Aimee Semple McPherson's son, Rolf, now 89, says he's thrilled that a younger leader is carrying on his mother's ministry.
Numerous times I heard my mother, Aimee Semple McPherson, say, "If I was a man I could have done much more." Of course, even though she felt handicapped by gender, God promised her the strength of 10 women and gave her a mighty anointing. Without enumerating her many ministerial accomplishments, it is enough to say that the same soul-winning mantle has descended upon Matthew Barnett.
In the nearly one year since Matthew was appointed pastor of Angelus Temple, there have been large altar calls at every service. I can say with assurance, Mother would be rejoicing to have such a fine young man filling the pulpit of the church she founded.
July 14 was a red-letter day as the main sanctuary of Angelus Temple was reopened to a capacity crowd. To me, the church has a much younger look than when it first opened 80 years ago on January 1, 1923. I was just under 10 the first time.
In 1944, my mother, having become the leader of the rapidly growing International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, suddenly died. She had named me as her successor, and I had committed to continue her work. I was in fear and trembling realizing the task was too big for me.
Then the Lord gave me two assurances. First, He said, "I built this work, and I am able to keep it going," and second, "I will speak to the people and cause them to give." The Lord has truly kept His word.
Now I gladly share my treasured promises and pray God will extend His covering to Matthew. God is the master builder and will keep Angelus Temple going. I have learned from experience that "going" means much more than mere existence. "Going" with God means ever growing and expanding.
God said to ask of Him and He would give us "the heathen for [our] inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for [our] possession" (Ps. 2:8, NKJV). At Angelus Temple this is our prayer. Our task is to rescue the perishing, care for the dying and tell them of Jesus, who is mighty to save.
What a difference a year has made. I don't think we could be much happier. Angelus Temple is open again--its seats are filled, its altars are lined with needy people and stained with tears. The visual transformation in lives is like the difference between night and day. God has worked in wonderful ways to bring Angelus Temple and the Dream Center together.
Every department of the church is becoming active and flowing into the community. The church is going out into the highways and byways to let people know that they are loved and someone cares about them. And the community is flowing into the church.
There have been many prophecies about the restoration of the Temple. The building has a new, young look about it, but the main restoration is in the spirit of people. We are seeing a miracle happen before our very eyes. God has given us a pastor with a heart full of love and compassion. There is no limit to what God can and will do!
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