Extracts from the tract written by Congressman William D. Upshaw
- I walked into that Branham-Baxter meeting in Calvary Temple, Los Angeles, loving God and His blessed Word, leaning on my crutches that had been my “buddies”-my helpful comrades for 59 of my 66 years as a cripple-7 of those years spend on bed; I walked out that night of February 8th, leaving my crutches on the platform – the song of deliverance ringing in my heart in happy consonance with the should sof victory from those who thronged about me – their tears of rejoicing crystal with the light of the skies’ chief among them was my blessed wife whose dear face, glowing amid her joyous exclamations: “Praise the Lord” and “Glory to God,” was beaming like a patch of Heaven.
- …Then came God’s humble Bible Prophet, William Branham – and that “Boanerges Son of Thunger” (who can out-“Hollywood” Hollywood, and never get away from Calvary) Ern Baxter – making one of the greatest evangelistic Bible teams that has ever blessed the world since Paul and Barnabas laid the pillars of God’s Kingdom on the shores of Tiberius and the Mediterranean. We had looked forward to hearing “Billy” Branham – knowing that his ministry to be mightily blessed of the Lord-; but we were not prepared for Baxter – that indescribable combustion of wit and wisdom, and enriching Bible interpretation, who is an imperative John the Baptist, preparing the way for Branham. I sat entranced, still praying for “appropriating faith,” but holden, somehow, of that contact – and that contract with the Lord sixty odd years ago. Others were being healed all around me. Then Brother Branham lifted his hands saying: “Everyone lay your hands on your loved one as we pray.” A great volume of prayer ascended throughout the audience of more than three thousand. Angels were hovering near! I knew my blessed wife and her “prayer warriors” were wrapping me in prayer. I remembered how she said, “When you are trying to lead a sinner to accept Christ you say; “Accept – confess Christ and step out – He will do the rest and bring the joy of answered prayer’.” It was the touchstone. Just hen Brother Branham, exhausted, was carried from the platform. Brother LeRoy Kopp, Calvary Temple’s golden-hearted pastor, came back to the pulpit and said: “Brother Branham says ‘The Congressman is healed’.” My heart leaped. I stepped out and accepted the Lord as my Healer. I laid aside my crutches and started toward the startled Pastor and my happy, shouting wife – and the bottom of Heaven fell out!
- ...Now at eighty-four, plus, with no gray hairs, without my boon companions, my helpful crutches of fifty-nine years, I begin a new life, joyously testifying that the Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Great Physician Who said: “I am the resurrection and the l-i-f-e,” can not only save the souls of wicked men and women, but heal the sick, the maimed, the deaf, the dumb and blind (March 9:27-29)…
- A few days after my wonderful deliverance, dear Brother Branham said to me: “Brother Upshaw, I feel like the best part of your life is before you – fortified and stimulated by this new evangel of your Divine healing, and I hope you will cover the nation.”
Congressman Upshaw relates his testimony in Los Angeles, California
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Just eighty-four. And I'm eighty-four years young, speak three and four times a day, preach the Gospel of the Christ Who saved me, stood by me on bed seven years, and made me happy, and then took me off of the crutches that I have used for fifty-nine years and now, glory to God I'm walking! [clapping]
Remember, I'm sending this folder to every congressman, and senator, the president, and his wife, and now sending this week to the King of England for whom he prayed, and Winston Churchill. And I'm going to send one to Joseph Stalin. God have mercy on his soul!
- Sermon: Testimony: Los Angeles, California, May 9, 1951
William Branham's version of the healing
William Branham retold the story of Congressman Upshaw's healing many times. However, over time the story changed slightly so that by 1954 it included a vision of a brown suit, and a "Thus Saith The Lord" statement spoken by Brother Branham to William Upshaw directly over the pulpit, and not as communicated by Brother LeRoy Kopp.
JESUS ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE WORD WOOD RIVER, IL 54-0217
- And I looked. And coming in, they just got off of an airplane. And here come a wheelchair. They'd just got inside the building and it begin come... It was moving on down to get it with the rest of wheelchairs. I said, "That's the old gentleman now." It was about twice the distance of this building. I said, "That's the old man now."
- And he was weeping so, I went ahead and told my brother to call the prayer line. And so we begin to get them lined up, and so the next thing taking place, why, they had an extension mike here, and Mr. Baxter said, "Brother Branham," said--said, "That old man that you were speaking to is the Congressman of the United States. It's William D. Upshaw."
- I said, "I don't know who he was."
- He said, "He wants to speak to you through this mike."
- And he said, "My son, how did you know that I fell and hurt myself when I was a boy?"
- I said, "I can't tell you, sir. I've never heard of you in my life. I'm sorry."
- "And he said, "Well, I was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention." said, "Dr. Davis, the one that ordained you in the Baptist church, was the one who sent me here to see you."
- "I said, "I am acquainted with Dr. Davis."
- "He said, "I been prayed for." said, "I've been a invalid in this wheelchair for sixty-six years." And he said, "I'm eighty-six years old now." And he said, "I have trusted God, since I was seventeen years old when I was hurt to heal me." Said, "Do you think I will ever be healed?"
- "I said, "I could not tell you, sir." I said, "I can only say what I See?"
- "He said, "God bless you, my boy."
- "And I said, "Thank you, kind sir." And I turned this a way and when I did, my brother, being the chief usher in the meetings, was getting the people lined up down there.
- And as I looked, I seen that old congressman, like a shadow, going walking like that. And he was setting there with a blue suit on and a red tie. Only in the vision he had a brown suit, a kind of a chocolate colored brown, with a white stripe in it. And I said, "Congressman, have you got a brown suit with a white stripe?"
- He said, "My son, I just bought one yesterday."
- I said, "You have been a very reverent man and it--has honored God all these years. And through the honoring of God and believing God, God has... rewarding you now, to give your last days happy. You can walk Congressman. The Lord Jesus Christ has healed you, THUS SAITH THE LORD."
- He said, "When will I be able to walk, my boy?"
- And I said, "Right now, Congressman." And up he jumped from that chair, threw aside... He had big crutches that went up over his shoulders, when they'd stand him up; it was like Mister Roosevelt, I... like that, in his back.
At the age of 18, William Upshaw lost the use of his legs as the result of a farming accident, and spent the next seven years in bed. Shortly before his accident, he had given his heart to the Lord Jesus. From his bed, William began to write a column of poems and inspirational letters for a local newspaper called Sunny South, using the pen name `Earnest Willie.' His calm manner and gifted style of writing soon endeared him to the hearts of his readers. He was encouraged to publish his writings in a book, which he did, titling it "Earnest Willie, or, Echoes From A Recluse."
In one of his articles he wrote:
- "I do believe in being deeply in earnest. It is the very passion of my soul. Earnestness is the secret of nearly every man's success, and it is the lever that persistently pushes to completion nearly every movement for reform, whether it be great or small. Let a minister of Christ or any other speaker convince me first - aye, all the people who hear him - that he is in earnest - that his very heart and soul are in his work, and then he may break the rules of grammar if he wants to, just so he breaks and blesses human hearts."
Using the funds from his writing, William Upshaw entered Mercer University in 1895. In 1918, he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. He was re-elected in 1920, 1922, and 1924. William Upshaw ran for President of the United States for the Prohibition party in 1932, but returned to lecturing after his defeat.