The Foursquare Church, officially named the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, is a Pentecostal denomination that resulted from the dynamic evangelistic ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson, who opened the historic Angelus Temple on Jan. 1, 1923.
Following the opening of Angelus Temple, our founder did not take time to rest on her laurels. The first “branch” church from Angelus Temple had its beginnings in Oct. 1923 in Long Beach, Calif. Other Los Angeles-area church plants rapidly ensued in Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Santa Ana; all four churches are still open today. As time passed, Foursquare branched out to the rest of the United States; we now have churches in most of the 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.
The launch into foreign ministry fields also began in the 1920s. In 1927 Sister McPherson commissioned Vincente and Teodora DeFante as missionaries to the Philippines. Foursquare is still alive and well in the Philippines, which has a very strong national church presence. A former missionary herself, our founder’s desire to go around the world with the Foursquare Gospel led to The Foursquare Church’s being known as a missionary movement. At this time we have approximately 100 missionary units deployed throughout the world. From our earliest days, foreign missions was a primary emphasis—and remains so today.
Another early Foursquare initiative was establishing an educational institution to train Foursquare ministers and missionaries. The Echo Park Evangelistic and Missionary Training Institute opened in 1923, not long after Angelus Temple opened. The institute’s name was changed in 1926 to L.I.F.E. (Lighthouse of International Foursquare Evangelism) Bible College. Today the school is known as Life Pacific College in San Dimas, Calif.; it is a WASC accredited college.