John Collins alleges that Bro. Branham held healing campaigns prior to 1946 in cooperation with Roy Davis, and the healing campaigns that began in 1946 was in fact his second attempt to purposefully start a cult. This is part of his false allegation that Bro. Branham was a secret KKK member which we debunk in another article.
Collins alleges that Voice of God Recordings has suppressed or destroyed all the tapes Bro. Branham preached in the alleged revivals. In this article we are going to examine the supposed “evidence” of a pre-1946 healing campaign ministry.
Collins sole evidence that there were “secret” tapes is that in Bro. Branham’s first recorded sermon in 1947, he states that his campaign had purchased a “new” recording device. Collins takes this to imply that there was an old recording device, and the old tapes made by it were destroyed. To say this is pretty slim evidence would be an overstatement. In fact, it is not evidence at all. Buying something that is new does not implicitly mean it is replacing something old.
Roy Davis’s Tennessee Meetings
The second piece of evidence used to make this allegation, that Bro. Branham had a secret pre-1946 healing campaign, is a story Bro. Branham told in 1953. We have included the entire story here. Note that nowhere in this story does Bro. Branham state he was present at the events he was describing
He is merely repeating a story that wast told to him by Rev. Roy Davis. Davis was 19 years older than Bro. Branham. Bro. Branham also cites a written copy of the story as his evidence, not his own personal witnessing of it. Internal evidence in the story support our conclusion that Bro. Branham was not present at the event he was describing. Bro. Branham first learned about divine healing at Davis’s church, an it is very reasonable to believe that this story was likely a key tool Davis used to support divine healing.
And a friend of mine who stood and even shook his whole foundation when he stood there with a bottle of sulfuric acid and right down in Memphis, Tennessee, and had that bottle of sulfuric acid. He said, “Any of you people here that’s supposed to be Christians, Mark 16 said, ‘They shall drink deadly things and it will not harm them.’” Said, “That’s what Mark said.” Said, “Now, if that’s the inspired Word of God, drink this sulfuric—sulfuric acid.” And some of them said… Why they said, “Why, you—you shall not tempt the Lord thy God.” And he said, “Oh, so I shall not tempt Him to ask Him anything, either.” Said, “Maybe He can’t be disturbed,” and making fun of them like that.
And one thing happened, I’ll have to tell this too, while right at it if I can. There was a big old country boy setting back there with hair hanging down his neck, overall jacket on. He just come walking up, and teeth out here in front, you know, and hair hanging down in his face. He walked right up towards the platform, reached down his overall pocket, and pulled out a big apple, and began to peel it with a knife. The infidel said, “Well,” said, “Sap, what do you want?” Said, “I just want to ask you something.” He just kept on peeling on his apple. He said, “Well, tell me what you want, or I’ll have you throwed out of here.”
Said, “Just a minute. Give me my time.” So he peeled the apple and cored it, got it ready, put it in his mouth, begin chewing on it like that. Said, “I want to ask you a question.” Said, “What is it?” Said, “Is this apple sweet or sour?” Said, “How do I know I’m not eating it?” Said, “That’s what I thought.” Turned around and walked back to his seat. How do you know that God ain’t real until you’ve tasted Him, felt Him? Hallelujah. How do you know Divine healing’s not right unless you’ve put it to a test one time? How do you know the Holy Ghost is not right, you run around with your ecclesiastical jacket on trying to explain all the Divine part of the Bible out, and taking a bunch of theology. How do you know about God, if you’ve never even tasted to see that He’s right or not?
Be sincere. Be humble before Him. That’s right. And Dr. Davis standing there, an old Methodist bishop was setting there with this young preacher. A young, Roy Davis he was setting there with this bishop. That infidel said, “Any of you guys,” and some of them, the ministers was saying, ‘Mark 16 from the 9th verse on is not inspired. It isn’t inspired, so you can’t depend on it.’” He said, “Well then, I’ll say over there, ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and heavy laden,’ Matthew 11:27 said,” I’ll say, ‘That’s not inspired then.’” So he had him on a spot. And Roy said… The Holy Ghost begin to move on him, say, “Stand up there.” So he said, the old bishop, he said, “If that infidel makes that challenge one more time, if I die in my shoes, I’ll go to heaven believing God’s Word.” So he said, “Now, listen, son. Set down and let him just… He’s just popping his own brain. Let him alone.”
So it was the Holy Spirit moving. So when he made that challenge again, he let out a big “Ha-ha” and held his watch up. “If there’s a God, I’ll die in a minute.” Waited for a minute and said, “Didn’t I tell you wasn’t no such a thing? Ha, ha, ha,” like that, laughed out like that.
So Roy when he made that challenge said, “Why not some of you guys out there believe that God’s so real,” said, “try this sulfuric acid test.” Now, now, I’m not telling people to do that. Don’t you do it unless the Holy Ghost is with you. See? Now, I don’t believe in taking up serpents, or… I believe if I was baptizing out in the water, and a serpent grabbed me, I’d throw him out on the bank and go ahead and baptize like Paul did or something like that. Or somebody slip poison to me, I’d trust God for my healing. That’s right. But I don’t believe in bringing things, say, “Come here and I’ll show you I can do it.” I think that’s wrong. That’s right. But Brother Davis walked up to the platform. We got a notary public’s statement on this. He walked up there. He said, “Christian people,” about two or three thousand setting there, he said, “I’m twenty-five years old.” [DWB: Roy Davis was 25 in 1915; Branham was six years old at that time.] He said, “I’m a minister of the Gospel,” and he said, “I—I know that my God is able to deliver me from that,” but said, “nevertheless, if He does or does not, I’ll never let that infidel stand there with that in his hand and challenge God’s Word.” He said, “I’ll meet you in glory.”
Grabbed it out of his hand…?… and drank ever drop of it right down, stood there and preached the Gospel, and about fifteen hundred people received the baptism of the Holy Ghost setting in the meeting. Hallelujah. Yes, sir. No, that same infidel after coming back, he wanted to take a rest, and he went out here in the west in Colorado. And he had a camp out there and he was walking down along the path there one day, and he begin walking along. He kinda felt kind of bad, his health was breaking on him and he happened to look up there, and the wind was blowing them great big rocks hanging in the mountains. He said, “Wonder if I’ve been wrong.” He got down; he said, “O ever where you are, Who you are.” Said, “Look at those rocks hanging there. Have I been wrong? Has the water washed them away like that, or did God place them there like that?”53-0907A – Lord, Show Us The Father And It Sufficeth Us
It is clear that Bro. Branham is telling about an event he was not present at. Yet Collins alleges this is proof of his participation in covered up campaign meetings with Roy Davis. Like many other things, Bro. Branham having a secret ministry before 1946 is just a lie that Collins is making up. Bro. Branham was not at this meeting, he was just retelling a story and relying on a written account as his proof, not his own eyewitness testimony. Bro. Branham was still wearing diapers when Roy Davis was a young man.
Did anyone remember Bro. Branham’s pre-1946 healing revivals?
Collins also alleges that Bro. Branham knew all about Pentecostals in 1946 because he had been attending and taking part in their revival meetings for years. He alleges that Bro. Branham and F.F. Bosworth were associated during this “secret” revival period. Bosworth was one of the founding leaders of the Assemblies of God, and among the preeminent ministers of the Pentecostal movement at the time. So what do the Pentecostals say about their knowledge of Bro. Branham? Here is a testimony connected to the Assemblies of God stating that Bro. Branham was completely unknown to the Pentecostal denomination prior to 1946.
The Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country, was being bombarded [in 1946] with mail. “Who is this guy? [William Branham] Is he doctrinal sound? Is he a fraud? Can we co-operate with his meetings?”Doug Wead – Found in the forward to Don Stewart’s 1999 book Only Believe, pages iii-v
In those days, my father [Roy H. Wead]
1 was the point man for the Assemblies of God in Indiana. He was called the District Superintendent, which meant he was sort of the denomination’s bishop for the state. “What do you know about a Baptist preached named William Branham?” Headquarters asked. Dad had never heard of him. “Well, he’s from your state, so check him out.”
If Bro. Branham had been holding revival meetings with the Assemblies of God minister F.F. Bosworth, why had the Assemblies of God never heard of Bro. Branham?
Let’s also see what Ern Baxter said. Baxter was a prominent minister in his own right and campaigned with Bro. Branham for many years.
I was very careful to check that out at the time . Branham had no direct link with pentecostalism…Ern Baxter, New Wine Magazine, “New Wine Interviews Ern Baxter”, Christian Growth Ministries, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, pp. 4-7, 22-24
When you truly reveal the facts, it is proven Collins has allegation has no truth to it at all. Collins is actually engaged in what he is accusing Bro. Branham of doing: making up stories and creating a hoax.
What do the academics say?
Prof. Doug Weaver who wrote an extensive and well-researched biography on Bro. Branham in 2000 entitled The Healer-Prophet. He confirms the timeline of events around the start of Bro. Branham’s rise to fame on page 45 of his book. “His first revival meetings were held over 12 days during June 1946 in St. Louis.” This scholarly source is in direct contradiction to the allegations being made by critics.