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Aimee Semple McPherson - An Oral Mystery
Produced by Deborah George and Art Silverman, with Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson (The Kitchen Sisters) and production help from Sandra Wong and Darcy Bacon

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    Aimee Semple McPherson, Boston Gardens, 1933
    Courtesy of The International Church of the FourSquare Gospel
    She was the first woman in history to preach over the radio. Aimee Semple McPherson, Sister Aimee as she was called, began preaching in 1915 in homes across America. She reached people in a new way - she connected with them as human beings, as someone who loses keys and tells jokes.

    Her followers packed parlors, farmyards and large auditoriums. She became a celebrity. She took her message to Broadway and to Hollywood where put on her own dynamic shows, while at the same time calling for redemption from these meccas of sin.

    In 1924 she discovered the radio and used it to preach to hundreds of thousands at once. She began to call her religion the Church of the Foursquare Gospel and broadcast her sermons over Radio KSFG. She traveled around the country, around the world. She was known by her voice and by her uniform. She wore a white servant's uniform to which she added a collar with crochet on it, and a cape.

    Sister Aimee died in 1944. Her life remains one of the most intriguing mysteries of the 20th Century due to the combination of her exuberant faith and her outrageous personal experiences. NPR's Deborah George tells her story.

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    Copyright 1999 The Kitchen Sisters