Explore frequently asked questions about the controversial itinerant American Baptist pastor, William Marrion Branham.
Who was William Branham?
William Marrion Branham (1909-1965) was born in Kentucky, USA. Following a personal healing experience as a young man, he felt called to preach and became an independent Baptist pastor. In his itinerant work, he emphasised healing, deliverance and prosperity.
What was William Branham's role in the 'healing revival?
Historian D. E. Harrell, in his book All Things are Possible (Indiana University Press), explains that many participants in the ‘healing revival’, which ‘erupted’ in 1947 in the USA, regarded Branham as its ‘initiator’ and many in the neo-Pentecostal movement believed him to be a 'prophet'.
Why did 'Branhamism' become so popular?
William Branham's simple messages, and reports of many alleged healings, made him extremely popular.
Branham’s books, cassettes, tracts and videos became available in many languages and were distributed widely in South American countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico and Paraguay. His resources also penetrated effectively into England, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Russia, the Philippines and South Africa.
What claims were made about William Branham?
Claims made concerning Branham include regarding him as ‘the twentieth-century prophet’; ‘A man sent from God’; and ‘a prophet to the Gentiles’ whose ministry ‘has been unparalleled since the days of our Lord Jesus Christ’.
In January 1950, a photograph of Branham was developed and a light appeared in the negative above his head ‘in a halo-like form’. Rather than seeking a technical explanation, his supporters regard the phenomenon as supernatural. They say the light is a supernatural entity and claim that this is ‘the only supernatural Being ever photographed’!
Was Branham's teaching biblical?
Despite his emphasis on ‘salvation’, ‘grace’ and ‘faith’, Branham's teaching on the crucial matter of becoming a Christian is confused and unbiblical.
William Branham's life and ministry are explored by Evangelical Times' author Eryl Davies in his Concerning Cults series of articles: