand students enrolled from all over the nation. We are committed to following God's Word, the Bible, in all dimensions of life and ministry. Jesus Christ said, 'I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it' (Matt 16:18). We understand that the church is people, not buildings, and that Jesus is building people who are founded on Biblical truths and empowered by the Holy Spirit."
ooBdoo -- International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
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Religious Movements Homepage: International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
"Aimee Semple McPherson's religious experience began when she was seventeen years old. At this young age, Aimee proclaimed herself an atheist and questioned her parents' Methodist beliefs. The girl continuously engaged in arguments with preachers and other congregation members concerning the validity of sermons and the Bible itself until the day she and her father attended a Holy Ghost Revival. The visit was actually Aimee's own idea. She wanted to attend to see how crazy the people actually were. Robert Semple, an Irish evangelist preached his Pentecostal words and Aimee at once fell in love. Partly from falling in love, and partly from religion, Aimee's conversion began close to Christmas. After hearing Robert Semple's ministry for a third time, Aimee experienced a darkness, which passed and then an entrance of a light. This occurred on her way home from school one day. She first felt the coldness of the elements of nature and then everything became bright and welcoming. She decided Robert Semple and his ministry had more worth than the beliefs under which she had been raised (Epstein 48). Aimee discounted her parents' beliefs even more and was driven away from the traditional churches in her area. Semple's preachings were attractive to the determined young woman. The two were married on August 12,1908, but Robert died two years later. Four years later, Aimee Semple would remarry to Harold McPherson. He wanted the traditional wife and home life, but Aimee cound not devote herself completely because of her commitment to her religious beliefs. During these years, she went through periods of depression, as well as surgeries for various ailments, some thought to be psychosymatic. Finally, when she could remain confined no longer, Aimee left her husband (Epstein 75). In the years following her divorce from Harold McPherson, Aimee Semple McPherson achieved great success. She opened her own Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, started a radio station, opened a Bible college, and laid the foundation for what would become the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel."
Wikipedia - International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
"The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), a gifted and controversial female evangelist, founded the Foursquare Gospel Church in 1927. Los Angeles was her center of operations, and the Angelus Temple, seating 5300 people, was opened there in 1923. Her son, Rolf K. McPherson, became the leader of the church after her death in 1944. Together with the Assemblies of God, the Church of God, the Open Bible Standard Churches, the Pentecostal Holiness Church, and others, the Foursquare Church formed the "Pentecostal Fellowship of North America" (reorganized in 1994 as the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America) in 1948 in Des Moines, Iowa. Jack W. Hayford, founder of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and Living Way Ministries, is perhaps one of the best-known foursquare ministers in the 21st century."
Yahoo! -- Aimee Semple McPherson
Directory > Society and Culture > Religion and Spirituality > Faiths and Practices > Christianity > People > Individual Clergy > McPherson, Aimee Semple (1890-1944)
"Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out upward; each had two wings, one touching the wing of another creature on either side, and two wings covering its body. Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning."
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