Fred Sothmann first heard William Branham in 1947, moved to Jeffersonville in 1959, and started recording sermons in 1961. He was granted the sole rights to reproduce William Branham's recorded sermons in 1962 by the William Branham Evangelistic Association, and was involved in the distribution of these sermons throughout much of the rest of his life. Fred was a friend of William Branham, and was also present during the hunting trip in early 1963 to Rattlesnake Mesa (Sunset Mountain) when he heard a blast.
In August 2005, Young Foundations (the youth ministry of Voice of God Recordings) called Fred "A Living Testimony". Fred Sothmann has since passed away at the age of 98 on May 3, 2012. Voice of God Recordings’ website includes a tribute to Fred that says, “…what would Brother Fred Sothmann consider his greatest achievement in life? He was the prophet’s friend.”
What Fred Sothmann actually believed:
A video interview with Fred Sothmann has been posted on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ycmzeuRR50 ). This video clarifies that Fred Sothmann would have disagreed vehemently with Voice of God Recordings’ tribute. The reason is that Fred Sothmann’s beliefs about William Branham were so radical, they were anti-Christ.
His statements in the video include his belief that:
- Every church worships Satan,
- William Branham was greater than Jesus Christ.
- Prayer should be in William Branham's name
- William Branham was Almighty God who opened the 7 seals, and
- He, among others, had the ministry of John the Baptist to introduced William Branham to the world.
Why these beliefs are Anti-Christ:
First of all, these beliefs disagree with the New Testament:
- Ephesians 5:24 says that the Church is subject to Christ. Jesus also said that true worshippers would arise with worship to the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23).
- Ephesians 3:9 says that all things were created by Jesus Christ.
- Revelation 5 says that no man in heaven or earth was able to open the 7 sealed book. Only the slain lamb (Jesus Christ) was worthy.
- Luke 11:2 records Jesus’ instruction for his followers to pray to God the Father, and Ephesians 5:20 records Paul’s instructions to give thanks to the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ. Also, William Branham is not the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
The Christian life is based on the hope of resurrection life through Jesus Christ, and not excitement about his past miracles. This life gives us freedom from sin and death (Romans 8:2), and brings immortality to light (2 Timothy 1:10). While one man (Adam) brought death to his offspring, one man (Jesus) brings life to those he adopts as children (Romans 5:17, Ephesians 1:5). William Branham had nothing to add to this plan of redemption.
Secondly, these words disagree with William Branham’s own statements. If Fred Sothmann’s convictions were true, William Branham would have been a liar with regard to the statements listed below. As God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), William Branham could not be God:
- A church is a place where people come together and worship God in Spirit and in Truth. (September 19, 1965)
- I'm just a church member. I wasn't the germ of God. I am not. He is not my Father. (December 5, 1965)
- Now, remember, I am not Jesus Christ. I am your brother, a sinner saved by grace. (March 6, 1964)
- I am leaving the ministry, is because that there is something arose up amongst the people that's caused me to do it, that is, that I have been taken from my bracket of a "minister" or "brother" and being called Jesus Christ, and so call... and that would brand me as an antichrist. And I'll meet God as a quitter before I would meet Him as an antichrist to take away from Him…That would make anyone that loves Christ run from the very thing. (June 11, 1961).
Romans 1:25 identifies those who have “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator”. Fred Sothmann was one man who fulfilled this scripture, because he worshipped and served William Branham (a man) more than the creator (Jesus Christ).
You might live to be 100 years old, but if your hope of salvation is in William Branham, and not in Jesus Christ, you will be in for a great disappointed when you cross to the other side.