President Jim J. Adams | November 17, 2017

By: Jim J. Adams, Ed.D., LPC President

Near the birthday of our founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, Life Pacific (soon to be University) celebrates Founder’s Week, honoring deeply embedded values that allow us to stand today and that will drive us into our future.

The recent recognition by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a Hispanic Serving Institution, for instance, reflects the value of inclusion that was a hallmark of Sister McPherson’s life and ministry. Her passion for social justice, a model for our present-day outreaches, resulted in feeding more than 1.5 million people during the Great Depression.

Alumni recall how Sister McPherson prayed for each student – often hundreds of students – following her lectures about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. She knew that transformation comes through revelation, and that longevity is best achieved through relationship.

Alumni recall how Sister McPherson prayed for each student – often hundreds of students – following her lectures about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. She knew that transformation comes through revelation, and that longevity is best achieved through relationship.

“God has always had a called people out of a called-out people.” - Sister McPherson

In a passionate memo to the college board of the 1930s, Sister McPherson offered a series of standards that would serve the needs of students and graduates for a lifetime. “Up to now, the student has been toasted, feted, showered with flowers until the day after graduation, then he has been pushed over a cliff of oblivion, and left to shift for himself without any help or contact with his Alma Mater,” she wrote. 

Her words reveal a deep-seated commitment that we still hold to this day of building wholesome, healthy relationships as a community of believers, intertwined for a lifetime.

In that spirit of care and community, it was indeed a personal thrill to welcome our most famous alum and former LPC president, Pastor Jack W. Hayford (’56) as guest speaker for Founder’s Day chapel. Pastor Jack’s distinguished ministry consistently reflects the values of our founder. As students gathered to hear Pastor Jack, they saw Sister McPherson’s Gospel Car emblazoned with the words, “Jesus is coming soon. Get ready!”

Students also heard one of Sister McPherson’s famous gospel compositions, “Preach the Word,” played by live organist Paul Kirz on our now historic Hammond organ. Then, our Worship Arts students shared our long-ago-retired Alma Mater song, reviving the classic lyrics set to a contemporary arrangement that no doubt will take on entirely new significance for generations to come.

“God has always had a called people out of a called-out people,” Sister McPherson wrote. She hoped for future generations of alumni who would change the world for the Kingdom of God in a host of professions, and that they would always remember the values that motivated her and the institution she founded more than 90 years ago.