Kresge Library

History Comes Alive Series

Aimee Semple McPhersonDr. Matthew Sutton will present a lecture on "Sex and God in the City of Angels: The Kidnapping of Aimee Semple McPherson" on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 7 pm in the Gold Rooms of the Oakland Center (campus map).

In the spring of 1926, celebrity evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished from a California beach only to reappear a month later with a fantastic story of kidnapping and escape. Skeptics accused her of running off with a secret lover. Professor Sutton will unravel the mysteries surrounding this controversial event, exploring its implications for modern religion, politics and mass media. Professor Sutton teaches American intellectual, cultural and religious history. This talk is part of his forthcoming book on McPherson, to be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2007. He will also be featured in a PBS documentary on McPherson.

Admission is free, but reservations are requested. Please call (248) 370-3511 or e-mail

Online Articles by Dr. Sutton:

Sutton, Matthew. "'Between the refrigerator and the wildfire': Aimee Semple McPherson, pentecostalism, and the fundamentalist-modernist controversy." Church History 72.1 (2003): p159-189.

Sutton, Matthew. "Clutching to "Christian" America: Aimee Semple McPherson, the Great Depression, and the Origins of Pentecostal Political Activism." Journal of Policy History 17 (2005): 308-338.

Related Online Articles:

Blumhofer, Edith L. "Sister." Christian History 17(2): 31-34 (May 1998): 31 . Dickin, Janice. "'Take Up Thy Bed and Walk':Aimee Semple McPherson and Faith-Healing." Canadian Bulletin of Medical History / Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine 17 (2000): 137-153. Lord, Lewis.

"Chasing Aimee. A. McPherson and her tall tale." U.S. News & World Report v. 133 no8 (2002) p. 58.

Pierce, J. Kingston. "The Abduction of Aimee." American History 34.6 (2000): p43-52

Related Online Books*:

Griffith, R. Marie. God’s daughters: evangelical women and the power of submission. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1997.

Mitchell, Jolyon. Visually speaking: radio and the renaissance of preaching. Edinburgh : T & T Clark, 1999.

Online Articles from the New York Times:

Search Sea Bed For Body Of Aimee Mcpherson; Thousands Join Hunt For Noted Evangelist. May 24, 1926. P. 3

Beach Patrol Quits Hunt For Evangelist; Search Will Be Continued, However, For Aimee Mcpherson, Her Mother Says. Jun 5, 1926. P. 14

Woman Evangelist Escapes Abductors; Aimee Mcpherson Says She Was Taken To Mexico And Held For $500,000 Ransom. Now At Douglas, Ariz. Tells Her Story In Hospital And Americans Cross Border To Seek Her Abductors. Woman Evangelist Escapes Abductors. Jun 24, 1926. P. 1

Kidnapped Evangelist In Perjury Inquiry; Aimee Mcpherson Is Ordered Before Grand Jury Again In Los Angeles Case. Jul 30, 1926. P. 18

Has New Witnesses In M'pherson Case; Prosecutor Says That Telegraph Operator And Writer Will Refute Woman Evangelist. Oct 7, 1926. P. 2

Says She Trapped Pastor M'pherson; Stenographer Testifies Evangelist Identified Impostor As One Of Kidnappers. Slander Suit Threatened Defense's "Miss X" Says Story Of Her Tryst At Carmel With Ormiston Is False. Oct 19, 1926. P. 31

$2,500 Check T0 Judge A 'Love Offering'; Aimee Mcpherson Denies To Legislative Committee That It Was For Legal Advice. Jan 29, 1929. P. 16

Identifies Mass "X" At Judge Hardy Trial; Miss Wiseman-Sielaff Names Miss Rachel Wells As Woman Who Shielded Aimee Mcpherson. Apr 16, 1929. P. 20

Audio and Video:

"Aimee Semple McPherson -- An Oral Mystery" All Things Considered, November 26, 1999.

Wikipedia Entries

Aimee Semple McPherson

Related Books in Print at Kresge Library:

Ellens, J. Harold. Models of religious broadcasting. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974.

"The live wire of Los Angeles: Aimee Semple McPherson on radio." Redeeming the dial : radio, religion, & popular culture in America. Ed. Hangen, Tona. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press., 2002.

Melton, J. Gordon. Prime-time religion : an encyclopedia of religious broadcasting. Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1997.

"Sister Aimee Semple McPherson and the interwar West, 1920 to 1940." Western lives : a biographical history of the American West. Ed. Etulain,Richard. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2004.

*Please note, the materials listed below are restricted to use by Oakland Students, Faculty, and Staff (or from a computer located on the Oakland network). Find out why...
Created on 12/12/06 by 11/21/02 by Robert Slater / Last updated on 3/7/18 by Robert Slater
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