Sister Aimee

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After preaching her way across the country in the early 20th century, Sister Aimee McPherson decided to settle in Los Angeles, where she built a veritable religious empire. Her sermons hovered at the intersection of Hollywood glitz and glamour and fiery evangelist rhetoric. She was a hit.

Dressed in eye-catching costumes, she acted out her sermons for thousands of followers who lined up around the block to see her in action. And long before the arrival of televangelism, she pioneered the use of radio to spread her message across the airwaves. Her allure was such that even Charlie Chaplin was a fan. But with celebrity came loneliness and scandal.

This week, we dive into the colorful life story of Sister Aimee, visit her temple in LA, and explore her mysterious disappearance at the height of her popularity.

That story first aired on BBC’s The Documentary. It was produced by Nick White and hosted by Naomi Grimley.

Photo: Sister Aimee McPherson. ©  Courtesy of The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel



Nick White