What The Newspapers Said About the 1933 Baptism

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This is the sixth post in a multi-part series on when Brother Branham became involved with Pentecostal churches.

In our last post, we shared a long list of quotes regarding the 1933 baptism. In these quotes, Brother Branham makes a number of key points about this event:

  • The event occurred in 1933 when Brother Branham was baptizing converts in the Ohio river at the foot of Spring Street.
  • Different dates are given for the event, but he most consistently states this occurred sometime in June, 1933.
  • The event occurred before Brother Branham and Hope were married in June, 1934.
  • This was his first revival, or first group of converts.
  • Roy Davis was still his pastor when this revival was held. He had just recently been ordained as a Baptist minister.
  • There were a lot of people in attendance; between several hundred to thousands. Brother Branham baptized around 500 people.
  • As he was baptizing, he heard a voice tell him to “look up”.
  • A light appeared and a voice spoke something to the effect of “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.”
  • All the local papers packed the article of it. The Louisville Herald, or Herald Post ran a front page story with a headline similar to “A mystery Light hangs over a local Baptist minister while baptizing at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana.”
  • The associated press picked up the story and it was carried in papers around the US and Canada.

Remember, in particular, that Brother Branham was baptizing his first converts as he stated while preaching The Pillar Of Fire in Jonesboro, Arkansas 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.

Upcoming Tent Revival

On May 6, 1933 Roy Davis began to advertise an upcoming tent revival in the Jeffersonville Evening News:

Church Tent Revival Advertisement

The upcoming tent revival was advertised again on May 27, 1933:

Church Tent Revival Advertisement Church Tent Revival Advertisement

“The Papers Packed The Article Of It”

The tent revival is not mentioned again in the church’s advertisements, so it likely happened some time shortly after May 27, 1933. Just a few days later, the June 2nd edition of the Jeffersonville Evening News packed this article on the front page:

1933 Baptism

Perhaps, like us, you nearly missed this article. Here’s an enlarged image of the article which is tucked down on the bottom of the front page:

1933 Baptism

Amongst the quotes we shared yesterday Brother Branham makes it clear that he was still in the Baptist church (Roy Davis’) when he held his first revival. 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 .

In this quote from A Trial preached in Louisville, Mississippi on April 5, 1964 Brother Branham mentions discussing the light with his pastor:

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.


The newspaper article from June 2, 1933 is the first mention in the newspaper of Brother Branham being involved in a tent meeting. This service appears to be the tent revival sponsored by his pastor, Roy Davis. We’ve searched the Jeffersonville Evening News for 1933-1935 and there is no mention of a mysterious light or a huge crowd at the river for a baptismal service being held by Brother Branham. Other people have been searching for this article for years, and to date, such an article has never been produced. In this sleepy river town, this would have been a huge story. Just like sixteen men falling to their deaths in a bridge construction accident, this huge baptismal service with a mysterious light over a young baptist preacher would most definitely be front page news.

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24 June 2013