William Branham

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William Marrion Branham (April 6, 1909 – December 24, 1965) was a prophet of God. His father was an Irish-Catholic alcoholic and moonshiner, and his mother was an Irish-Cherokee girl of 15 at the time of his birth. Directed by an angel, William Branham rose above the circumstances of his youth, preaching and praying for millions of people around the world with his hillbilly English.

The Full Gospel Men's Voice Magazine (February, 1961) said:

In Bible Days, there were men of God who were Prophets and Seers. But in all the Sacred Records, none of these had a greater record than that of William Branham."

The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements: (Zondervan, 1988, p. 372) says:

Branham filled the largest stadiums and meeting halls in the world.’ ... As the pacesetter of the healing revival, Branham was the primary source of inspiration in the development of other healing ministries.

The whole intent of William Branham's ministry was to turn Christians hearts back to the scriptures and their experiences to match that of the Apostles. His theme was "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever", and his theme-song was "Only Believe". Here is how it all started:

Autobiography:

Owen Jorgensen
Supernatural:
The Life of William Branham

Julius Stadsklev


Early Life
Seven Ages as Taught by William Branham

Preacher
Paul
Irenaeus
Martin
Columba
Luther
Wesley
Branham

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Early Heretics
Popes Through History
Ethiopian Christianity
Non-Catholic Christians
Individual Christians
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The Date of Easter

City in Asia
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William Branham was born in a log cabin in the hills of Kentucky hills in 1909, the first of nine children of Charles and Ella Branham. Within 15 minutes of his birth, a mysterious light entered the cabin and hovered near the middle of the room before departing through the ceiling. Charles and Ella were nominally Catholic, but the nearest Church was the Opossum Kingdom Baptist Church, which is where they brought William Branham to have him dedicated.

In 1912, at the age of three, a voice spoke to William Branham and said that he would live near New Albany, Indiana. His father, a brawler and alcoholic, was in trouble with the law at the time, and had left the family on their own. Later that year, Charles Branham sent a letter to his wife calling the family to New Albany, where William Branham spent the rest of his childhood years.

William Branham was recruited in 1916 to haul water to his father's corn whiskey moonshine still. While carrying a bucket of water up the hill, William Branham saw a whirlwind caught in a tree. The voice spoke from the whirlwind and instructed him never to drink or smoke or defile his body in any way, in preparation of a future work.

Grade 7 was William Branham's last year of formal education. That same year, 1923, he was accidentally shot in the leg while hunting with a friend. The shotgun wound was severe, and his family was unable to pay for medical expenses. Laying on a hospital bed, William Branham had a vision of falling into hell. Crying for God, he started a slow recovery.

Instead of becoming a preacher, William Branham decided to run off to Arizona in 1927 and become a cowboy. He finally returned to Indiana in 1929 at the news of the death of his best friend - his brother Edward. Back in Indiana, he found work as a high-voltage linesman with the Indiana Public Works, and as a Deputy game warden. William Branham also started a side career as a 'prize fighter' boxer winning 52 fights before being defeated in the ring. He continued at these occupations for a while until he was overcome by gas funes in 1931, which stared a period of near-death illness. It was during this time that he promised to serve God, and was converted in the winter of that year.


Early Ministry

As a boy, William Branham had witnessed numerous immoral acts as a result of the revelry that accompanied his father's moonshine business, and had decided never to get married. However, he met Hope Brumbach in 1932, who changed his mind. William Branham joined Hope's church, the Missionary Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, and was soon ordained a minster. Later that year, he has two visions: one of a man hit by a car getting healed, and another of an infirm woman being instantly healed. Within weeks, he prayed for both of these people and they were instantly healed.

William and Hope Branham

1933 was a remarkable year for William Branham. First, he had a series of seven prophetic visions starting with the second world war and ending with the destruction of America. Second, as the result of some doctrinal differences, William Branham started construction on his own church, called the 'First Pentecostal Baptist’ church (Jeffersonville Evening News, 10 June 1933 - this later became known as the 'Branham Tabernacle'). On June 11, 1933, while baptizing people in the Ohio River, at the end of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana, hundreds of people saw a bright fiery light suddenly appeared over his head, and a voice spoke from the light, saying: "As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Jesus Christ, so your message will forerun His second coming."

William Branham continued to work and preach, and married Hope Brumbach in 1934. In 1935, a son, Billy Paul, was born to William and Hope Branham.

1936 was a whirlwind year. William Branham entered a Pentecostal meeting for the first time, which challenged his perpective of Christianity. He received a number of invitations to preach at various Oneness churches after attending this meeting, but was pressured by his mother-in-law not to accept these invitations. William Branham also prophecied that the Ohio river would flood, and reach 22 feet over Spring Street in Jeffersonville. The old-timers laughed at him for this prediction, recalling that the flood of 1884 on reached 6 inches over Spring Street. Finally, a daughter (Sharon Rose Branham) was born to William and Hope Branham in 1936.


Tragedy and Recovery

In 1937, six months after his prophecy, the Ohio river flooded and crested at exactly 22 feet over Spring Street. The problem with this flood is that Hope Branham was extremely sick, and the conditions in and after the flood only made it worse. William Branham was isolated as a result of the flood, and could not access his sick wife. After finding her, her health deteriorated until she finally died. Days later, Sharon Rose also passed away from disease. William Branham links his wife and daughter's death to his decision to respect his mother-in-law and not join the Pentecostal movement.

William Branham relays little from the years after the death of his wife and daughter. It was a period of extreme trial and depression, with William Branham attempting suicide twice during this time. Once, holding a gun to his head, the gun 'clicked', but fired from the same chamber when it was aimed elsewhere when he wondered why it didn't fire. Still, William Branham continued to work, and preach, and care for his son.

In 1940, William Branham prayed for a crippled boy and girl, and both were healed. This marked the start of his recovery. Soon after, in 1941, he married Meda Broy. William Branham again continued to work and preach, while life quietly passed by. The is evidence of early healing revivals in the local areas around Jeffersonville at this time, primarily with the Oneness Pentecostal groups. In 1946, Meda Branham gave birth to a girl, Rebekah.


Commission and Evangelism

All of William Branham's life he had been afraid of the supernatural that accompanied his life. Ministers had told him it was of the devil, so he had tried to run from it. The problem was that the more he ran, the more it followed him. So in 1946 he took is Bible, told his wife he wouldn't return until he got and answer from God, and went into the backcountry where he had trapped as a child.

While praying for an answer, and Angel appeared, and spoke to William Branham. The voice of the angel was the same voice he had heard from the whirlwind as a child, and said:

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"Do not fear, for I am sent from the Presence of the Almighty God to tell you that your peculiar birth and life has been to indicate that you're to take a gift of Divine healing to the peoples of the world. If you'll be sincere when you pray, and get the people to believe you, nothing shall stand before your prayer, not even to cancer. You will go into many parts of the earth and will pray for kings and rulers and potentates. You will preach to multitudes the world over and thousands will come to you for counsel."

The Angel told William Branham about the signs that would follow his ministry, and began to teach him from the scriptures at that time. Knowing that this gift was from God, William Branham returned to his family, and started his own method of healing evangelism with his whole heart, believing in the Angel's commission.

In 1947 William Branham met Gordon Lindsay, who became his primary manager and promoter. Shortly after, several other prominent Pentecostals joined his ministry team, including Ern Baxter and F.F. Bosworth. Gordon Lindsay proved to be an able publicist for Branham, founding The Voice of Healing magazine in 1948 which was originally aimed at reporting on Branham's healing campaigns.

His early work in faith healing attracted attention, and as stories began to spread of his healing gift, local pastors came to ask Branham to minister to their congregations and pray for the sick. When local churches could not accommodate the crowds, Branham's meetings were moved to larger auditoriums or stadiums for united campaigns in major cities in North America.

In June 1947, the Evening Sun newspaper of Jonesboro, Arkansas reported that "Residents of at least 25 States and Mexico have visited Jonesboro since Rev. Branham opened the camp meeting, June 1st. The total attendance for the services is likely to surpass the 20,000 mark." His success soon took him to minister in countries around the world. According to a Pentecostal historian, "Branham filled the largest stadiums and meeting halls in the world." In Durban, South Africa in 1951 he addressed meetings sponsored by the Apostolic Faith Mission, the Assemblies of God, the Pentecostal Holiness Church, and the Full Gospel Church of God. Meetings were conducted in eleven cities, with a combined attendance of a half million people. On the final day of the Durban meetings, held at the Greyville Racecourse, an estimated 45,000 people attended and thousands more were turned away at the gates. As he travelled around the world he met many individuals of public influence, including U.S. Congressman Upshaw who was healed after Branham prayed for him. God also healed King George VI of England from arterio-sclerosis through his prayers.

The non-European section of the Durban congregation.

In 1948 God showed him a vision of a boy being raised from the dead. He related the details to his audiences and asked them to write those details down in the flyleaves of their bibles. The vision was fulfilled two years later during a speaking trip to Helsinki, Finland in 1950 at the scene of a street accident near Kuopio, Finland. Two boys had been struck by a car and one had been killed. Branham's party had come upon the scene, and he then asked that the sheet covering the boy's body be removed, because he recognized the boy as the one he had seen in his vision. He then prayed over the child and the child was raised from the dead.

On the night of January 24, 1950, an unusual photograph was taken during a speaking engagement in the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas. As Branham stood at the podium, an apparent halo of fire appeared above his head. A photograph of this phenomenon was produced, the only one of its film roll that developed an image. George J. Lacy, an investigator of questioned documents, subjected the negative to testing and declared at a news conference that, "To my knowledge, this is the first time in all the world's history that a supernatural being has been photographed and scientifically vindicated." The original of the photograph is currently stored in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.


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Teaching the Bible, with signs following

From the mid 1950s onwards William Branham became more open with his beliefs, and by the late 1950s he was openly stating that the Trinity as presented by most churches was not scriptural. He took the position that neither Oneness theology nor Trinitarianism lined up with the Bible. William Branham also started to teach a number of other doctrines which were considered to be unorthodox, but by no means unprovable from the Bible, such as the 'serpent's seed doctrine.

By this time, both of the signs were open to the public. The first sign was a physical sign appearing in his hand indicating a disease or healing. The second sign was that the secret thoughts and needs of individuals were revealed to him, just as they were revealed to other Prophets in the Bible. These signs never ceased to vindicate William Branham's ministry.

William Branham preached thousands of sermons, of which over 1100 were recorded and transcribed.


A Prophet to the Gentiles

In 1963 William Branham received another angelic visitation. This time, the Angel told him to go to Jeffersonville and preach a series of meetings on Seven Seals. William Branham did just that, and the Angel of the Lord instructed him on what to say, and what not to say during these services. These sermons marked the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, that in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)


Death
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On December 18, 1965 William Branham and his family (all except his daughter Rebekah) were returning to Jeffersonville, Indiana from Tucson, Arizona for the Christmas Holidays. About three miles east of Friona, Texas just after dark, a car traveling west in the eastbound lane, struck Branham's car head-on. The driver of the car was intoxicated and died at the scene as did the other front seat passenger. The other two passengers in the back seat of the car were severely injured. Branham's wife was seriously injured and his daughter Sarah was lying in the back seat also injured. Branham's left arm was mangled and caught in the driver-side door, and his left leg was wrapped around the steering wheel. After about 45 minutes Branham was pulled from his car and transported to the hospital at Friona-then later transported to the hospital at Amarillo, Texas. He lived for six days after the crash, dying on December 24, 1965 at 5:49 PM. His body was returned to Jeffersonville, Indiana for burial.

What is interesting is that even though his body was taken from the earth, his voice remained - caught on the taped recordings of his services. As a result, the "days of the voice of the seventh angel" doesn't simply relate to William Branham's physical ministry, but it extends to the time after his death when his voice continues to circle the world.


Listen and read over 1000 of William Branham's sermons


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