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“Between the Refrigerator and the Wildfire”: Aimee Semple McPherson, Pentecostalism, and the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy1

  • Matthew A. Sutton (a1)


Early one Canadian winter morning in 1908, a teenage girl knelt to pray, pleading with God to grant her the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Soon her petition was answered. Her body began to tremble, she slipped to the ground, and out of her lips escaped murmurs in unknown tongues. The next day, during Sunday services at a little pentecostal mission, the teenager again quaked on the floor while jabbering strange syllables. A parishioner was so shocked that he telephoned the girl's parents and implored them to retrieve the way-ward adolescent immediately. When the young woman learned that her mother was en route, panic engulfed her. How could she make her parents understand? Would they forbid her from worshipping with pentecostals?



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2. McPherson, Aimee Semple, This Is That: Personal Experiences, Sermons, and Writings of Aimee Semple McPherson, Evangelist, rev. ed. (Los Angeles: Bridal Call Publishing House, 1921), 50.

3. McPherson, Aimee Semple, “The Personal Testimony and Life of Aimee Semple McPherson” (Chicago: The Pentecostal Herald [1915?]), 1314. Another significant difference in the accounts relates to the phone call made to McPherson's mother, Minnie Kennedy. In early editions Kennedy is told that her daughter is “lying on the floor in the Mission, before all the people, chattering like a monkey.” In a parenthetical note McPherson writes, “my dear mother has her own baptism now, and spoke with other tongues—ON THE FLOOR, TOO! [emphasis hers]” McPherson, Aimee Semple, This Is That: Personal Experiences, Sermons, and Writings of Aimee Semple McPherson, Evangelist (Los Angeles: Bridal Call Publishing House, 1919), 52. In later editions, McPherson sanitized the story. By 1921, McPherson claimed that the caller told her mother that McPherson had simply “disobeyed” Minnie's orders by “shouting more than any of them.” McPherson also eliminated all references to her mother trembling on the floor. McPherson, Aimee Semple, This Is That, rev. ed., 49; and McPherson, Aimee Semple, This Is That: Personal Experiences, Sermons, and Writings of Aimee Semple McPherson, Evangelist, 2nd rev. ed. (Los Angeles: Foursquare, 1923), 47. McPherson eventually eliminated this piece of the story altogether. See “The Personal Testimony of Aimee Semple McPherson, 1928 Edition” (Los Angeles: Foursquare, 1928).

4. Ernest, Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1880–1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).

5. George, Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth Century Evangelicalism, 1870–1925 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 5.

6. Marsden, , Fundamentalism and American Culture, 94.

7. For example, Joel Carpenter cites Marsden's work as a defense of his virtual dismissal of pentecostalism's contribution to fundamentalism in the 1920s and 1930s. See Joel, Carpenter, Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 5. Margaret Lamberts Bendroth ignores pentecostals in her work on fundamentalism, citing Marsden's categories as justification and, therefore, is able to dismiss a group that might complicate some of her arguments. Bendroth, Margaret Lamberts, Fundamentalism and Gender: 1875 to the Present (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993), 45.

8. George, Marsden, “Fundamentalism,” in Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience: Studies of Traditions and Movements, ed. Charles, Lippy and Peter, Williams (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988), 2:947; Marsden, , Fundamentalism and American Culture, 94.

9. Vinson, Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1997), 207, 209; see also Hollenweger, Walter J., The Pentecostals: The Charismatic Movement in the Churches (Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg, 1972); Conn, Charles W., Like a Mighty Army, Moves the Church of God, 1886–1955 (Cleveland, Tenn.: Church of God Publishing House, 1955); and Klaude, Kendrick, The Promise Fulfilled: A History of the Modern Pentecostal Movement (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1961).

10. Johns, Cheryl Bridges, “The Adolescence of Pentecostalism: In Search of a Legitimate Sectarian Identity,” Presidential Address, 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Pneuma 17 (Spring 1995): 317; Johns, Cheryl Bridges, “Partners in Scandal: Wesleyan and Pentecostal Scholarship,” Pneuma 21 (Fall 1999): 183–97; Macchia, Frank D., “God Present in a Confused Situation: The Mixed Influence of the Charismatic Movement on Classical Pentecostalism in the United States,” Pneuma 18 (Spring 1996): 3354; Cross, Terry L., “A Proposal to Break the Ice: What Can Pentecostal Theology Offer Evangelical Theology?Journal of Pentecostal Theology 10 (04 2002): 4473; Coulter, Dale M., “What Meaneth This? Pentecostals and Theological Inquiry,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 10 (10 2001): 3864; Kenneth, Archer, “Early Pentecostal Biblical Interpretation,” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 18 (04 2001): 3270; Faupel, D. William, “Whither Pentecostalism?” Presidential Address, 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Pneuma 15 (Spring 1993): 927.

11. Anderson, Robert Mapes, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1979); Edith, Blumhofer, Aimee Semple McPherson: Every-body's Sister (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1993); Donald, Dayton, The Theological Roots of Pentecostalism (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1987); and Grant, Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001).

12. This is very similar to what Grant Wacker argues regarding an earlier generation of Protestants. He writes, “To depict the movements in oppositional terms is to take their self-perceptions at face value. Thus creedal and denominational boundaries drawn by understandably partisan church historians have been allowed to set the terms of the discussion. The immediate result,” he continues, “is to heighten the fences between the movements, making them more distinctive than they really were.” Grant, Wacker, “The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Age in American Protestantism, 1880–1910,” Journal of American History 72 (06 1985): 49. Unfortunately Wacker does not dismantle partisan fences this aggressively in his work on pentecostalism. In a recent essay, he uses the metaphor of a “canyon” to describe the differences between pentecostals and other radical evangelicals, while in Heaven Below he writes that pentecostals' ecumenical “sentiments appeared heartfelt, but a shark lurked just below the surface. Pentecostals' ecumenism was the ecumenism of the carnivore. Everyone was welcome as long as they were willing to be devoured.” Grant, Wacker, “Travail of a Broken Family: Radical Evangelical Responses to the Emergence of Pentecostalism in America, 1906–1916,” in Pentecostal Currents in American Protestantism, ed. Blumhofer, Edith L., Spittler, Russell P., and Grant, Wacker (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 23; Wacker, , Heaven Below, 178.

13. To say that McPherson sought good working relationships with other evangelicals is not to say that other pentecostals and evangelicals necessarily did the same. Each of the groups that made up the fundamentalist movement was combative; everyone fought everyone else, turning faith into a kind of blood sport. On similar battles between various nonpentecostal fundamentalist groups see, for example, Philip, Goff, “Fighting Like the Devil in the City of Angels: The Rise of Fundamentalist Charles E. Fuller,” in Metropolis in the Making: Los Angeles in the 1920s, ed. Tom, Sitton and William, Deverell (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 220–51.

14. Methodologically this paper borrows from historian Catherine L. Albanese who argues, “The shape and operation of American Religious life—all of it—is best described under the rubric of religious combination.” Rather than treating religious systems as “relics to be admired in a taxonomy of the sacred that comes with museum shelves,” Albanese contends that American religions are in a constant state of evolution resulting from centuries of contact between competing groups of religious peoples. Albanese, Catherine L., “Exchanging Selves, Exchanging Souls,” in Retelling U.S. Religious History, ed. Thomas, Tweed (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997), 224–25.

15. Prominent historians have recently made the same point. Jon Butler has written, “by ignoring her [McPherson] and the religiosity she shaped, historians have misunderstood and undervalued powerful forces in modern American culture.” Jon, Butler, “The Faith of Narrative,” The Yale Review 82 (06 1994): 145. Vinson Synan argues, “The advent of Aimee Semple McPherson marked a turning point in the history of the Pentecostal movement in the United States. The first Pentecostal well known to the public at large, McPherson did much to gain tolerance and respect for a religion generally associated with the lowest social strata.” Synan, , The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition, 203. Grant Wacker makes a strong case for McPherson's significance as well. Wacker, , Heaven Below, 145.

16. See Mavity, Nancy Barr, Sister Aimee (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931); Lately, Thomas, The Vanishing Evangelist: The Aimee Semple McPherson Kidnaping [sic] Affair (New York: Viking, 1959), and Storming Heaven: The Lives and Turmoils of Minnie Kennedy and Aimee Semple McPherson (New York: William Morrow, 1970); Bahr, Robert, Least of All the Saints: The Story of Aimee Semple McPherson (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1979); and Alvyn, Austin, Aimee Semple McPherson (Don Mills, Ontario: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1980).

17. Edith Blumhofer enjoyed access to this item as well.

18. See Blumhofer, , Aimee Semple McPherson, and Epstein, Daniel Mark, Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993). Blumhofer suggests many of the issues that I will address, writing, “For her [McPherson], the lines that later historians have drawn distinguishing mainline Protestants, evangelicals, and Pentecostals were not nearly so visible.” She concludes, “Scholars have perhaps been sidetracked by polemical literature to overemphasize the controversies and underestimate the continuities [between pentecostals and traditional Protestant churches]. Sister's story suggests far less conflict—and considerably more convergence—than is commonly assumed.” Blumhofer, , Aimee Semple McPherson, 17, 388. I augment Blumhofer's arguments in several critical ways. First, Blumhofer rarely addresses issues of reciprocal pentecostal-fundamentalist influence, focusing primarily on the movements that influenced McPherson. Second, at times she argues that boundaries between pentecostals and fundamentalists were fluid, but at other times she falls into older paradigms. This is clear in the McPherson biography and is even more apparent in her Restoring the Faith in which she cites Marsden and then writes, pentecostals “formed a growing segment of the evangelical subculture, but they were not accepted by fundamentalists.” Blumhofer, , Aimee Semple McPherson, 220–23; Edith, Blumhofer, Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God, Pentecostalism, and American Culture (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 181. And third, Blumhofer elides the very pervasive ideological “militant anti-modernist” impulse in McPherson that links her with one of the deepest aspirations of the evanglical-fundamentalist coalition.

19. William, Durham, “Warning,” Pentecostal Testimony 1 (07 1, 1910): 910.

20. “A Prophetic Message, Given by MrsSemple, R. J., in Belfast, Ireland, while en route to China,” Pentecostal Testimony 1 (07 1, 1910): 12.

21. William, McLoughlin, “Aimee Semple McPherson ‘Your Sister in the King's Glad Service,’Journal of Popular Culture 1 (Winter 1967): 216, n. 6.

22. McPherson asked converts at her revival services to fill out cards listing their names, contact information, and the church or denomination that they would like to attend. She would distribute the cards to the local pastors of the denominations indicated. “Thousands See Evangelist Bring Relief,” The Evening Repository (Canton, Ohio), 6 October 1921; “Forget Jazz and Dust Off Bible is Plea of Evangelist,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 10 May 1922; McPherson, , This Is That, 2nd rev. ed., 240, 319; McPherson, Aimee Semple, “Bringing Back the Ark,” Bridal Call 5 (07, 1921): 35.

23. “Minnie Kennedy to Minnie Andrews, 14 November 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Assemblies of God, Springfield, Mo. (hereafter FPHC). In a letter E. N. Bell explained that McPherson was “opposed to the pentecostal movement on the ground that it established assemblies and had work apart from the regular churches, that they [McPherson and her mother] were in favor of the converts going to the churches.” “E. N. Bell to W. E. Opie, 29 July 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC. This position is consistent with the way McPherson ran her revival services.

24. On the history of the Assemblies of God, see Blumhofer, , Restoring the Faith.

25. “Robert J. Craig to J. W. Welch, 12 March 1919,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

26. On the Assemblies 1919 convention see Stanley, Frodsham, “The Recent Great Convention in Springfield, Mo.,” Pentecostal Evangel (10 16, 1920): 16; Blumhofer, , Restoring the Faith, 121.

27. Bridal Call 4 (September 1920).

28. McPherson, , This Is That, 2nd rev. ed., 232; McPherson, Aimee Semple, “Trial of the Liberalist College Professor Versus the Lord Jesus Christ,” Sermon Transcript (October 14, 1923), Heritage Department, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Los Angeles, California (Hereafter ICFG).

29. Dayton and Blumhofer both demonstrate the historical continuity between pentecostalism and Methodism. See Dayton, , Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, 3560; and Blumhofer, , Aimee Semple McPherson, 202, 220–21.

30. McPherson, Aimee Semple, Divine Healing Sermons (Los Angeles: Biola, 1921), 131,145. Stewart later severed his partnership with McPherson when she began to threaten some of Los Angeles's most powerful clergy. He wrote, “While I think our position in reference to Mrs. MacPherson [sic] is right, it would be impossible to convince even many of our friends of the fact.” See “Lyman Stewart to T. C. Horton, 22 March 1922,” Personal Papers of Lyman Stewart, Biola University, Los Angeles, California.

31. McPherson, , This Is That, 2nd rev. ed., 242–47; Methodist Episcopal Church, “Exhorter's License” (Philadelphia, December 19, 1920, photocopy), Personal Papers of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

32. McPherson, Aimee Semple, “Methodism and Pentecost,” Pentecostal Evangel (01 8. 1921): 1, 3.

33. “Mrs. A. M'Pherson is Ordained Here,” San Jose Mercury Herald, 28 March 1922; “M'Pherson Ord'nation ‘Hasty,’” San Jose Mercury Herald, 1 April 1922; “J. H. Sparks to E. N. Bell, 28 March 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

34. Albanese, Catherine L., America: Religions and Religion, 3rd ed. (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1999), “Exchanging Selves,” in Retelling U.S. Religious History, and “Refusing the Wild Pomegranate Seed: America, Religious History, and the Life of the Academy,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 63 (Summer 1995): 205–29.

35. “M'Pherson Ord'nation ‘Hasty,’” San Jose Mercury Herald, 1 April 1922; “Orthodoxy of Faith Healer is Challenged,” San Francisco Chronicle, 1 April 1922; “Baptists Split on Ordination of Faith Curer,” San Francisco Chronicle, 2 April 1922.

36. “J. H. Sparks to E. N. Bell, 28 March 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

37. “Aimee Semple McPherson to E. N. Bell, 5 January 1922;” “E. N. Bell to Aimee Semple McPherson, 22 February 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC; Bell, E. N., “Questions and Answers Conducted by E. N. Bell,” Pentecostal Evangel (12 24, 1921): 8. McPherson owned the Temple well into the 1930s. See “Minutes of the Executive Council Meeting In the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel,” Corporate Minutes (January 7, 1937), ICFG. McPherson's mother, Minnie Kennedy, spent most of the late 1910s and 1920s as McPherson's lead organizer and administrator. In a postcard explaining her daughter's withdrawal from the Assemblies of God, Kennedy claimed that McPherson “never wanted to be tied to any sort of movement labeled ‘Pentecost.’” “Minnie Kennedy to W. D. Taylor, ca. 17 July 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

38. “Replies to Attack of Opponents,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 16 May 1922.

39. “Paul H. Ralstin to E. N. Bell, 5 May 1922,” and “E. N. Bell to Paul H. Ralstin, 23 May 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

40. The anonymous letter in the article was most likely created by Bell based on information that he had received from Ralstin, J. R. Buckley, and Herbert Buffum. “E. N. Bell to W. D. Taylor, 24 July 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC. “Is Mrs. McPherson Pentecostal?” Pentecostal Evangel (June 10, 1922): 9; “E. N. Bell to G. Kirkland, 19 December 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

41. “Anonymous to E. N. Bell, c. July 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC; McPherson, Aimee Semple, “The Narrow Line or ‘Is Mrs. McPherson Pentecostal?’ No? Yes?Bridal Call 6 (10 1922): 7, 10. This article was later reprinted in the form of a tract: Aimee Semple McPherson, “The Narrow Line or ‘Is Mrs. McPherson Pentecostal?’ No? Yes?” (Los Angeles: Foursquare Gospel [1923?]). McPherson, Aimee Semple, The Holy Spirit (Los Angeles: Challpin, 1931), 189. Kennedy explained to a concerned disciple that her daughter joined the Assemblies of God “on the understanding … that it was not to be organized, but simply cooperative and fellowship with others who had the same faith.” Since it was not, McPherson now “stands in a unique position between the churches with their coldness and worldliness on the one hand, and the [Assemblies of God] Missions, which in so many cases … have run to excess and fanaticism.” “Minnie Kennedy to Sister Minnie Andrews, 1 July 1922,” Ministerial File of Aimee Semple McPherson, FPHC.

42. “Great Temple is Dedicated,” Los Angeles Times, 2 January 1923; and McPherson, Aimee Semple, “Dedication of Angelus Temple,” Bridal Call 6 (01 1923): 1215.

43. Caps hers. The sermon is identified in McPherson, Aimee Semple, “The Bridal Call Family Visits the Angelus Temple Revival,” Bridal Call 7 (06 1923): 9; and is printed in McPherson, , This is That, 2nd rev. ed., 779–93.

44. McPherson, , This is That, 2nd rev. ed., 530.

45. Membership Records, Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, California.

46. McPherson, Aimee Semple, “The Four-Square Gospel,” Bridal Call 6 (01 1923): 36; On Thompson see “R. Bryant Mitchell to Gary B. McGee, 14 November 1987,” Personal Papers of Frank Thompson, FPHC; and “Nathaniel Van Cleave to Matthew A. Sutton, 21 November 2000,” collection of the author. Although the Thompson Chain Reference Bible received the bulk of McPherson's magazine advertising, she also promoted the Scofield Reference Bible, a standard in fundamentalist circles. See Bridal Call 12 (11 1928): 32, and Bridal Call 12 (12 1928): 34. McPherson made a similar decision years later when in 1933 she hired Rheba Crawford Splivalo to be her assistant pastor. Splivalo had worked for the Salvation Army as a teen before being ordained and ministering in San Francisco's First Congregational Church. She did not seem to be explicitly pentecostal.

47. McPherson, Aimee Semple, “Outside My Window,” Bridal Call 12 (07 1928): 7. See also “Aimee Semple McPherson to the Official Board of Angelus Temple, 22 April 1927,” Personal Papers of Aimee Semple McPherson, ICFG.

48. Munhall, L. W., “Tribute of Praise,” Bridal Call 8 (11 1924): 23. This article was reprinted as a tract entitled “A Tribute to Angelus Temple and Aimee Semple McPherson” (Los Angeles: Echo Park Evangelistic Association [1924?]); Bridal Call 8 (12 1924): 8. Church Bulletin announcements advertising Munhall's Angelus Temple campaign read, “What a combination it will be! Doctor Munhall of the Old Methodist School and Sister McPherson, who belongs to the new order of things, and yet whose principles and teachings run true to the ‘faith of our fathers.’” “Angelus Temple Bulletin, 21–27 September 1924,” ICFG.

49. Bryan, William Jennings, “He Calleth Thee,” Bridal Call 7 (11 1923): 1014, 23; Bryan's statement to Munhall was quoted in a letter Munhall sent to Angelus Temple, printed in “Angelus Temple Bulletin, 16–22 November 1924,” ICFG; “Is the Bible True?” Bridal Call 8 (11 1924): 415, 30; and “Is the Bible True?” Bridal Call 9 (08 1925): 410, 2729.

50. McPherson, Aimee Semple, “Trial of the Liberalist College Professor Versus the Lord Jesus Christ,” Sermon Transcript (10 14, 1923), ICFG. She quoted from and expanded this message in another sermon years later. See “Blast Spiritual Bottlenecks,” Sermon Transcript (September 21, 1941), ICFG.

51. “Aimee Semple McPherson to William Jennings Bryan, 12 July 1925,” Folder 5, Box 47, and “William Jennings Bryan to Aimee Semple McPherson, July 1925, dictated by Bryan and transcribed after his death,” Folder 7, Box 47, Papers of William Jennings Bryan, Library of Congress.

52. The King's Business 15 (09 1924): 540.

53. Rader, Paul, “The Midnight Cry,” Memorial Souvenir (Chicago: Chicago Gospel Tabernacle [1938?]). Divine healing also became very important to Rader, as his next book revealed. See The Man of Mercy (Chicago: Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, 1928). Rader later chose to clarify that he had not “spoken in tongues” to quell the criticisms of some polemical antipentecostal agitators. The Dawn (08 15, 1926): 211. Douglas Abrams further illustrates McPherson's influence on Rader. See Selling the Old-Time Religion: American Fundamentalists and Mass Culture, 1920–1940 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001), 32.

54. McPherson, Aimee Semple, “What's the Matter?” (Los Angeles: Echo Park Evangelistic Association, 1928); see also McPherson, Aimee Semple, “March of the Bible” (Los Angeles: Foursquare [1926?]).

55. Black, William, “Breakers Adrift! A Plea to Save Our Children from the Dangerous Rocks of Modernism,” Bridal Call 8 (07 1924): 27. Most advertisements for the college carried this same message. One example, implicitly critical of higher criticism, featured a picture of an open Bible in the center of the page with the statement “The Open Book, No Pages Out, No Corners Off.” Another advertisement called for students to “enlist” under the “commander: Jesus Christ” in the fight against higher criticism, modernism, evolution, and infidelity, and yet another advertised that sending students to the college would be “helping enthrone the Bible” in America. Foursquare Crusader (02 12, 1927), 8; Bridal Call 10 (08 1926): 36; Call, Bridal 8 (07 1924): 34.

56. “There is a God! Debate Between Aimee Semple McPherson, Fundamentalist, and Charles Lee Smith, Atheist” (Los Angeles: Foursquare [1934?]), 9. On Smith's other debates, see Blumhofer, , Aimee Semple McPherson, 339.

57. “America Awake!” Bridal Call Foursquare 17 (February 1934): 18; McPherson, Aimee Semple, “America Awake!Bridal Call Foursquare 17 (01 1934): 17; and “Awake America!” (Los Angeles: Foursquare, [1934?]).

58. “Allied Churchmen to Hold Mass Meeting for Merriam,” Los Angeles Examiner, 29 October 1934; “Churchmen Aid Merriam,” Los Angeles Times, 2 November 1934; and “Churchmen's Rally Hears EPIC Plan Excoriated,” Los Angeles Examiner, 3 November 1934.

59. “J. Elwin Wright to Stanley H. Frodsham, 18 September 1942,” “J. Elwin Wright to J. Roswell Flower, 13 April 1943,” and “Harold J. Ockenga to J. Roswell Flower, 28 May 1943,” National Association of Evangelicals, Corporate Papers, FPHC.

60. “Minutes of a Meeting of the Board of Directors,” Corporate Minutes (June 21, 1943), ICFG.

61. “Minutes of a Meeting of the Board of Directors,” Corporate Minutes (June 22, 1943), ICFG; “Minutes of a Meeting of the First Corporate Session,” Corporate Minutes (June 22, 1943), ICFG. On Shuler's old animosity towards McPherson see Shuler, Robert (Bob), McPhersonism (Los Angeles: published by the author, 1924), and Miss X (Los Angeles: published by the author, 1926).

62. “A Few Comments on Policy and Actions for Decisions to be Brought Up Before the Executive Committee of the Association,” National Association of Evangelicals, Corporate Papers (undated), FPHC. In this document discussing the Foursquare denomination's application for membership, the author cites criticism of the NAE for “accepting questionable church denominations” by Carl Mclntire and James Buswell as a reason to think carefully about admitting Foursquare to membership.

63. “Minutes of a Meeting of the Board of Directors,” Corporate Minutes (February 25, 1944), ICFG.

64. “Ernest S. Williams to J. Roswell Flower, 4 October 1946,” National Association of Evangelicals, Corporate Papers, FPHC.

1 I am deeply indebted to Jane Sherron DeHart, Grant A. Wacker, Catherine L. Albanese, W. Elliot Brownlee, and Carl Harris for their help on this article. The anonymous readers for Church History, participants at the Spring 2001 Meeting of the American Society of Church History, and UCSB's American Religion Study Group raised important questions and offered constructive suggestions on early drafts.

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“Between the Refrigerator and the Wildfire”: Aimee Semple McPherson, Pentecostalism, and the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy1

  • Matthew A. Sutton (a1)


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