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Sister Aimee
More About the Film Sister Aimee

McPherson with young Roberta and Rolf. Sister Aimee tells the dramatic life story Aimee Semple McPherson, the controversial, charismatic, wildly popular evangelist who was instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture and American politics.

McPherson began her mission humbly, traveling across the country staging tent revivals. In 1921, at the age of 31, she settled in Los Angeles, founded the Church of the Four Square Gospel, and built the Angelus Temple, where she often preached before a packed house of 5,000 believers using elaborate musical productions worthy of Broadway. During her emotional revivals, McPherson performed controversial healings and soon started drawing bigger crowds than those of P. T. Barnum, Harry Houdini, or Teddy Roosevelt. Employing a publicist, she became a darling of the Los Angeles journalists and newsreel crews. McPherson also created her own radio station -- one of the first Christian radio stations in the United States -- and used it to broadcast daily sermons to her followers.

Through interviews with her biographers and religious scholars, this American Experience presents a complex and revealing portrait of one of the most significant religious figures of the early twentieth century.

Film Description
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The program transcript.

Further Reading
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the program topic.

Program interviewees and consultants.

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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

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A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.

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