Foursquare Church History Internationally

Aimee Semple McPherson

The denomination was never meant to be a denomination by its founder – Aimee Semple McPherson. She was a missionary evangelist who came from a Salvationist background.

Both she and her first husband became missionaries in China and after her husband’s death, she returned to the USA. It was here that her crusades began and after traveling across the States by car started meetings in Oakland California. Thousands came to her miracle meetings. Out of this came the denomination which now has representation around the world. At any given moment, a Foursquare Church service is underway praising the Lord.

The credibility of one’s faith is based upon the object of their belief. The term Foursquare has reference to balance in doctrine as well as in lifestyle.

Being a “Foursquare Gospel Church” is just that – holding a Bible-based foundation for our faith, as well as a Holy Spirit-anointed walk in faithfulness.

The Denominational name came to Sister Aimee Semple McPherson one evening when preaching from Ezekiel 1 and the return of the Lord and the New Jerusalem from the Book of Revelation. Mid-sentence, while speaking about the four faces of the beast in Ezekiel and the size of the new Jerusalem, she exclaimed “Why it’s the Foursquare Gospel”.


Foursquare Church History Australia

East Australia

Frederick van Eyk

The movement in eastern Australia had a dynamic start. The Church came out of a revival.

South African evangelist, Frederick van Eyk (a former policeman) had come out of the South African revival meetings held by US evangelist – John G Lake.

His first meetings in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide in 1926, had attracted crowds of people and saw some powerful preaching and mighty healing.

After ministering in NSW and QLD, while back in Adelaide, he eventually teamed up with the late Albert Banton Snr. They set out by car for Parks in central NSW for meetings. From here they travelled to Cessnock on the Central Coast.

On arrival, they found themselves in the midst of a coal-miner’s strike. After original ejection from a union meeting, further some debate and persuasion, van Eyk was permitted to speak to the miners.

Wayne Magee
Wayne Magee

A Foursquare church was established in a garage on North Avenue, Cessnock. Revival broke out. Newspaper clippings of the day record of “75 people being baptized on one day at the town swimming pool”. The Foursquare Church in Cessnock still exists today.

The Foursquare Church in east Australia now has over 50 churches and outreaches covering four states (QLD NSW VIC and SA). Current President is Rev. Wayne Magee.


West Australia

The West Australian work was built from initial meetings by visiting evangelists (including van Eyk) and then by the Darnells – American Missionaries, Jean and Elmer. Although they only ministered in the west for six years, Jean and Elmer had a dramatic impact on the fledgling work. They founded several churches, established a Bible College, and sent missionaries to Papua New Guinea. Jean was appointed and served six years as associate pastor of Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, following the death of Aimee Semple McPherson, who had been her pastor and mentor.

Today – there are more than 20 churches and outreaches in WA, mainly in the south-west corner of the state. The General Supervisor is Pastor Don Phillips who pastors the Eternal Life Ministries Church at Canning Vale, Perth WA.