McPherson, Aimee Semple

 Aimee Semple McPherson, née Kennedy (b at Ingersoll, Ont 9 Oct 1890; d at Oakland, Calif 27 Sept 1944). At age 17 Aimee married Robert Semple, a Pentecostal missionary who died in China in 1912. She returned with her newly born daughter to the US, married H.S. McPherson and conducted tent revivals in the Atlantic seaboard states. Her evangelistic success took her to Los Angeles in 1918 where, 5 years later, she opened her debt-free, 5000-seat, $1.25-million Angelus Temple of the Foursquare Gospel.

"Sister Aimee's" theatrical pulpit techniques made her the most publicized revivalist in the world - she toured the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. In 1926, shortly after divorcing McPherson, by whom she had a son, Aimee disappeared and was presumed drowned; she reappeared weeks later claiming to have been kidnapped, apparently to cover her affair with her radio station manager. During the next decade she was connected with moral and financial scandals, including divorce from her third husband. Her public image never fully recovered and her health deteriorated. She died of an apparently accidental drug overdose.