This is the fifth post in a multi-part series on when Brother Branham became involved with Pentecostal churches.
In our last two posts, we discussed Roy Davis’ church and provided some information on what was taught there. Now we’d like to turn our attention to the beginning of Brother Branham’s ministry. One of the earliest events in his ministry was the 1933 baptism service which he refers to many times over the years. For your own study, we’ve included all of the accounts below that we’ve been able to locate from Brother Branham regarding the 1933 baptism. If you feel we’ve missed any quotes related to this topic, please let us know by posting a comment at the end of this post.
As you read through these quotes, look for the following key points that Brother Branham makes throughout his various accounts of this event:
Here are the quotes:
From Gifts And Callings Are Without Repentance preached in Carlsbad, New Mexico in March, 1950: >After while, I met up with the Full Gospel people. And I… Just before then, I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And then look like it just kept coming more and more. And then it, He appeared on the river, one time when I was baptizing before probably ten thousand people, like a great morning star came down where I was standing. Thousands seen It. He went back right into the heavens.
From God Revealing Himself To His People preached in Cleveland, Ohio on August 13, 1950: >But It appeared down there on the Ohio River before nearly ten thousand people while I was baptizing in August. I was baptizing some fi–five hundred, I guess, that afternoon. Hundreds of them was standing, and the choir singing, On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand. Was about two o’clock. We hadn’t had rain for about two weeks.
I had my seventeenth candidate I was taking out in the water. And I raised up, and I asked him if he believed. He had. He would been repented at the meeting? Yes. I raised up my hand, I said, “Father, as I baptize this boy with water, may You baptize him with the Holy Spirit.”
And as I started, Something went, whew [Brother Branham illustrates–Ed.] I looked up. I heard a Voice. Said, “Look up.” Thousands standing all over the bank on the Ohio River facing Louisville. Paper carried a big article of it.
And I looked, coming right down out of the heavens, out of a place about as big as this platform, where the blue skies churning like waters… Coming right down out of there came a big thing, like a star, whirling around, going, whew [Brother Branham illustrates–Ed.], coming right down visibly before the eyes. Moved right down, looked like a star at a distance. When it got close, It looked like a milling fire of Light, moving right down and stood over where I was. Then went right back up into the heavens again. The waters let up.
I’ve often wondered if that wasn’t the Angel that was on the waters (See?) in Bethesda, you know. Went away…
And papers carried a big article, “Mysterious Star Appears Over Minister While Baptizing.” And on down, It kept coming.
From Believe Ye That I Am Able To Do This preached in Cleveland, Ohio on August 20, 1950: >When I was baptizing hundreds down at the Ohio River at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, where thousands were blacked on the bank… At right at two o’clock in the afternoon, I was baptizing the seventeenth person. I started to pray, and thousands standing there looking. And down from the heavens came that green, whirling down like a big star in the distance. When It got close, It was that Light, a Pillar of Fire. >I think It’s the same One that led the children of Israel in the days that went before Moses. And It’s in the church today. It’s here tonight, the same Pillar of Fire.
When He told me, He said, “As Moses was given two signs to vindicate his ministry, so will you be given two signs. And by these signs, that people will believe.” And there It is. I believe It’s the same Angel of the covenant. And He came down when hundreds and hundreds standing there, people fainted, and fell, and everything. The papers carried a great article, “Mystic star appears over minister at two o’clock in the afternoon while baptizing.” There It was.
From My Commission preached in Los Angeles, California on May 5, 1951: >About twelve years ago, I was baptizing my first group after my–one of my revivals at Jeffersonville, Indiana, where I lived at this time–my home is, rather. And standing on the banks of the Ohio River where [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] had gathered out. And while I was baptizing… It was two o’clock in the evening, on June. And the seventeenth candidate, I was baptizing in water at the Ohio River at the foot of Spring Street. And I heard Something speak, and I felt Something take a hold of me. And I looked up. And when I did, coming down from glory came this whirl coming down where I was at. >”Courier Journal Newspaper” packed an article of it, said, “A mystic star appears over a local Baptist pastor while baptizing in the river.” They couldn’t make out. Oh, up to probably ten thousand people saw It as It moved down where I was at, and went back up in the skies. Come right where I was and went back up into the sky. Well I… Many asked me what It meant. And I said, “I do not know.”
From Do You Now Believe preached in Battle Creek, Michigan on August 17, 1952: >Recently when I was baptizing on the river at Jeffersonville, when all the local newspapers packed It, two o’clock in the afternoon when I was praying, here It come right down out of the heavens, right at two o’clock in the evening, June, or in the afternoon, rather, in June, about the middle of June, hung right over where I was, and a Voice from It, saying, “As John the Baptist was sent to warn the people of the first coming of Christ, so is this Message to warn the people of the second coming.”
Right back up into the heavens, when people screamed, fainted. What is it? God, getting the Church ready. You don’t need no new doctrine. You don’t need no new theories. You need real true hearts to Almighty God, to believe on God, and His Son, Christ Jesus. Have fellowship with everybody, all the Christians, by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
From The Pillar Of Fire preached in Jonesboro, Arkansas preached on May 9, 1953: >And He… When I was–I was a young Baptist preacher baptizing my first converts, five hundred of them down on the river , my first revival… I had about three thousand attend at the revival. And my education was so poor, till my girlfriend read the Bible while I preached.
From The Angel Of The Covenant preached in Phoenix, Arizona on March 1, 1954: >It was seen on the river there when I was just a boy, baptizing my first group in the Baptist church: Five hundred, one afternoon, at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville. The newspapers packed an article of it: A Mystic Light Appears Over Local Baptist Minister While Baptizing At The River .
From Why I’m Praying For The Sick preached in Columbus, Ohio on March 14, 1954: >One night while in prayer, away, there was a Man come walking to me on the floor. And I seen Him; this was not a vision. It was the Man. I’d heard His voice many times, saw Him when I baptized at the river , and I was first ordained a Baptist minister. Had my revival, baptized five hundred, my converts, after a two weeks meeting at the foot of Spring Street. And right there all the local papers packed the article of it: “Mystic Light Hangs Over Minister While Baptizing.” And It can’t… It was like a Pillar of Fire. And It hung down there and they…
And then, the people asked me about It, and they got me scared, and told me It was the devil. And one night while I was in prayer… Many years later, just before coming to the Full Gospel people, I was praying, “God, take this thing away from me.” I said, “Lord, You know I love You, and I don’t want It no more, please.” I went to pray all night about it. And I heard someone walking. I looked coming over to this side; there come a tall Man, big, long hair. Now, it didn’t look like the picture of Jesus. I believe, I say this reverently. I believe, by vision, I seen Jesus twice. I–I–I… It was a little Man, but it doesn’t look much like the artist paints Him. But I–I fainted when He–looked at Him, so I… it was… He was standing off to my side.
From Sirs We Would See Jesus preached in Louisville, Kentucky on March 28, 1954: >So then, I–I–I have never feared. I’ve just went humbly to preach the Gospel. As God sent me to do this. And the things that I speak of right here… Even in one of your papers here not long ago, the old “Louisville Herald,” I believe it was, or something like that, declared the article when it was down here on the river, and that Light come down and hung over where I was at, when I was baptizing, a young minister many years ago out across the country.
From Questions and Answers preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on May 15, 1954: >Just the same thing He said when I baptized right down here on the Ohio River, many of you was standing there, twenty-three years ago, right on the Ohio River that Light, Angel, come right down to where we was at, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent for a forerunner of the first coming of Jesus Christ, your Message will bring the second coming of Jesus Christ.” And it’s done it. It’s… He hasn’t come yet, but look what it’s done; it’s swept the world around. See? And today now, just thinking, the–the effort that’s went forth, there’s been literally millions…
From The Deep Calleth To The Deep preached in Washington, DC on June 24, 1954: >And now, they–you look in there, and you’ll see another picture of It where It settled down, and a newspaper photographer caught that one at Camden Arkansas. But it wasn’t authentic like this American Association. And they–they got it, and it was–then it became authentic.
So we–and many thousands of people… I was standing on the river here some time ago baptizing five hundred after a revival, and It come right down where I was standing. And people fainted and–just there where It was. And It was just like a roaring noise, a whipping fire. I pray that God will come visible before the audience tonight in that manner here at the capital once more, if I can find favor with God…
From Everlasting Life And How To Receive It preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on December 31, 1954: >Sometime ago, as a young minister, when my first revival come, I had it over here on the corner, where this housing project in a tent. I was baptizing a group down at the river that Sunday afternoon, when the Angel of the Lord made His first appearance in public in a vindication of the Message that I was to speak. And It was a Light came down from heaven and stood there. People are perhaps in the tabernacle tonight, who stood and seen that Light. And I started forth, telling it, and so forth. And all you know how the story goes, and on and on. And people sometime would walk away, and say, “That’s just imagination.” They’d leave a meeting where people would see It, and walk away, say, “I saw It.” Others say, “Well, I didn’t see It.” Now, of course, God lets see who He wants to see.
From How The Anger Came To Me and His Commission preached in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1955: >So then I–then I was getting too critical on speaking with tongues, you see. But one day, then, how God vindicated that to me!
I was baptizing down on the river, my first converts, at the Ohio River, and the seventeenth person I was baptizing, as I started to baptize him, I said, “Father, as I baptize him with water, You baptize him with the Holy Spirit.” I started to–to put him under the water.
And just then a whirl come from the heavens above, and here come that Light, shining down. Hundreds and hundreds of people on the bank, right at two o’clock in the afternoon, in June. And It hung right over where I was at. A Voice spoke from there, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent for the forerunner of the first coming of Christ, you’ve got a… have a Message that will bring forth the forerunning of the Second Coming of Christ.” And it liked to scared me to death.
And I went back, and all the people there, the–the foundry men and all them, the druggist, and all of them on the bank. I had baptized about two or three hundred that afternoon. And when they taken me out, pulled me out of the water, the deacons and so forth went up, they asked me, said, “What did that Light mean?”
A big group of colored people from the–the Gilt Edge Baptist church and the Lone Star church down there, and many of those was down there, they begin screaming when they saw that happen, people fainted.
From The Approach To God preached in Chicago, Illinois on January 23, 1955: >We were singing that when the Morning Star, the Angel of the Lord made Its first appearance over where I was standing in public, for the first time in my life, at the foot of Spring Street in the Ohio river in June ‘33, as a young Baptist minister, there baptizing.
From The Healing of Jairus’ Daughter preached in Phoenix, Arizona on February 27, 1955: >I was baptizing them down at the end of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana, in the Ohio River, when… nearly seven or eight thousand people standing on the bank, bear witness, that two o’clock in the evening, June, 1933, how that a Pillar of Fire come down out of heaven, and hung over where I was standing.
The “Courier Journal,” and “The Times News”… no, it was the… [Brother Branham snaps his fingers–Ed.] Oh, I’ll get the name of the paper just in a minute, [He snaps his fingers again–Ed.] if I could think of it, the Louisville paper: great article: Mystic Light Appears Over Local Baptist Evangelist While Baptizing At River. Very mystic thing, people could not understand. Many fainted at the Presence of It. The Angel of the Lord come right down and hung over where I was. The “Louisville Herald” is what it was, “Louisville Herald, Herald Post” of Louisville, Kentucky.
From Blind Bartimaeus preached in Alberta, Canada in April, 1955: >And then on the river , when I was first ordained in the Baptist church (twenty-three-year-old boy, or, man), God come down that day when I was baptizing five hundred at the river , and appeared in that same Light. The papers packed articles of it. And then later on, they said, “Oh, well, it might have been psychology.”
When It come into the meetings and people, some people so close to God, or, may it not been that, may it was for them. Some people can see things and some doesn’t see things.
From Enticing Spirits preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on July 24, 1955: >Won’t you come and go along? I remember when about five hundred of us standing yonder when I was baptizing a hundred and twenty, about this time of year, down here on the banks of the river , when that great Morning Star come shining there on the river . Hallelujah! A voice speaking from It, said, “Someday you’ll spread the Gospel throughout the world.”
I said, “A poor, little, ignorant farm boy will never do that. It’s the grace of God.” Amen. Oh, who will come and go? Get rid of, lay aside every weight now. Don’t listen to those enticing spirits. Come, listen to the Word of God, THUS SAITH THE LORD. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
From The True And False Vines preached in Shreveport, Louisiana on March 11, 1956: >I’d just been ordained in the Baptist church, about–about two weeks and had a revival there in the city, lasted for two weeks. And we was baptizing five hundred converts on the river that afternoon when the Angel of the Lord come visible. The newspapers and things picked it up, and so forth: twenty-three years ago. And the voice that He spoke from there, it has done just exactly what He said He would do.
From Witnesses preached in Chicago, Illinois on September 30, 1956: >Not only that, but I say this: I’m looking down here at the audience now. Here not long ago standing yonder on the Ohio River…?… gone and such unqualified, a poor…?… boy trying to do what thought was right for the Lord Jesus. There before thousands of people, the Pillar of Fire moved from the sky, come down there and said, “As John was sent for a witness before the first coming, this message you’ll take will be a witness to the whole world for the second coming. That’ll be proven,” He said.
From God Keeps His Word preached in Sturgis, Michigan on January 15, 1957: >About ten years before that, about–about fifteen, nearly ten or fifteen years before that, when I was just a young Baptist preacher, no more than a boy, baptizing out there in the river, hundreds of people that afternoon, my first revival; and that Light come down from heaven and stood there before thousands of people. They fainted and everything, years ago when I was baptizing. And a Voice spoke from there and said that I would take a message around the world, which would start a revival just like that it did in the days of John the Baptist before the second coming of Christ. I knowed a bit more about it than nothing. I wrote it down and kept it. They kept it. The newspapers had it, and everything. “Mystic Light Appears Over Local Baptist Boy, Pastor, While He’s A Baptizing In The Water,” and all about it.
From Questions And Answers On Hebrews 2 preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on October 2, 1957: >How many remembers the Star hanging down here at the Ohio River, many years ago, when He said… Here’s a picture of It here yet, when He come down. Said, “Your Message will go forth as a forerunner for the second coming, just like John went forth as a forerunner for the first coming.” And look, around the world has swept a revival. Tens of thousands times thousands and thousands, and a great revival…
From Faith preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on December 29, 1957: >And right yonder on the river , many, many, many years ago, when we was baptizing from my first little revival, there where this Angel of the Lord here, come down and hung over where we was at, and He said to me this message will go around the world, and would start a revival that’ll sweep around the world, and it’ll be just before the coming of Christ the second time.
And when the–Brother Davis, Doctor Roy Davis, many of you know him, who ordained me into the church, into the Baptist Church, when he said I had a nightmare, how would I, with a seventh grade education go and preach to kings and potentates and monarchs around the world.
From God Called Man preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on October 5, 1958: >How many’s still living, when It first appeared before mankind down here on the river when I was baptizing them hundreds down there that day, in the building, raise up your hand. There’s three or four hands: still living from years ago down here on the river when It come down, and the message of the Lord came: still just the same. Did It do just what It said there, that the ministry I would be preaching would start a revival around the world just before the second coming of Christ? Look what it’s done. See?
From What Was The Holy Ghost Given For preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on December 17, 1959: >I can hear the water splash yonder on the Ohio River. When I was a little old boy preacher about twenty-two years old, singing that there, and I heard… Looked up above me and heard a Voice, said, “Look up.” Here comes that big Light hanging right yonder, come moving down over me and said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Christ, you’ll have a Message that’ll forerun the second coming of Christ.” Oh, how could I believe it? But it happened just the same. And tonight revival fires are burning around and around the world. The great ransomed Church of God lifted Herself out of that place. And great campaigns of healing, and signs, and wonders, and miracles, showing forth the coming.
From The Revelation That Was Given To Me preached in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 10, 1960: >Then when I was converted, I joined the Baptist church, started preaching the Gospel, right away. The Lord blessed greatly, and I had my first revival, a two weeks revival, five hundred came to the Lord. I taken them down at the river to baptize them. And while they was around ten thousand on the bank, watching… It was real dry, no rain for two or three weeks. People were praying for rain. And when I was baptizing the seventeenth convert, I heard a Voice, said,
“Look up.” It scared me. I was just a young boy.
The girl that I later married, was taking pictures on the bank. I heard It again; said, “Look up.” And I was afraid to look up. Everyone on the bank was wondering what I was hesitating about. All–many peoples up and down the banks of the river … Newspaper photographers… And then It said again, “Look up.” And I looked up, and as I looked up, here come that Light coming down. People begin fainting, falling, and a Voice came that shook all around the place there, said, “As John, the Baptist, was sent to forerun the first coming of Christ, the Message that is given you will be a forerunning of the second coming of Christ.” Not that I would be a forerunner, but the Message was the forerunning. I’m no more than no one else. It’s the Christ we’re speaking of. Then I–them visions started coming to me more than ever. E-9 Now, that newspaper went on to Associated Press. It went all the way into Canada, and all through… We have the clippings of it yet. Said, “A mystic Light appears over a local Baptist minister while…”
From Elijah And The Meal Offering preached in Phoenix, Arizona on March 10, 1960: >But one thing that I’m happy about tonight, my wife… As much as we have been together, and she’s seen the great visions of God manifested and come to pass. She was down at the river that day at Jeffersonville when the Angel of the Lord made His first appearance; it was packed on the Associated Press across the nation. Been a… It was 1933. She was standing there, but she heard the Voice but didn’t see the Light. Where, even the newspaper photographers saw the Light. But she was quite young then, and about twelve years old, and she never seen the Light. She was watching the people, many were fainting. And It just stayed there just about one minute and then It went right straight back up into the skies again. And the newspapers put a great article, “Mystic light appears over–over a local Baptist minister while baptizing.” Went all the way into Canada, got on the Canada press.
From the message From That Time preached in Klamath Falls, Oregon on July 16, 1960: >Look at Elijah. What did he call? He couldn’t help it. He’s cried out against that Jezebel, did he? How… Here come John the Baptist with his same spirit. How could he have helped crying out about it: “It’s not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” It cost him his head. See? God takes His man, but never His spirit. See? It keeps moving on down. The forerunning of the coming of the Lord Jesus, as You spoke down there at the river in the–in 1933 when I was baptizing there, and you see what happened to it. See? It’s just exactly what He said it would take place. So you can’t help it.
And a few paragraph’s later in the same message:
My wife, about six months ago, saw It for her first time. She was on the river that day when it appeared down there. When the article went all over the–the English speaking world on the Associated Press: “Mystic Light Appears Over Local Baptist Minister While Baptizing.” Stood there… It talked; people heard It talking back and forth. Thousands of people standing there watching me baptize from my first revival–five hundred converts–in the Ohio River… It was in the paper, newspaper clippings; we have it. Got on the Associated Press, Canada got it, all around over the country. “Mystic Light…”
From The Signs Of His Coming preached in Cleveland, Tennessee on April 7, 1962: >You remember when that Angel come down on the river (which you have the picture of it, and you know about), when it said here about–in 1933, when I was baptizing my first group, that the message would sweep the world? And every nation they’ve got a revival going. They’ve had it everywhere. See? Sure. Pulling the elected out. That’s right. “This Gospel shall be preached.”
From A Greater Than Solomon Is Here preached in Bloomington, Illinois on April 12, 1961: >And the papers packed it, “Mystic Light appearing over local Baptist minister,” a boy, while baptizing five hundred at the Ohio River. And He said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Christ, this message shall forerun the second.” Here we are.
From Questions And Answers preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on May 27, 1962: >Then I think about the river in 1936, I think what He said. What happened there? Many of you know. I was just a boy, and of baptizing my first baptism when that Angel of the Lord came down and stood over where I was at. Some people said, “You didn’t see it.” Then science proved that it was so. See, see?
Now, what did He say there? “As it was, as John the Baptist was sent forth to forerun the first coming of Christ, your message will forerun the second coming.”
From Perseverant preached in South Gate, California on June 23, 1962: >Years ago, as a little boy, when I was baptizing down on the river that day, just my first message in the Missionary Baptist church… I was baptizing five hundred. And that afternoon, on June, 1933, on June, about the 15th, here come that Pillar of Fire whirling out of the skies, like the pretty, sunshiny afternoon, and go right down in that Voice and shook the whole country round there, said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Christ, your Message will forerun the second coming.” Now, it’s started a revival immediately after that. And there it’s went across the nation, around the world, Pentecost reviving. And that’s what has taken place, the second coming of Christ. And now, the newspapers packed it way up in Canada. It was on articles, and so forth, and went on the Associated Press. I kept telling people. Then finally the eye of the camera begin to catch it. And now they’ve got it back there.
From A Testimony Upon The Sea preached in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada on July 26, 1962: >It’s all down through the records. The first time that was ever taken, the Canadian newspaper packed it thirty-one years ago, across the whole province of Canada, all the provinces, the Dominion of Canada. Said, “A mystic Light appears over a minister while baptizing in the river .” That was in 1930, at the foot of Spring Street at Jeffersonville, Indiana, when around ten thousand people was standing there. And I was baptizing my seventeenth person.
I said, “Heavenly Father…” And I was a young Baptist preacher, and I said, “Heavenly Father, I can only baptize him with water unto the fellowship of this church. But I pray that You’ll baptize him with the Holy Spirit.” And I said that, Something said, “Look up.” I heard it a third time said, “Look up.”
And I turned and looked, and a great roar shook around over the crowd, and here come that Light milling itself down, and stood right over me where I was standing. And a Voice came from it, said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Christ, your message will forerun the second coming.” Look at it today. A revival broke after that, and around the world it’s went, a Pentecostal, Holy Ghost revival. Now, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterian, Catholics and all’s receiving the Holy Ghost, everywhere, and the church making ready to go in. The message is coming to the end. See? There you are.
From Is This The Sign Of The End Sir preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on December 30, 1962: >When that Angel there… And I suppose, besides my wife, there’s people here tonight, from thirty years ago, that was standing close when That come down. Is there anybody in the audience now that was there when the Angel of the Lord, that come down on the river the first time, before people? Raise up your hands. Yes, there they are. See? Now, I see Mrs. Wilson raise up her hand. She was standing there. My wife, there, she was there. And I don’t know who some of the rest of them is, that was standing on the bank here, before many, many people, when I was baptizing at two o’clock in the afternoon.
And right out of a brassy sky, where there hadn’t been rain for weeks, here He come with a roar, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth, to forerun the first coming of Christ, you’re sent forth with a Message, to forerun the second Coming of Christ.”
From An Absolute preached in Phoenix, Arizona on January 27, 1963: >Now, if I’ve got the wrong thing, then God will never confirm it. But if you have got the right thing, God is obligated to confirm it. There you are. And that’s the proof of it. See? If it’s right, God is obligated to prove it’s right. If it’s wrong, He will have nothing to do with it.
So, I remember, after my first revival. I was down on the river, baptizing. I took the seventeenth person out. My wife, a little girl standing on the bank at that time. (I had never been married to my first wife that’s dead.) And there she was, on the bank. And they was all standing there, hundreds and hundreds of people, yes, four or five thousand, maybe more, up-and-down the riverbank, a real hot afternoon in June.
I walked out in the water, and I took a candidate, about the seventeenth person, to baptize him. I had around five hundred, after my revival, to be baptized. And I walked out in the water with this person. I started to raise my hand. I said, “Heavenly Father, as I…”
And about that time, Something shook me. I thought, “Where is it?” I looked around. Everybody had their heads bowed, oh, as far as I could see. Way back up on the banks, there was, oh, cars and people piled all over the walls, and things. I looked again. I heard a Voice say, “Look up.” And I was afraid to look up. I was just a kid. We got the picture of It.
I said, “Father…”
Something said, “Look up.”
I put my hand down. This young fellow, I was to baptize, looked at me in the face. He said, “Well, Brother Bill?”
I said, “Did you hear That?”
He said, “No.”
I said, “Heavenly Father…”
He said, “Look up.”
I looked up, like this. And coming down from the skies come a Pillar of Light whirling around, a Voice coming from It, roaring, coming down. Said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Jesus Christ, so are you sent.” O God! I watched that Light. I had seen It, since a little boy.
I tried to tell people. They said, “You’re out of your mind.”
From The Second Seal preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on March 19, 1963: >When He appeared down there on the river thirty-three years ago this coming June in the form of a Light, you old-timers remember that I told you since a little boy that voice and that Light, and people thought you was kind of a little bit off at the head; of course, I would’ve probably thought the same thing somebody said it. But now, you don’t have to wonder about it now, and the church hasn’t wondered since 1933.
Down on the river that day where I was baptizing hundreds of people, I remember that Mayer boy told me, said, “You’re going down to duck those people, Billy.”
Little Jim Mayer down here, I think he’s dead now. I think he got killed out there; some woman shot him. But he–he asked me, “Are you going down to duck those people?”
I said, “No, sir, I’m going to baptize them in the Name of our Lord Jesus.”
And there was a woman going along in the group. She said to another woman; she said–made a remark, something about it. She said, “Well, I wouldn’t mind to be ducked”; said, “that’s all right; I don’t care…”
I said, “Go back and repent. You’re not fit to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.”
This is not nothing to play with. It’s the Gospel of Christ, revealed by a commission, the Word. Just, now… You saying, “Nonsense,” and “Foolishness,” you could’ve placed it somewhere else; but remember, it’s promised in the Word that this would happen, and just exactly what it would be, and here it is. See?
Then down there that day, when they were standing at the river , and the Angel of the Lord that I had told you that It looked like a–a star or something in the distant, and then It got close, and told you how the emerald Light looked, and there It come right down on the river where I was baptizing, when businessmen down here in the city said, “What does that mean?”
I said, “That wasn’t for me; that was for you; I believe. That was for your sake that God did that to let you know that I’m telling you the Truth.” By being a kid, a boy like, and about 21 years old, they–they wouldn’t believe that (You see?), because it’s too much for a kid.
From Humble Thyself preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on July 17, 1963: >Do you know what brought these things to pass, when I first started and the Lord appeared to me down on the river and told me that? And Brother Vayle saw that, I believe, in a paper in Canada, many years ago, where that Angel of the Lord appeared on the river down there, it was on Associated Press, “Mystic Light over local minister, while baptizing .” And–and you know what did that? When we had the tent meeting just across the street, a tent that seated about, oh, twenty-five hundred people, ministers come from everywhere, and said, “Brother, come here a minute.” I was just a boy, like, oh, just a kid. And they said, “How do you keep those people in one accord? They love one another till… I haven’t seen people love one another.”
From Go Awake Jesus preached in Shreveport, Louisiana on November 30, 1963: >That day down there, about thirty-three years ago, or thirty-four, standing on the banks of the Ohio River there, at the bridge, and about five thousand people or more gathered on the banks. I was just about twenty years old, twenty-three, twenty-two or twenty-three years old, my first revival. I was baptizing five hundred people, that afternoon. And the deacons had led me out in the water. About the seventeenth person, when I was baptizing, I heard a Voice say, “Look up.” And I turned to look up. Billy’s mother, we wasn’t even married then, just going together. Here come that Pillar of Fire, circling out of the bright blue skies, at two o’clock on June the 15th, coming right down out of the skies, like that. And a Voice roared out, all over the place there, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth to forerun the first coming of Christ, you have the Message that’ll now forerun the second Coming of Christ.” Photographers taking the picture.
How could we believe that, with just barely a grammar school education, and so forth? But I believed it. That afternoon, when I was so tired when I got finished baptizing , they had to come get me out of the water. I couldn’t hardly stand no more of the current of the river .
And It went, come down, and they took the pictures of It. It was on the Associated Press, went world-wide almost, up into Canada. Brother Lee Vayle has a copy of it yet, I think, from on the Associated Press, “A mystery Light hangs over a local Baptist minister while baptizing at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana.” The Louisville Herald picked it up, took the pictures, and went off, and away it went across on the Associated Press.
From A Trial preached in Louisville, Mississippi on April 5, 1964: >I went down then to baptize a bunch of people on the river. When I was baptizing there, where about five thousand people standing on the bank; right in the middle of the day, two o’clock in the afternoon; hot, they hadn’t had a rain for a week or two; and standing on the bank. Here come that Pillar of Fire whirling out of the air, coming down where I was standing, and the Voice saying, “As John the Baptist was sent, and to forerun the first coming of Christ, your Message will forerun the Second Coming of Christ.”
The newspapers packed it, and it swept into Canada on the Associated Press, around the world, “A local minister, Baptist minister, baptizing , and,” said, “a mystic Light appears over him.” The very One that they caught the picture of here, and done it in Germany and–and everywhere. And it’s done.
My pastor said to me, he said, “Billy, what kind of a dream did you have? Why, you know you didn’t see…”
I said, “There were hundreds standing there, witnessed It.”
And they’d come down, said, “Oh, that’s a mental delusion.” Trying his best, that’s old man Unbelief and Mr. Skeptic.
From A Court Trial preached in Birmingham, Alabama on April 12, 1964: >I remember down there, when I was a little boy. You’ve read my life story, and you know the story. I remember, on the river down there, when I was a young Baptist preacher, and was baptizing there. About ten thousand people standing on the bank, when one afternoon… My first great revival, somewhat around a thousand converts, and I was baptizing them out there in the water. The seventeenth person, I was leading out into the water. And I heard a noise, and I looked around. It was hot. It was on June, 1933, at the foot of Spring Street at Jeffersonville, Indiana. I was leading them out there. And the banks, all up-and-down, was just crowded with people.
I walked out with this little boy. I had seen him at the altar. I said, “Son, have you accepted Jesus Christ to be your personal Saviour?”
He said, “I have.”
His name was Edward Colvin. And I said, “Edward, do you know what I’m doing now?”
He said, “I do, Brother Branham.”
I said, “I am baptizing you, showing to this audience out here, that you’ve accepted Christ as your personal Saviour. When I baptize you in the Name of Jesus Christ, you take on His Name. You rise for a new life. And when you leave here, you’re to walk a new life. Do you understand that, Edward?”
He said, “I do.”
I said, “Bow your head.”
I said, “Heavenly Father, as this young man has confessed his faith in You. And as Thou hast commissioned us to ‘go into all the world and preach the Gospel, baptizing them into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,’ commissioning them to believe all things which You have taught.”
“I therefore baptize thee, my beloved brother, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
And as I laid him into the water, I come up, I heard something going, “Whooosh!” I looked at the crowd, and it… I heard a Voice say, “Look up!”
I thought, “What is that? Billy here, his mother, two or three years before we was married, she was standing there. I seen her face, white. She had a camera in her hand.
“Look up!” I heard it the second time. I was scared. I looked around, the people standing there just looking, just dumbfounded. I heard it say again, “Look up!”
And when I looked, here come that same Pillar of Fire that led Israel through the wilderness. Thousands of eyes looking at It coming right down over where I was standing. And said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth to forerun the first coming of Christ, your Message shall cover the earth and forerun the Second Coming of Christ.”
That went into the newspaper, on the Associated Press. Doctor Lee Vayle, here this afternoon, picked it up, plumb in Canada and around, “Local Baptist preacher, while baptizing, a mystic Light appears over him.”
From The Trial preached in Tampa, Florida on April 19, 1964: >One day at the river , I was baptizing five hundred people at the river , when, all of a sudden, this same Light that come in when I was a little boy. And I had told the people I had been seeing It. They said I was dreaming and it was some kind of a mental conception that I had. But before better than five thousand people, at two o’clock in the afternoon, in 1933, out of the skies come this Cloud coming down, speaking these Words, “As John the Baptist was commissioned to forerun the first coming of Christ, your ministry will forerun the second coming of Christ,” where thousands times thousands of people heard it, and newspapers give witness of it.
From A Trial preached in Tucson, Arizona on April 27, 1964: >And I had a baptismal service down on the river , on 1933, on the middle of June, about sixteenth or eighteenth of June. And standing out there, it had been so hot, for weeks. Hadn’t had no rain for two or three weeks, and the country was burning up, nearly. And there was, I guess, around seven or eight thousand people on the bank. And I walked out in the water, with my seventeenth candidate, to baptize. And when I baptized, started to baptize, I said, “As I baptize thee with water, may the Lord Jesus…”
When I said that, Something struck me and said, “Look up.” And as I turned to look, after the third time It said it, a place about fifteen-feet-square was churning up-and-down in them brassy skies. And down from there came that same Pillar of Light that come in when I was a little baby, that spoke to me in the burning bush, or the bush back there that day, and come into that bush, and come hung over where thousands of people.
Newspapers packed it all across the nation, plumb into Canada. We got the clippings. “Mystic Light appears over local Baptist minister while preaching, or baptizing.”
And that Voice came down and said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth, to forerun the first coming of Christ, so will your Message forerun the second Coming of Christ.”
From Questions and Answers 4 preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on August 30, 1964: >I remember Sister Wilson there when I was called to her bedside dying with TB, hemorrhaging, till the sheets and pillow slips was laying bloody in the corner. I remember the Holy Spirit stopping the blood. A few days afterwards I baptized her in the Ohio River in icy water in the Name of Jesus Christ, and set her in the back of my open car, a little old roadster, and rode her from Utica… Wasn’t that right? From… [Sister Wilson speaks to Brother Branham–Ed.] Yeah. Sister Hope, my wife, Sister there, was in the front seat of a little roadster, and my mother and Sister Snelling in the back. I got their picture, Sister Snelling, mom, and all, Mrs. Weber, Mrs.–my mother-in-law, all of them standing there, and Meda, just a little bitty girl standing out there, and now, gray-headed woman. [A sister speaks to Brother Branham–Ed.]
From This Day This Scripture Is Fulfilled preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana on February 19, 1965: >Then, consider now, I ask you at this hour, you people here of Jeffersonville. In 1933, the supernatural Light that fell down yonder on the river , that day when I was baptizing five hundred in the Name of Jesus Christ, as about a twenty-year-old boy. What did It say, Jeffersonville? What was It at the foot of Spring Street there, when the Courier Journal, I believe it was the Louisville Herald, packed the article of It? It went plumb across the Associated Press, plumb into Canada. Doctor Lee Vayle cut it out of the paper, way up in Canada, in 1933.
When I was baptizing my seventeenth person, under this Witness; and you know the rest of the story. And when I was standing there, baptizing the seventeenth person, a Light come down from Heaven, shining down above there, like a Star falling from the Heaven. A Voice said, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of Christ, your Message shall forerun His second Coming, into all the world.” This day this Scripture is fulfilled.