And I said to her, "Are you old enough to get married?"
She said, "Yes, sir." And she said, "I have my written permission from my father and mother." She said, "I had to show it to the court here to get my license."
I said, "All right." I said, "I'd like to talk to talk to you a little bit before we perform this wedding." They sat down. The boy kept looking around the room. He needed a haircut real bad. And he kept looking around the room. He wasn't listening to me. And I said, "Son, I want you to listen to what I'm saying."
Said, "Yes, sir."
And I said, "Do you love this girl?"
And he said, "Yes, sir, I do."
I said, "Do you love him?"
"Yes, sir, I do."
I said, "Now have you got a place to take her after you're married?"
Said, "Yes, sir."
And I said, "All right. Now," I said, "I want to ask you something. I understand that you are working up here on this WPA."
And he said, "Yes, sir." That is about twelve dollars a week.
And I said, "Do you think that you can make a living for her?"
He said, "I'll do all I can do."
And I said, "Well, that is all right." And I said, "Now, what if he gets out... What if he loses this job, sister? What are you going to do, going to run back up home to mama and papa?"
She said, "No, sir, I'm going to stay with him."
And I said, "What, sir, if you have three or four children and nothing to feed them, and you haven't got any work, what are you going to do, send her away?"
He said,"No, sir, I'll struggle right on, we'll make it someway."
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I felt little, and I seen that he really loved her, and they loved one another.
I married them. And then I wondered where he taken her. A few days I asked my brother Doc, "Where is it?"
Said, "Go down to New Albany," a little city below us. And down on the river where I had some tin laying up, where I went everyday when I was a lineman, so when the rest of the fellows, they all sat around and told jokes and things, I would get in the truck and run down on the river and pray during that, and read my Bible under a big piece of tin where an old ironworks used to be. There is a bunch of old boxcars setting down there. And this fellow had went down there and got one of them boxcars and sawed him a door in it, and had taken newspaper and tackey buttons... How many knows what a tacky button is? Then there is no Kentuckians then! Just take a piece of cardboard and put a thumbtack in it or little sprig, and then push it in the... That is a tackey button.
So they had put it all over. And he had went up there to the ironworks and got him some stuff and made a step. They come up and then got some old boxes and had him a table. And I thought one day, "I'll go down and see how they're getting along."
About six months before that, I had married E. V. Knight's daughter to E. T. Slider's son. And E. V. Knight is one of the richest man there is on the Ohio River. And he runs a great factories through there making these prefab houses and so forth. And Slider, Mr. E. T. Slider is a sand and gravel company--millionaires' children. And I had married them.
And I went back in a place and practiced it for about two weeks, and going back in a booth and kneeling on a pillow, and all the pomp and everything I ever went through nearly, had to go through to marry that couple. And when they come out, why, they was... This other little couple just stood there in a little old room where we had a little couch and a folding bed--but they both was married by the same ceremony.
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And then one day, I thought I would go down and visit this rich couple. They didn't have to work; their fathers were millionaires. They had built them a nice home. Frankly, this E. V. Knight up here on the hill, his doorknobs are fourteen carat on his big palace, so you can imagine what kind of home they lived in. They didn't have to work. They had a nice Cadillac given to them every year, and just "only children." And they had just everything they wanted.
I walked up one day. Now, how I got acquainted with them, one of their friends was a good friend of mine, and we all kind of chummed together. And that is how I got acquainted when they wanted me to marry them. So I went up to visit them. And I got outside of my old Ford outside and walked up the steps. And I got up a little bit too close and I heard them.
And they were really fussing. They were jealous of one another. They had been to a dance. She was a very pretty girl, and she was kind of one of these beauty queens. She took many prizes around there, and won some cars and things for being beauty queen. And I looked at them, and one was sitting in one corner and one the other--fussing about some boy that she had danced with or some girl or something.
When I come up, they jumped up real quick and grabbed one another across the floor--their hands across the floor and come walking over towards the door, said, "Why, hello there, Brother Branham. How are you getting along?"
I said, "All right. How are you all getting along?"
And, "Oh," he said, "we're very happy, aren't we, honey?"
And she said, "Yes, dear." See?
Now, see, you're putting on something that isn't real. Now, you can't get warmed by a painted fire. Like some of these churches trying to paint Pentecost of something that happened a thousand years ago, or two thousand years ago. You can't get warmed by a painted fire. Pentecost is just as real today as it was then, see. The fire is still falling. It ain't a painted fire, it's a real fire.
So there they was, see. I wouldn't want to live like that.
"Well," I thought, "you know, just down over the cliff there and over on the river, there is where this other couple wound up." I thought one Saturday afternoon I'd slip down there and see how they was getting along. So I was dirty on the face and dirty overalls on and my tools on. I thought I would slip up on them, and I slipped on like I was watching for insulators being cracked by the lightning or something as I walked along by the side of the telephone wire--the electric cable along the river. And the old Chevrolet was setting out front (about a year later after I had married them) and there was a... The door was open, and I could hear them talking. So this sounds like a hypocrite, but I walked up close enough that I could listen--see what they was saying, stood there, and I just wanted to know for myself.
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I like to find out and be sure I know what I'm talking about. That is the way I do about God's Word. Is it the Truth, or is it the Truth? Will He keep His Word, or does He keep His Word? If He doesn't keep His Word, then it is not God, see, If He does keep His Word, He is God, see.
And so I wanted to see how they was getting along, and I slipped along the side real easy. And I heard him say, "Well, honey, I wanted to get that for you so bad."
She said, "Now look, sweetheart," she said, "this dress is all right." She said, "Why, this is just fine." I appreciate that, but you see..."
I slipped around so I could look in through the crack where the door had been shoved open there in the boxcar. And there he was sitting in there, and her on his lap, and his arm around her and her arm around him. And he had one of these old slouch hats that put a little hole and mashed it down in the top, and poured out his paycheck in that. He was laying it out on the table. He said, "So much for groceries, so much for insurance, and so much on the car," and they couldn't make their ends meet. Come to find out, he had seen a little dress up there in a window (he had been looking at it for a couple of weeks) that cost a dollar and something. He wanted to get it. He said, "Well, honey, you would look so pretty in it."
And she said, "But, honey, I've got a dress. I don't really need it."
See, and that little queen... And I backed off and looked back. I could see the steeple on the top of the other house, and I stood there and looked a few minutes. I thought, "Who is the rich man?" I thought, "If... Bill Branham, if you want to take which place, where would you go?" For me, I'd take not that pretty thing up on top of the hill, but I would take this character down here that is a real homemaker, somebody that loved me and stayed with me, somebody that tried to make a home without bleeding you for everything for fineries, somebody that was with you, part of you.
That has always stuck with me of how that was. One chose a beautiful girl, the other one chose character. Now, that is the only way you can choose. First, look for character, and then if you love her, fine.
Choosing A Bride, April 29, 1965
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LOVE STOPS A KILLER BULL
I don't know how you're going to take this, but I'm going to open just a little more for you, some of my inside Life. Sometime ago when I was on the warden force, near Henryville, Indiana, there's a friend lives up there, and I... he was sick. And I was turning some fish loose in a creek. So I thought I'd go over and pray for the man. So, I had a little old gun you had to pack, as a warden. I unbuckled the thing, throwed it up in the truck, and shut the door. And I thought I'd go across the field, over to pray for my friend. As I walked up across the field, I was going along, humming, I forgot that there at the Burks' farm, a great big guernsey bull had killed a colored man down there, he was the caretaker. He was a fine animal, and they didn't want to kill him, so they sold him up here to this man. I knowed there was warnings all around the field, but I had forgot about it.
And I got right out in the middle of the field where there was some little old scrub oak. I don't think you have them in this country. And as I passed by this, all at once this big killer bull raised up, and he snorted, and, I recognized, that's the bull. I turned first, I felt for the gun. It wasn't there. I'm glad it wasn't. I'd a-probably killed the bull, and then paid for it. I felt for the gun, it wasn't there. I looked to the fence, it was too far for me. There was no trees around for me to get into. There it was, nothing but to face death. I said, "Well, Lord, if the time has come for me to die, I want to face it like a man." I shoved my shoulders down. I said, "If this is it, if I must die by this bull, then I must die."
And something happened. I know this sounds like a child, but it's the truth. Somehow or another, instead of despising that beast, I had a love for it. Then I thought, "That poor thing was laying out there in the field, I come in on his territory, I disturbed him, he don't know no more than to protect himself." And he threw his horns down and dug the dirt up, fell onto his knees, you know how they do just before they charge. And I thought, that animal, oh, I'm so sorry that I disturbed you." I said, "I don't want you to kill me, I'm the servant of God. And I'm on my road to pray for some sick people, and I forgot about those signs." I was talking just as I am now, but there was something that had happened. I wasn't scared of him. I was no more afraid of that bull than I would be my brother.
That's the way the church is, you're always scared it's not going to happen. That's the reason it don't happen, when there's fear. Love casts out fear. When you've got love, fear is gone. But as long as you got fear, love cannot operate.
And when the bull made his charge to come to me, he come within about ten feet. And he stopped, and threw his front feet out, and he looked so depleted as he looked this way and that way. And he turned and went right back around and laid down over there where he got up at. And I walked across the field and went out of the pasture, he just laid there and looked at me. It was love that took the fear away, and God seen me through. Now, after I got out of the pasture and That left me, then I just shook like a leaf. But while I was in the Presence of Him, the fear had left.
When Love Projects, May 20, 1957
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MAN FROM PADUCAH HEALED ON THE STREET
I just went in and cashed my check, I was making thirty dollars a week. And I--I went in to cash my check. And, as I went in, someone had stepped off the bus from Louisville, there on the corner of the street. Jeffersonville is a very small city. And I seen him look at me strange. And I went in to Mason's drugstore there, to--to cash my check. When I come back out, I had the bottlecaps and I had them in my pocket. And somebody laid their hand on my shoulder, said, "Sir." I turned around. And it was the... this same fellow that looked at me so strangely. He said, "I see that you're an officer."
I said, "I work for the conservation of Indiana."
He said, "I'm looking for some, a party. Maybe you could help me. Are you well acquainted?"
I said, "Yes, sir, I'm pretty well acquainted here." And he... I said, "I've lived here practically all my life."
And he said, "Well, I'll give you my story." Said, "I've been failing in health for about two years." Said, "I'm from Paducah, Kentucky, about two hundred miles down the river." He said, "Last night I had a strange dream." He said, "I dreamed I seen a big bright angel come down from Heaven, and told me to come to Jeffersonville, Indiana, and to ask for somebody by the name of Branham, to pray for me." Said, "Now, do you know anyone here by the name of Branham?"
I tell you, I thought my heart would break. I said, "My mother runs a boarding house right around the corner, her name is Branham."
He said,"Oh, she's Branham," said,"would that be your name?"
I put my arm around him. I said, "Brother, three weeks ago I was standing in my room, a great Light was shining in there, and an Angel told me to go pray for the... He just broke down. There we knelt, on the street and I took off my hat, knelt down on the street, on the corner. I said, "Father, I don't understand, but You sent this man here to declare what the Angel of the Lord told me." When I got through praying, I looked, and people had their hats off, standing along on the street, holding their children back, and things, no one on the street, just standing. I was kneeling on the street, public square. God healed him right there, gloriously.
Testimony, August 12, 1950
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WHEN SISTER HOWARD CADLE SANG
I remember Sister Cadle, Sister Howard Cadle, I think many of you remember her. I was across the street there, and my wife sitting there now remembering she was cold, in the room. And I got up, and had a little, old monkey stove out there with a... we was baking the bread up in the oven, in the pipe. And it was real cold and wind was blowing, wintertime, snow on the ground, and wind down the smokestack, and I couldn't get that thing to burn, to save my life. And I was just so tore up about it. And I put some in, it'd blow out again. Billy was cold and she was cold, I was trying to make a fire. And then I happened to turn on the radio, and a few minutes to where I just got warmed up, come on, and Sister Cadle was singing, "When I reach that Land, on a far away strand, I want to see Jesus. Don't you?" Oh, my!
I just set right down in the middle of the floor and just set there and started crying. You know how she could sing down there, that real sweet mockingbird voice of hers. I want to hear her when I cross over the border over yonder; said, "I want to see Jesus. Don't you?"
I thought, "O God, yes, I want to see Him someday. When the flowers are all floated by, I want to see Jesus." How... To see Him upon His Throne, His beauty, His splendor! And how... Oh, I want to stand where John did, so I can just stand and look at Him.
Revelation, Chapter Four, January 1, 1961
"MAKE IT A HABIT OF PRAYING"
Are you all feeling right up to it, to start the new year now? Go right out the new year. We're going to start it off right, serving the Lord. How many got up this morning and thanked Him for the old year and what all it meant, and asked Him forget the back? So, we did at the bedside when we got up, and then come in to the table and where usually a little family altar, they gather around the table and pray.
And so we always try to make it a habit of praying of a night before we go to bed. I have, that, since I was first converted. Get up of a morning, and it's too dark and too misty for me to walk, I--I don't know where I'm going. But if I just ask Him to take my hand and guide me through the day.
Then I remember, right across the street here, when I was just a young man, and Billy Paul was about three years old, or four, and we lived just across the street. And one night he wanted a drink of water, and it was out in the kitchen, with the dipper in the bucket. And I said... Oh, I was so tired, I had worked hard all day and preached half the night. And--and he said, "Daddy, I --I want a drink."
And I said, "Billy, just go out into the kitchen there, it's on the little table." I said...
He got up and rubbed his eyes, and looked through there, he said, "Daddy, I'm afraid to go." See?
And I said, "Well, that's... it's all right." I said, "Just run on, honey, and get a drink. Daddy's so tired." It's just a little distance, about to that window.
And he--he said, "But I'm afraid to go, daddy." See?
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Well, I got up with the little fellow. And reached over and got a hold of my hand, and it was a good thing; we hadn't walked four or five steps till he hit a rug where Meda had waxed the floor, and on a piece of linoleum, and you know how that is. And he just made a scoot, but I had his hand, and then he just squeezed me that much tighter. And then I stood there a little bit, and I thought, "God, that's right." See? "I don't want to make one step without You holding my hand, 'cause I don't know when I'm going to slide." You see? "And as long as I can feel Your big, powerful hand grip mine, I know You'll hold me up in the times of my..." See?
So I try to make a habit of that, to--to keep my hand in His. And sometimes I've done things that seemed ridiculous in my own sight, such things that seem so unnatural to the human mind; but if we just let it alone, I find out it was the only thing that could be done to be right.
You know, the things that don't look right here, if God will lead you into them, they'll be right out here somewhere, you see, 'cause He knows how to lead. So, seeing that He is our all-sufficient grace, and all that we have need of or care for is in Him, then let's lay aside everything else besides Him and hold to God's unchanging hand.
Revelation, Chapter Four, January 1, 1961
"VISIONS COME ALL THE TIME"
Visions was one of the first things I can remember, is visions coming. Visions come all the time. But after my conversion is where I think you were interested in, Brother Vayle. Well, I remember after I was ordained in the church, the Baptist Church, by Doctor Roy Davis, here at Watt Street, in Jeffersonville, where the church was at the time. I remember one outstanding vision not over a few weeks after my... about a... I'd say a few days after my ordination. I was... I saw a vision of an old man that was laying in the hospital, that was mashed. He was a colored man. And he was instantly healed, insomuch that it caused a lot of confusion. And he got up out of the bed and walked away.
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And two days, about two days after that, I was cutting off services, non-paid services in New Albany, water and gas and--and electrical bills. And I was so filled with joy, every time I would find an old house, I'd just go in and pray, you know, where no one lived. And I remember telling Mr. Johnny Potts, which is living today, he's way up close, I guess, to seventy, or eighty years old, he was an old meter-reader. And they taken him off of meter reading then and had placed him at the desk, to take complaints and things, as you entered the door, and service calls. And I was telling him what the Lord had showed me. And he had been, once in a while, picking up a few stray meters that the regular man didn't get. And, in this, he was telling a man which I'd seen in the paper, where they had an old wagon in those days, drove two horses, and to pick up garbage and trash in the alley.
There was an old colored man by the name of Mr. Edward J. Merrill. He lived at 1020 Clark Street, in New Albany. And he had been hit by two white people, which was a white girl and a--and a boy riding in the car, and he had lost control of the car, and it mashed him into the wheel of the wagon. And it just broke all the bones in his body, nearly. And, they, through his chest part especially, knocked his back out of place. And they had him in the hospital, very bad. And Mr. Potts, passing through, the--the hospital there in New Albany, had told him about the Lord dealing with me, and he sent for me to come, pray for him. And immediately I thought, "That's the man that I have seen in this vision."
So, I--I was a little scared to go, 'cause that was one of my first, you see, to go like that. So, but however, I went and got my buddy, which had just been converted, a little French boy named George DeArk, and I had just led him to Christ. And we went up and I said, "Now, Brother George, I--I--I want you to remember these things that happen to me, I can't understand them. But, you remember, this man's going to be healed, and when he's healed... I can't pray for him till the two white people comes and stands on the other side of the bed. Cause I have to do it the way it was showed to me."
And I went into the hospital and asked for Mr. Merrill. And I went there, and his wife told me that he was very seriously, and he couldn't move because that the x-rays had showed that some of these bones were laying right next to the lungs. And if he moved, why, it would, might puncture his lungs, and hemorrhage him to death. And he was very bad, and was hemorrhaging a little from his throat and so forth, because he was bleeding around the mouth. He had been laying there about two days. And the man was, at that time, about sixty-five years old, I suppose, sixty or sixty-five, elderly man. His mustache, long, had turned white, and his hair was gray.
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And I went in and told this man, oh, the vision I had saw from the Lord. And the young people come in that had hit him. And I knelt down to pray for him, and, all of a sudden, this man let out a scream, saying, "I'm healed," and jumped up. And his wife, trying to hold him back in bed, and one of the interns come, trying to hold him in bed, and he jumped out of the bed. It caused a lot of excitement. And when I went to the... I said to Brother George and them...
One of the sisters, it was a Catholic hospital, come in, and said I'd have to "get out of there, so getting that man excited," because he had a fever about a hundred and four. And, the strange thing, when they put him back in, the priest of the place and some of the doctors had put him... made him go back to bed, 'cause he was putting on his clothes. And when they took his temperature, he had no temperature.
There's many people living today that seen the vision, seen it happened or know about it. And I went out and stood on the steps, and said to Brother George, "Now you watch, he's going to be wearing a brown coat and a plug hat. He will walk right down these steps in a few minutes." And he actually did, he come right out and walked down.
Visions, September 30, 1960
VISION SHOWS HEALING OF MARY DER OHANIAN
About a night after that, the Lord appeared to me again, one morning just about the break of day, and showed me a woman hideously crippled that was going to be made well. So I said, "Well, I'll--I'll probably find out where she's at." And so I went down and was turning off some water, up on... I believe it was around Eighth Street, in New Albany. And I had to, it was a double tenement, and I was afraid I had turned off both sides. One side the people had moved out, and the other side, the people were there. So I went over to the side that had the people, it was occupied, and I knocked at the door.