It was with the aim of “Worldwide, Interdenominational Evangelism” that Aimee Semple McPherson dedicated Angelus Temple on January 1, 1923. Shortly thereafter, an evangelistic training institute was created. And in 1927, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel came into existence.
From its beginning in the early twentieth century, the ministry of the Foursquare Gospel Church and its message of “Jesus Christ the same, Yesterday and Today and Forever,” has spread into more than 140 countries of the world, with more than 66,000 churches ministering to more than 8.7 million members worldwide.
The Vine and the Branches: A History of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel) traces the growth of the Foursquare Church, its doctrine, organization, mission to the world, and even its difficulties. Written by one who was a productive participant in much of its history, this book provides an honest accurate and perceptive record of those who have contributed to its present role in the Body of Christ.
Dr. Nathaniel Van Cleave was a faithful servant of the Lord in the Foursquare Church—pastor, missionary, theologian, professor, author, musician, supervisor, and Bible college president. As a young man, his life was deeply influenced by the ministry of many significant Pentecostal preachers during the first generation of Pentecostal outpouring in North America. Gifted by God with extraordinary abilities, he made “full proof of his ministry,” devoting himself to preaching and teaching the Word for more than fifty years. He authored Handbook of Preaching, which has been reprinted numerous times and is translated for use in many training centers around the world, and co-authored Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, a comprehensive textbook of Pentecostal theology. This work—The Vine and the Branches—was his magnum opus.