While most churches were founded by men, the St. Anthony New Life Foursquare Church traces its beginnings to the early 20th century evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.
“When she was 17, she had a vision from the Lord to start a church,” said St. Anthony’s New Life Foursquare Church Pastor Steve Young. “She was a spitfire; I’ll tell you that. She delivered some of the most unique sermons ever.”
Today, McPherson’s church is found throughout the world. Its name is symbolic of the four components of Christ’s power, he said.
“He is Jesus Savior, he is Jesus soon-coming king, Jesus the healer and Jesus baptizer and Holy Spirit,” Young said.
The St. Anthony church is located at 144 Bridge Street next to Ace Hardware. It meets every Sunday at 11 a.m. It hosts a bible study every Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Of note, the church’s current Sunday discussion is called “Extraordinary Women of the Bible” reported the church’s worship leader Beth Cannon.
“We’re starting with Eve and moving forward,” she said.
Both the Old and New Testament make mention of women, Cannon said. She pointed out Deborah, a prophetess and a judge, and Esther, the wife of King Ahasuerus, who saved her fellow Jews from slaughter. Cannon also noted the New Testament’s Tabitha, a rich Christian who sewed for the poor, Cannon said.
God loves his daughters as much as he loves his sons, she said.
“Culturally, a lot of times, women have been second class citizens, but that’s not the way they were created. God created women as equals. They are the weaker sex in physicality, but in every other measure, they are equal emotionally, mentally, intellectually — all of that,” she said.
Cannon plans to run the course from now through March. She will also discuss Ruth, Mary Magdalene, Hannah, and the Virgin Mary.
“There is a lot of information, and I don’t just want to skim over it. I want to make sure we’re doing a deep dive and understanding of each of these people,” she said. “There’s a reason why they’re in the bible. They’re important, or God wouldn’t have included them in His word.”
God calls those who are willing to serve and doesn’t care about gender, Cannon said.
“The Lord uses all of his people. You just have to be in fellowship with the Lord, so you understand when you’re being chosen and used and go forth,” she said.
Young said that McPherson was in fellowship with God.
“I think she was very anointed. I think it was a time when God began to use anyone who was willing to speak up for him, and she was. God is always looking for people who are willing to stand for him whether they’re male or female,” he said.
McPherson held a series of revivals around 1908, which were lively, Young said. As a result, so are St. Anthony worship services.
“We’re actually a Pentecostal church that believes in the gift of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues — that sort of thing,” he said. “We’re a kicked-up Baptist. We have a really lively worship service that’s really fun. We’ve had drums and guitars in the past. Right now, we just have a piano and an autoharp.”
Young says the Foursquare Church has a Trinitarian background, meaning it believes God is the Father, God is the Son and God is the Holy Spirit.
“Almost all mainline Christian churches believe that. Aimee believed that,” he said.
Today both men and women and often married couples serve as Foursquare Church pastors, Young said. Originally from Wyoming, Young moved to Idaho during the mid-70s after receiving a call from God. While living in Montpelier, Foursquare Church officials ordained Young to serve as a Foursquare pastor. He later moved to the Upper Valley.
Young has served as a Foursquare Church minister for 45 years and loves helping his congregation.
“I enjoy all aspects of it. Probably the most important thing I do is preach the word of God. It’s just making sure people are reading God’s word, listening to God’s word, and doing what God asks them to do,” he said.
For more information on the New Life Foursquare Church call 208-757-2601 or visit https://www.facebook.com/FoursquarechurchStAnthonyIdaho/.