We spent two hours recently touring the Heritage House that honors the ministry and life of Aimee Semple-McPherson. No matter how many times I have heard the stories of God working through her life, I am always blown away. How could God use a widow who buried her husband in Hong Kong to build a church that now numbers over 66,000 churches around the world?
Sister Aimee originally built the round shaped house in 1921 to train those called into ministry. However, the response overwhelmed her, so she built Life Bible College next door. She used this house to always be open to ministry. Anyone who was in need could stop by for a cup of coffee or something to eat. Her heart to feed people prompted her to being the commissary ministry which fed 1.5 million people during the Great Depression. At the height of the commissary ministry, Angeles Temple fed 50,000 people a week.
Sister’s (that is what she was known as informally) house always felt open to those in need. One of my favorite little ways to give came from her heart to help everyone get to the temple for one of the meetings or events. The old trolley system brought loads of people from around Los Angeles down Glendale blvd. Sister never wanted anyone stranded in Echo Park without a way home. Therefore, she created a little cubby under the banister along the stairway that always was filled with tokens for the trolleys. If a person needed a token, they could step inside the house, pull up the knob on the banister, and pull out a token to return home.
Other rooms were dedicated to carrying for unwed mothers, babies left on her doorstep, hospitality, song writing and more.
A few extra highlights include the story of when Aimee came up with the foursquare name and symbols.
If you ever get a chance to be in LA, stop through the Heritage House, the visit is free, but you walk away inspired.