This post is the first in a multi-part series on the Municipal Bridge Vision.
Numerous times when telling his life story, Brother Branham recounts the story of the Municipal Bridge vision. As a young boy Brother Branham says he saw a vision of the Municipal Bridge being built twenty-two years before it happened. He saw sixteen men fall from the bridge and drown in an accident. He told his mother about this and twenty two years later this vision was fulfilled just exactly as he saw it as a young boy.
Former believers say this event never happened, that there is no evidence that any men died during the construction of the Municipal Bridge. They say there is no record of Brother Branham saying these things before they happened, that the bridge construction was a “rear-view mirror” prophecy. They point to other discrepancies in this prophecy and use this as the basis for questioning the message and say Brother Branham was a false prophet. In their literature and on their websites they seem to be really hung up on this vision and point back to it all the time as “proof” that Brother Branham is a false prophet.
This key vision is evidence of the prophetic gift being in operation in his life at a very early age, essentially establishing that he was a prophet from birth. Brother Branham usually preceded the story of the Bridge Vision with an account of how the Lord spoke to him out of a whirlwind in a tree admonishing him never to smoke, drink, or defile his body in any way. There are many quotes where Brother Branham talks about prophets being born as prophets. Here’s a few for you to ponder:
Now soon, if God will, it’ll be… Maybe you’re in just the three dimensions. This is another dimension. It’s moving in on me. But it’s a spirit. You see? It’s in another world. People, they’re not gone, they’re-they’re near us; Angels and everything else. “The Angels of God are encamped about those who fear Him.” You remember Elijah down at Dothan that morning, when the boy said, “Oh, the armies of the Syrians are upon us.” He said, “There’s more with us than there is with them.” He couldn’t see nobody. He said, “God, open this young man’s eyes.” And when He opened his eyes, around that old prophet was–was Angels of fire and chariots of fire. The there was just… Then there’s more with us than there is with them. And that’s the dimension now, by being born. Maybe you never will see, see such. But you believe it anyhow. How much greater is their reward who has never seen and yet believe. But some of us were born for that. God places that in the Church, from baby birth. Prophets are not just put in by man; it’s a gift born. All through the Scripture, born from childhood…
But a prophet is a office of the Church, not a gift in the Church, but an office of the Church: a prophet. They are not… They are ordained, predestined by God’s foreknowledge to be what they are. They’re born prophets. Prophets are not made; they are born prophets. And a prophet or a seer, in one word, is considered in the Old Testament as eagles. And how I love to think of it in that way, as an eagle. I put much of my life in conservation, as you know, and studying wildlife, studying birds, wild birds, wild animals, learning their nature. And I find that an eagle is the most interesting bird, nearly, that I know, of outside of the dove.
Further, when writing about the seventh church age messenger in the church ages book, Brother Branham indicates that the messenger will be a prophet “known for his accuracy” and that his prophecies will “ALWAYS come to pass”:
First of all, that messenger is going to be a prophet. He will have the office of a prophet. He will have the prophetic ministry. It will be based solidly on the Word because when he prophesies or has a vision, it will always be “Word oriented” and it will ALWAYS come to pass. He will be vindicated as a prophet because of his accuracy.
We can see that this is an important foundational truth of the message. Prophets are born as prophets. This vision shows that Brother Branham was a prophet from birth. To the ex-believer this vision is important because this is one of a few visions that you can seek out contemporary historic evidence for. Because of the emphasis that Brother Branham put on prophets being born this way, they feel that if they prove this vision is not correct, they have essentially proven that Brother Branham was a false prophet.
As Believers we have the picture taken in Sam Houston coliseum in 1950 that shows Brother Branham under the pillar of fire. This picture is typically accompanied by a documented examination by George Lacy which proves the photo was not retouched or double-exposed. We have a photograph from Life Magazine of the mysterious cloud in Arizona which proves this cloud was actually there. How is it ok for us to wave these items around and use them as proof but then claim that proof of the Municipal Bridge vision is irrelevant? While we certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that we must prove everything that Brother Branham ever said, when it comes to something as foundational and important as the bridge vision, it does surprise us that no one has produced any newspaper clippings or other historical evidence to back up this event the same way that the documents around these other events are so broadly used to vindicate Brother Branham.
To that end, we began to search for evidence related to the Municipal Bridge Vision.