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American Experience; Sister Aimee


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American Experience
Sister Aimee
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Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

"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, 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 surviving family members, 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.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Sister Aimee,” 02/09/2007, GBH Archives, accessed February 26, 2024,
MLA: “American Experience; Sister Aimee.” 02/09/2007. GBH Archives. Web. February 26, 2024. <>.
APA: American Experience; Sister Aimee. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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