During a vacation in Mexico in summer 1943, I contracted a tropical fever that prostrated me intermittently for weeks at a time. How I regretted the prolonged absences from my pulpit and the college classrooms!
When my health improved slightly after the beginning of 1944, I decided it was time that my son, Rolf, assume the office of vice-president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. The convention body had earlier written into the bylaws the provision that he be my successor as president of the church. I cannot begin to express the thrill I experienced as my son so capably performed his responsibilities. I know he will carry on my work.
Actually, I feel that I have done so very little, though I have preached around the world and seen thousands of people saved. I feel I’ve done virtually nothing. I am only a woman who yielded herself for God to use. All the glory for anything accomplished belongs completely and only to the Lord I love and to whom I surrendered my whole life when I uttered the sinner’s prayer as a girl of 17.
People sometimes voice sympathy to me, saying, “Sister McPherson, you’ve suffered a little bit of persecution.” Oh, well, if you have time to think about it, I supposed I have. People say this about me and that about me. I haven’t time to deny it or to affirm it. All I have time to do is keep on preaching Jesus.
Right now I’m too busy preaching the gospel. There has been no church federation back of us, but just by the grace and power of God, we’ve rolled the old chariot along. And we haven’t even started yet—glory to God!
My prayer is ever, “O God, keep me preaching Jesus until millions have heard the story of the Savior, Baptizer, Healer and Soon-Coming King.” My chief ambition has always been to move under God’s guidance, much as a leaf is swayed by the wind.
On the evening of September 26, 1944, Aimee Semple McPherson preached her last sermon. It was a soul-stirring message delivered before a packed crowd in the Civic Auditorium in Oakland, Calif. This was the same city where, 22 years earlier, she had received the vision of the Foursquare Gospel.
The words she spoke this night were vivid reminders that, for this handmaiden of the Lord, Jesus Christ truly was the same yesterday, today and forever. She expounded Jesus the Savior, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, Healer and Soon-Coming King, and then she retired to her hotel room for the night.
The earthly ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson ended tirelessly, just as it had begun. She often commented during the latter years of her life that she wanted “to wear out, not rust out,” and when her son, Rolf, found her the next morning, he knew that her desire had been granted.
At the time of Sister’s passing, over 3,000 people had graduated from L.I.F.E. Bible College and had been ordained as Foursquare ministers, missionaries and evangelists.
God gave Aimee Semple McPherson a remarkable ministry. She did not shirk her specific and divinely appointed task, but rather did the seemingly impossible for a woman [in her time] in establishing an organization that continues pressing forward victoriously into the frontiers of this world.
She insisted: “Nothing I could have done could have built up this marvelous work. All I had to offer was a yielded life. For everything that has been accomplished, we give God all the glory.”
Adapted from Aimee: The Life Story of Aimee Semple McPherson by Aimee Semple McPherson, copyright 1979. Published by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.