This is the fifth post in a multi-part series on the Municipal Bridge Vision.
Now that we’ve discussed why the bridge vision was important, what Brother Branham said about it, the methods and sources we used in our research, and gave you some background on the bridge itself and it’s construction, let’s move on to examining some of the concerns with this vision. The first of these is the timing of the vision and it’s fulfillment.
Establishing a relative window of when this vision happened is important as we measure the time between the vision and its fulfillment.
There is some controversy about Brother Branham’s birth date. Brother Branham stated his birth date was April 8, 1908 on his first marriage license to Hope Brumbach. After Hope passed away and Brother Branham later married Meda Broy he used April 6, 1909 on his second marriage license. This is the date that Brother Branham used throughout the rest of his life.
In some accounts Brother Branham indicated that he was five or six years old when the vision occurred, however, in other places Brother Branham states he was seven or eight years old . In his book, Supernatural: The Life of William Branham, Book One: The Boy and His Deprivation, Owen Jorgensen indicates that Brother Branham was seven years old when this vision occurred (Page 31).
Brother Branham had to be old enough to be packing water to his father’s whiskey stills. He also had to be old enough to play marbles. By personal observation, most children would have to be about five or six to play marbles. Since Brother Branham was playing with his younger brother Edward who was about a year younger than him, this lends credence to Brother Branham being around seven when this vision occurred.
In the message, “The Trial” preached in Tampa, FL on April 19, 1964 Brother Branham states that:
And as a child, about eight years old, seven or eight years old, I was packing water to a moonshine still that my father owned. And while one warm September afternoon, sitting down, crying, going fishing out to the pond with the boys, and they… couldn’t go on account of I had to pack this water.
Brother Branham says in this quote that he was seven or eight, and this seems to be consistent with the age that a young child might actually go fishing with his friends at a local pond in that era. Based on a careful reading of all of Brother Branham’s accounts, we know that the vision had to happen when he was between five and eight years old, but most likely occurred when he was around seven years old.
If we use a birthdate of 1908 and him being five when the vision happened, the earliest Brother Branham could have had this vision would have been 1913. (1908 + 5 = 1913). If we use a birthdate of 1909 and Brother Branham having the vision at age eight the latest date that this could have occurred was 1917 (1909 + 8 = 1917). We can conclude with a high degree of certainty that the vision occurred between 1913 and 1917 but most likely occurred in 1916.
In all accounts we’ve been able to locate, Brother Branham indicates that the men died on the bridge twenty-two years after he saw the vision, except for one account. In the Message, The Trial, on June 21, 1964 Brother Branham indicates that the vision was fulfilled seventeen years after he saw it. It’s our opinion that this seventeen years was a slip of the tongue given that it is at odds with all of Brother Branham’s other retellings of this story including the written version in The Voice of Healing.
Construction of the bridge began in June , 1928 and was complete by October 31, 1929. Since the bridge was under construction from 1928 to 1929 and Brother Branham indicated he had the vision twenty-two years before the event happened, he would have had to have had the vision in 1906 or 1907 (1928-22 = 1906 and 1929-22 = 1907). Of course, both of these dates are before Brother Branham was born, regardless of which birth date you use. If we use a duration of seventeen years between the vision and it’s fulfillment then the vision would have had to occur in 1911 or 1912, when Brother Branham was two or three years old. We cannot accept this seventeen year period for a couple of reasons:
As noted earlier, based on Brother Branham’s account, the vision occurred between 1913 and 1917. Based on these dates, the earliest possible year for the vision’s fulfillment would be 1930, however, this requires that you accept a birth date of 1908, the vision occurring when Brother Branham was 5, and the event occurring 17 years after the prophecy, along with the problems associated with this seventeen year period mentioned above. In addition, you’d have to ignore the many other times that Brother Branham refers to the twenty-two year span between the prophecy and the fulfillment. This 1930 date is tantalizingly close the bridge’s construction, however, it is outside of the construction period and is based on a very sketchy interpretation of the facts.
If we use a birth date of April 6th, 1909, and take the most consistent timing of the prophecy occurring when he was seven years old, and twenty-two years as the period until the fulfillment, the bridge accident would have had to occur in 1938, nine years after the bridge opened. This does not line up with Brother Branham’s own statements in The Voice of Healing: “Twenty-two years from that time, the Municipal bridge was erected across the Ohio River, and that same number of workmen were drowned, falling off the bridge.” This is also in conflict with Brother Branham’s statement in My Life Story, “sixteen men lost their life building that bridge across the river.”
Brother Branham indicates that he was packing water to his father’s stills during prohibition. Some claim that Brother Branham would not have done this until prohibition went into effect in 1920 when he was eleven years old and after the bridge had already been publicly discussed. They point to this as another inconsistency in this vision. While it’s true that national prohibition in the United States did not go into effect until 1920, many states and municipalities had prohibition laws in place much earlier. Indiana had a number of measures in place that made it difficult to sell liquor going back as far as 1818. Many counties were dry. It’s entirely plausible that New Albany was a dry area long before Brother Branham was even born. We haven’t researched this prohibition angle very thoroughly because it appears to not be a factor in the timing of the bridge vision.
There are a number of very significant timing concerns with the Municipal Bridge Vision that we cannot explain away.