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History

History

As a denomination, The Foursquare Church has a unique history that stems from missions and evangelism. It began as a powerful evangelistic movement and spread throughout the nations to become the global family it is today.

Where It All Began: Our Founding Timeline

  • Nov. 1910 — Our founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, returns from a mission in China as a 20-year-old widow and single mother.
  • Oct. 1918 — Aimee starts cross-country evangelism, traveling by car.
  • Dec. 1918 — Aimee establishes Los Angeles as her home base.
  • Aug. 1921 — Aimee’s prayers to God lead to many miraculous healings, verified by an American Medical Association report.
  • Jan. 1923 — First Foursquare church, Angelus Temple, opens its doors in Los Angeles, and soon hosts services in five languages.
  • Feb. 1923 — First Foursquare Bible institute (known today as Life Pacific College) opens to train men and women alike and send them out as ministers.
  • Oct. 1923 — The first Foursquare church plant kickstarts in Long Beach, Calif.
  • Feb. 1924 — Aimee becomes the first woman to own a major radio station and uses it to preach the gospel.
  • Feb. 1924 — The first Foursquare missionaries are sent to India to reach people who’ve never before heard about Jesus.
  • Aug. 1928 — Angelus Temple commissary opens, which would feed and clothe more than 1.5 million people during the Great Depression.
  • Dec. 1927 — After Foursquare established 100 churches, steps are taken to incorporate what would become the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG).
  • Fast Forward to Today – ICFG, known casually as Foursquare, has over 8 million members in over 68,500 churches across 146 nations.

We’re thankful for the men and woman who have led our movement, including Foursquare U.S. presidents Aimee Semple McPherson (1923-1944), Rolf K. McPherson (1944-1988), John Holland (1988-1997), Harold Helms (1997-1998, interim), Paul Risser (1998-2004), Jared Roth (2004, interim), Jack Hayford (2004-2009) and Glenn Burris Jr. (2009-present).

The Woman Who Started It All: Aimee Semple McPherson

Foursquare Founder Aimee Semple McPherson was a woman of intense passion, creativity and energy. She led an incredible life that exemplified God’s miraculous mercy. She sparked revival, established a major evangelical center in Los Angeles, and changed the lives of countless individuals.

Keep Reading: Aimee’s Life Story

Resources From Aimee Semple McPherson

Aimee was a gifted teacher, and many thousands found wisdom and salvation in Jesus through her words. Many of her works survive today. Discover some of her more famous sermons and writings.

See Her Written Works

Stories About Aimee

Aimee Semple McPherson was a woman who genuinely sought to share God’s heart with people. Now, uncover true stories of men and women who met Foursquare’s founder and found their lives changed forever.

Read Their Stories

Now meet our current leaders.

Our Leaders