Preached on Sunday afternoon, 19th April 1959 at the Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (2 hours and 4 minutes)
13-1 Let us bow our heads just a moment for prayer. Our gracious heavenly Father, it is indeed with privileges that we have of approaching Thee, our God and Saviour. Hearing this marvelous song, “How Great Thou Art,” it thrills us because that we know that Thou art great. And we pray that Your greatness will be manifested to us anew this afternoon as we speak. And it is fallen my lot for the first time in many years to try to go back into life’s past, and I pray that You’ll give me strength and–and what I need, Lord, to be in this hour. And may all my mistakes in life only be a steppingstone to others, that would bring them closer to Thee. Grant it, Lord. May sinners see the footprints on the sands of time, and may they be led to Thee. These things we ask in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Amen. (May be seated.)
13-2 [Brother Glover says, “Could you pray for these handkerchiefs before you start?”–Ed.] I’ll be glad. [“There’s those and these to pray for.”] All right, sir, thank you. As this sainted man, Brother Glover, that I’ve known now for some years, had the privilege of being with him awhile last evening. And he’s told me of–he’d been laid up for a little while, resting. And now, at seventy-five years old, is returning back into the service of the Lord. I’m not half as tired as I was before I heard that. I–I thought I was tired, but I–I don’t believe I am. He had just placed here to me some handkerchiefs, in the form of envelopes, and so forth, where they’re inside and already backed.
13-3 Now, any of you in radio land, or here, that desires one of these handkerchiefs, and you would, the Angelus Temple sends them out constantly, all the time. You could write right here to Angelus Temple and they’ll pray over it, because I will assure you that it’s the Scripture. It’s a promise of God.
And if it would be that you’d want me to pray over one for you, why, I’ll be glad to do that. You just would write me at post office box 3-2-5, 325, Jeffersonville, spelt J-e-f-f-e-r-s-o-n-v-i double l-e, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Or if you cannot think of the post office box, just write “Jeffersonville.” It’s a small city, population about thirty-five thousand. Everyone knows me there. And so we would be glad to pray over a handkerchief and send to you.
14-1 And now, we have had great success in doing this, because… You’ll have a little form letter with it, that people around the world pray every morning at nine o’clock, and at twelve o’clock and at three o’clock. And you can imagine, around behind the world, what time of the night they have to get up to make this prayer. So if all these tens of thousands, and times thousands, are sending prayers to God at that very same time for this ministry, your sickness, God just can’t turn that away. And so now we, as I say, we don’t have any programs; we’re not wanting one penny of money. We’re just… If we can help you, that’s what we’re here for. And let us…
14-2 A… Someone is bringing another bunch of handkerchiefs. Now, if you do not have a handkerchief that you wanted to send, well, then you just write anyhow. If you don’t need it right now, keep it in the Book of Acts in the Bible, the 19th chapter. And it’ll be a form of a little white ribbon that will be sent you, and the instructions how to confess your sins first. And (Thank you.) how to confess your sins… You must never try to get anything from God without first being right with God. See? And then you’re instructed in this to call your neighbors in and your pastor. If you got anything that’s in your heart against anyone, go make it right first, and come back. And then pray, have a prayer meeting in your home, and pin this handkerchief to your underneath garment, then believe God. And at that very three hours, each day, there’ll be people around the world praying, a chain around the world.
14-3 And now, it’s yours absolutely free; just send. And–and, now, we will not be writing back to you to dun you or to tell you of some program that we have. We want you to support program, but we don’t–don’t have any for you to support. See? So you… It’s not to get your address; it’s just merely accommodation and a ministry of the Lord that we’re trying to carry on.
Now, let us bow our heads. And if you’re in radio land, have your handkerchief laying there, just put your own hand upon it while we pray.
14-5 Gracious Lord, we bring to Thee these little parcels, perhaps some of them look to be maybe little vests for a baby, or–or some little undershirt, or maybe a little pair of booties, or–or something, a handkerchief, that’s going to the sick and the afflicted; Lord, it is according to Thy Word that we do this. For we read in the Book of Acts, that they taken from the body of Your servant Paul, handkerchiefs and aprons, because they believed that Your Spirit was on the man. And unclean spirits went out of people, and afflictions and diseases left them, because they believed. And now, we realize, Lord, that we’re not Saint Paul, but we know that You still remain Jesus. And we pray that You’ll honor the faith of these people.
15-1 And it was said once that when Israel, trying to obey God, had been caught into a trap, the sea before them, the mountains on either side, and Pharaoh’s army approaching. And one has said that, “God looked down through that Pillar of Fire with angered eyes, and the sea got scared, and rolled back itself, and made a path for Israel to cross to the promised land.”
O Lord, look down again, when these parcels are laid upon the sick bodies in commemoration of Thy living Word. And may the disease get scared, look through the Blood of Thy Son, Jesus, Who died for this atonement. And may the enemy be scared and move away, that these people might move into the promise, that above all things, that it is Your desire that we prosper in health. Grant it, Father, for we send it with that–with that attitude in our heart. And that’s our objective. We send it in Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen.
Thank you, Brother Glover. Thank you, sir.
15-3 Now, tonight being the closing of this part of the revival, I do not know whether it will be broadcast or not, but I’d like to say (if not) to the radio audience, that this has been one of the finest meetings that I’ve had for a many, many years. It’s been solid, sound, most loving, cooperative meeting that I have been in for a long time.
15-4 But… [A brother says, “We’re on the air till a quarter past four, brother. They are listening to you all over southern California, out into the islands, and on the ships. We get messages from them. And so you got a big audience, thousands and tens of thousands.”–Ed.] Thank you, sir. That’s very good. Glad to hear that. God bless you all.
And I certainly have a–always had a warm place in my heart for the Angelus Temple, for its stand for the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. And now, it’s–it seems to be more personal to me now. It seems like, after meeting everyone and seeing their fine spirit, I seem like I am just more one of you than I used to be. God bless you, is my prayer. And… [Audience applauds–Ed.] Thank you, kindly.
15-6 Now, it was given out that today I was to kinda talk to you a while on “My Life Story.” That’s a–a hard thing for me. This will be the first time I have tried to approach it for many years. And I would not have time to go in details, but just part of it. And in here I’ve made many mistakes, done many things that was wrong. And I’ll desire, that you in the radio land and you that are present, that you will not take my mistakes to be stumbling stones, but steppingstones to bring you closer to the Lord Jesus.
16-1 Then tonight the prayer cards is to be given out for the healing service tonight. Now, when we speak of healing service, doesn’t mean that we’re going to heal someone; we’re going to pray for someone. God does the healing. He’s just been very gracious to me to answer prayer.
And I was talking to the manager of a famous evangelist here sometime ago, and–and it was asked why didn’t this evangelist pray for the sick. And the evangelist said back to the–the manager of my meetings, said, “If… This evangelist believes in Divine healing. But if he would start praying for the sick, it would interrupt his service because he’s sponsored by churches. Many churches and many of them does not believe in Divine healing.”
So I have an honor and respect for the evangelist, because he’s keeping his place, his post of duty. He could perhaps… I could never take his place, and I doubt whether he could take my place. We all have a place in the Kingdom of God. We’re all jointed together: different gifts, but the same Spirit, different manifestations, I meant to say, but the same Spirit.
16-4 And now, tonight the services will begin… I think they said the concert begins at six-thirty. And now, if you’re out in the radio land, come in to listen to this. It’s… It’ll be beautiful; it’s always.
And then I wish to say that the prayer cards will be given out immediately after this service, just as soon as this service is dismissed, if you’re here and want a prayer card… I was instructed in there just a few moments ago, my son, or Mr. Mercier, or Mr. Goad; they’ll be giving out prayer cards. Just remain in your seat. As soon as the service is dismissed, just remain at your seat so the boys can get down through the line and get the prayer cards given out just as quick as possible. That’ll be in the balconies or on the floor, wherever, the bottom floors or wherever you are; just remain in your seat and the boys will know that you’re here for a prayer card. And then tonight we’ll be praying for the sick. And if the Lord does not change my thoughts, I want to preach on the subject tonight, “If You’ll Show Us The Father, It Will Satisfy Us.”
16-6 Now, I wish to read for a text this afternoon, just to start off the Life Story, found over in the Book of Hebrews the 13th chapter, and let’s begin here about, I’d say about the 12th verse.
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go… therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Now, that is kindly of a text. For, you see, if it’s a life story, or anything pertaining to a human being, we don’t glorify that, and especially a–a man’s past, if it’s been as dark as mine has been. But I thought if we read the Scripture, God would bless the Scripture. And my thought is that here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
17-2 Now, I know that you’re very fond of Los Angeles. You have a right to be. It’s a great, beautiful city. With its smog and whatmore, yet it’s a beautiful city, fine climate. But this city cannot continue; it’s got to have an end.
I’ve stood in Rome where the great emperors and the cities that they thought they would build immortal, and dig down twenty feet to even find the ruins of it. I’ve stood where the Pharaohs has had their great kingdoms, and you’d dig down in the ground to find where the great Pharaohs ruled. All of us like to think about our city and our place. But remember, it cannot stand.
17-6 When I was a little boy I used to go to a great maple tree. In my country we have a lot of hardwood. And then we had this maple tree, the sugar maple, and what we call the “hard maple” and “soft maple.” This great gigantic tree, it was the most beautiful tree. When I would come in from the fields, of working in the hay and–and the harvests, I would love to go to this big tree and–and set down under it, and–and look up. And I could see its great, mighty branches sway in the wind, great huge trunk. And I said, “You know, I believe that this tree will be here for hundreds and hundreds of years.” Not long ago I took a look at the old tree; it’s just a snag. “For here we have no continuing city.”
No, nothing here on the earth that you can look at will continue. It’s got to have an end. Everything that’s mortal has to give away to an immortality. So no matter how good we build our highways, how fine we make our structures, it all has to go, for here there’s nothing can continue. Just the Unseen is what continues.
17-8 I remember the house that we lived in; it was an old log house chinked with mud. I… Perhaps maybe many never seen a house chinked with mud. But it was all chinked up with mud, and the great huge logs that was in the old house, I thought that house would stand for hundreds of years. But, you know, today where that house stood is a housing project. It’s so much different. Everything’s changing. But…
17-9 And I used to see my father; he was a rather a short, stocky man, very strong, and he was one of the strongest little men that I knew of. I met Mr. Coots, a fellow that he used to work with in the logs; he was a logger, and about a year ago. And Mr. Coots is a very good friend of mine, and a deacon in the First Baptist church, and he said, “Billy, you ought to be a real powerful man.”
And I said, “No, I’m not, Mr. Coots.”
He said, “If you took after your daddy, you would be.” Said, “I seen that man, weighing a hundred and forty pounds, load a log on the wagon by himself, that weighed nine hundred pounds.” He just knew how to do it. He was strong. I’d see him come into the place to wash and get ready for dinner, when mother would call him.
18-1 And we had an old apple tree out in the front yard, and then there was three or four small ones along towards the back. And right in the middle tree there was an old looking glass had been broke, mirror, large one, and had been tacked on the side of the tree with some nails bent in, kind of like what some of you carpenters listening in would call “coat hangers.” It had been bent in to hold the glass in its place. And there was an old tin comb. How many ever seen an old tin–the old fashion tin combs? I can just see it.
And then there was a little wash bench, just a little board with a little slanting leg beneath it, tacked against the tree, a little, old, half sulfur pump there that we pumped the water out, and we washed at this old tree. And mama used to take meal sacks and make towels. Anybody ever used a meal-sack towel? Well, I’m sure I’m feel at home now. And those big, old rough towels, and when she’d give us little kiddies a bath, she’d–feel like she was rubbing the hide off every time she rubbed. And I remember that old meal sack. And she’d pull some of the strings out and make little tassels to kind of decorate it up.
18-3 How many ever slept on a straw tick? Well, I’ll–will say! How many ever knowed what a shuck pillow was, put… Well, Brother Glover, I’m at home now, sure enough. Straw tick, well, it hasn’t been too long since I just come off of one, and it was… Oh, it–it’s good sleeping, cool. Then in the wintertime they take the old feather bed and lay on it, you know, and then have to put a piece of canvas over the top of us because the snow blowed in the–the cracks in the house, you know, where the old clapboard shingles would turn up, you know, and the snow would sweep through it. And oh, I can remember that very well.
18-4 And then pop used to have a shaving brush. I… Now, this is going to get you. It was made out of corn shucks, a shaving brush with corn shucks. He’d take mother’s old lye soap that she had made, fix it up and put it on his face with this corn shuck brush, and shave it with a big, old straight razor. And on Sunday he’d take the–the pieces of paper, stick around his collar, they wore celluloid collars and put it around the collar like this to keep the–the–the lather from getting on his shirt collar. Did you ever see that done? Why, my, my.
19-1 I remember a little old spring down below, where we used to go get a drink of water, and get our water out of an old gourd dipper. How many ever seen a gourd dipper? Well, how many of you is from Kentucky anyhow, let’s… Well, just looky here at the Kentuckians. Well, my, I’m–I’m right at… I thought it was all Okies and Arkies out here, but look like Kentucky’s moving in. Well, they did strike oil in Kentucky a few months ago, you know, so maybe that’s some of them’s coming this a-way.
19-2 And then I remember when dad used to come in and take his wash for dinner; he’d roll up his sleeves, them little short stubby arms… And when he’d pull up his arms to wash, throw the water up on his face, them muscles just wadded in his little arms. And I said, “You know, my daddy will live to be a hundred and fifty years old.” He was so strong. But he died at fifty-two. See? “Here we have no continuing city.” That’s right. We cannot continue.
19-3 Now, let’s take a little trip, all of us. There’s every one of you here that has a life story just as I do, and it’s good to stroll down memory’s lane once in a while. Don’t you think so? Just go back, and let’s all go back for a while, back to similar experiences as little children.
And now, the first part of the life story. I’ll just give it a little touch, ’cause it’s in the book and many of you have the book.
19-5 I was born in a little mountain cabin, way up in the mountains of Kentucky. They had one room that we lived in, no rug on the floor, not even wood on the floor; it was just simply a bare floor. And a stump, top of a stump cut off with three legs on it, that was our table. And all those little Branhams would pile around there, and out on the front of the little old cabin, and wallowed out, looked like where a bunch of opossums had been wallowing out there in the dust, you know, all the little brothers. There was nine of us, and one little girl, and she really had a rough time amongst that bunch of boys. We have to respect her yet today from the things that we did in those days. She couldn’t go with us anywhere; we’d run her back; she was a girl. So she couldn’t take it, you know. So we had… And all…
19-6 Remember that back behind the table we had just two chairs, and they were made out of limb bark, just old hickory saplings put together, and the bottom of them laced with hickory bark. Did anybody ever see a hickory bark chair? Yeah. And I can hear mama yet. Oh, later on when we got into a place where she could have a wooden floor, with those babies on her lap like this, and rocking that old chair just bangity, bangity, bang on the floor. I remember to keep the little ones from going out the door, when she would be washing or something, she’d lay a chair down and turn it kind of cater-cornered across the door to keep the little ones from getting out when she had to go to the spring to get water, and so forth.
And mother was fifteen years old when I was born; dad was eighteen. And I was the first of the nine children. And they told me that the morning I was born…
20-2 Now, we was very poor, just the poorest of poor. And we did not even have a window in this little cabin. It had a–like a little wooden door that you open. I doubt whether you ever seen anything like that. A little wooden door that opened instead of a window, you keep it open in the daytime; you closed it at night. We couldn’t turn on the electric lights or even burn kerosene in those days, we had what you call a grease lamp. Now, I don’t know whether you ever know what a grease lamp was. Well, what do you… And did you ever buy–burn a pine knot for a–just take a pine knot and light it and lay it upon a lid? It’ll burn. And that’s… Smoked up a little bit, but they had not furniture, anyhow, to smoke up. So it just… The cabin got the smoking. It drawed good ’cause there was plenty of roof up there for it to draw through. So it…
20-3 And I was born on April the–the 6th, 1909. ‘Course, you know, that makes me a little over twenty-five now. And so, the morning that I was born, mother said that they opened up the window. Now, we had no doctors; there was a midwife, just… And that midwife was my grandmother. And so when I was born and my first beginning to cry, and–and mother wanted to see her child… And–and she was no more than a child herself. And when they opened up the little window just at the break of day, about five o’clock in the… There was an old robin setting by the side of a little bush. As you all have seen the picture of it in–in my book of my life story… An old robin was setting there just singing for all that was in him.
20-4 I’ve always loved robins. Now, you boys out in radio land, don’t shoot at my birds. You see, they’re–they’re–they’re… Them’s my birds. Did you ever hear the legend of the robin, how he got his red breast? I’ll stop here a moment. How he got his red breast, there was the King of kings was dying one day on the Cross, and He was suffering and no one would come to Him. He had no one to help Him. And there was a little brown bird wanted to take them nails out of the Cross, and he kept flying in to the Cross and jerking on those nails. He was too little to pull them out, and he got his little breast all red with blood. Ever since then his breast has been red. Don’t shoot him, boys. Let him alone.
He was setting at the side of the window a-chirping as the robins sing. And–and dad pushed back the window. And when they pushed the little window door back, that Light that you see in the picture come whirling in the window, says my mother, and hung over the bed. Grandmother didn’t know what to say.
21-2 Now, we are–was not a religious family. My people are Catholic. I’m Irish on both sides. My father is strictly Irish: Branham. My mother is Harvey; only her father married a Cherokee Indian, so that broke the little line of the blood of the Irish. And father and mother did not go to church, and they married out of the church, and they had no religion at all. And back there in the mountains there was not even a Catholic church. So they come over in the early settlers; two Branhams come over, and from that sprung the whole generation of Branhams; is the genealogy of the family.
21-3 And then she opened… When they opened this window and this Light stood in there, they did not know what to do. Dad had bought him (mama said) a new pair of overalls for this event. He was standing with the–his arms in the bib of the old overalls, like the woodsmen and loggers used in those days. And it frightened them.
21-4 Well, after I’d got up maybe ten days old, or something, they taken me up to a little Baptist church called “Opossum Kingdom.” Opossum Kingdom Baptist Church, that’s quite a name. There was an old circuit preacher, the old fashion Baptist preacher came through there about once every two months. On… The people would have a little service together; they’d go sing some songs, but they had preaching every so often on the circuit rider. They paid him each year with a sack of pumpkins and a few things like that, you know, that the people would raise to give him. And the old preacher came by, and there he offered prayer for me as a little boy. That was my first trip to church.
21-5 At the year of about, something a little over two years old, the first vision taken place.
Well, they had told around in the mountains there that “This Light came in.” So they tried to figure it up. Some of them said it must’ve been the sunlight reflecting on a mirror in the house. But there was no mirror in there. And the sun wasn’t up, so it was too early, at five o’clock. And then, oh, they just passed It by. And when I was about, suppose be near three years old…
21-7 Now, I have to be honest. There’s things here that I do not like to say, and I wish I could bypass it and not have to say it. But yet, to tell the truth, you must tell the truth if it’s on yourself or your people. Be honest about it, and then it’s always the same.
My father was a long way from being a religious person. He was a typical mountain boy that drank constantly all the time. And he’d gotten in some trouble in a fight, and there had been two or three men almost killed as they fighting, shooting, and cutting one another with knives, at a–some kind of a party up in the mountains. And dad had been one of the ringleaders of this fight, because that there’d been a friend of his had got hurt, and had hit someone with a chair, and had… The man had a knife out and was going to cut dad’s friend on the floor with this knife, through his heart, and dad took his part. And it really must have been a terrible fight, because they, from all the way down to Burkesville, many miles away, they sent a sheriff up after dad, horseback.
22-2 So the man was laying at the point of death. Might be some of his people listening in. I’m going to call his name, Will Yarbrough was his name. They probably… I think some of them is in California, of his boys. But he was a bully, great powerful man, killed his own boy with a fence rail. So he–he was a very powerful and wicked man. And so there was a great knife fight between he and dad. And my father almost killed the man, so he had to run and leave Kentucky and come across the river to Indiana.
22-3 And he had a brother that lived, at the time, in Louisville, Kentucky, was the assistant superintendent of the Wood Mosaic Saw Mills in Kentucky, in Louisville. And so dad come to find his older brother. Dad was the youngest of the boys, of seventeen children. And so he came to find his older brother, and while he was gone for almost a year. He could not come back, because the law was looking for him. And then when we’d heard from him by letter, signed by another name, but that he’d told mother how it would be that she’d hear from him…
22-4 And then I remember one day the spring (this little cabin was just behind the house). And–and during that time after… There was nine–eleven months difference between me and my next brother, and he was still crawling. And I had a big rock in my hand, and I was trying to show him how hard I could throw this rock in the old mud, where the spring had run out of the ground and made the muddy ground. And I heard a bird, and it was singing up in a tree. And I looked up to that tree, and the bird flew away, and when it did, a Voice spoke to me.
I know you think I could not think and remember that. But the Lord God Who’s Judge, the earth and the heavens and all there is, knows that I’m telling the truth.
22-6 That bird, when it flew away, a Voice came from where the bird was in the tree, like a wind caught in the bush, and It said, “You’ll live near a city called New Albany.” And I’ve lived from the time I was three years old until this time, within three miles of New Albany, Indiana.
I went in and told my mother about it. Why, she thought I was just dreaming or something.
And later we moved to Indiana and father went to work for a man, Mr. Wathen, a rich man. He owns the Wathen Distilleries. And he owned a great shares. He’s a multimillionaire in the Louisville Colonels and–and baseball, and so forth. And then we lived near there. And dad being a poor man, yet he could not do without his drinking, so he–he went to making whiskey in a–in a still.
And then it worked a hardship on me, because I was the oldest of the children. I had to come and pack water to this still to keep those coils cool while they were making the whiskey. Then he got to selling it, and then he got two or three of those stills. Now, that’s the part I don’t like to tell, but it’s the truth.
23-4 And I remember one day, from the barn, coming up to the house, crying. Because out at the back of the place was a pond, it–where they used to cut ice. Many of you remember when they used to cut ice and put it in sawdust. Well, that’s the way Mr. Wathen kept ice out there in the country. And father was a–a chauffeur for him, a private chauffeur. And when this pond was full of fish and when they would go to cutting the ice and bringing it in and put it in the sawdust, then when the ice melted in the summertime as it went down, it was kind of clean I suppose, more like a lake ice, and they could use it, not to drink, but to keep water cold, put it around their buckets and their milk, and so forth.
23-5 And one day packing water from back out at this pump, which was about a city block. I was squalling to who wouldn’t have it, because I’d come from school and all the boys had went out to the pond, fishing. I just loved to fish. And so they all got to go fishing but me, and I had to pack water for this still. Of course, my, that had to be mum; it was prohibition. And I… It was such a hardship. And I remember coming along there with a stumped toe, and I had a corn cob wrapped under my toe to keep it out of the dust. Did you ever do that? Just put a corn cob under your toe like this and wrap a string around it. It holds your toe right up like a turtle head almost, you know, sticking up. You could track me everywhere I went with this corn cob under my toe; where I’d stump it, you know. I didn’t have any shoes to wear. So we never wore shoes, sometime half the winter. If we did, we–it was just what we could pick up, somebody would give us. And clothes to what somebody, charity would give us…
24-1 And I stopped under this tree, and I was sitting there just squalling (It was in September.), because I wanted to go fishing; I had to pack several tubs of water with little molassey buckets, just about that high, half a gallon, ’cause I was just a little lad of about seven years old. And I’d pour them in a big tub and then go back and get another two buckets and come back, pumping it. That’s the water we had. And they was going to run off a batch of that corn whiskey that night, these men with daddy, up at the house.
24-2 And I was crying, and all at once I heard something making a noise like a whirlwind, something like this (Now, I hope it isn’t too loud), going “Whoooossssh, whoooossssh,” just a noise like that. Well, it was awful quiet, and I looked around. And you know what, a little whirlwind, I believe you call them a little cyclones. In the fall of the year they pick up through the corn field, you know, the leaves and so forth, in the autumn there, the leaves are just begin turning. And I was under a great white poplar tree, stood about halfway between the barn and the–the house. And I heard that noise. And I looked around; it was just as quiet as it is in this room, not a leaf blowing nowhere, or nothing. And I thought, “Where’s that noise coming from?” Well, I thought, “Must be away from here.” Just a lad… And it got louder and louder.
24-3 I picked up my little buckets and squalled a couple more times and started up the lane; I was resting. And I got just few feet from that, out from under the branches of this big tree, and, oh, my, it made a whirl sounding. And I turned to look, and about halfway up that tree was another whirlwind, caught in that tree just a-going around and around, moving those leaves. Well, I thought nothing strange about that, because it just in that time of year. In the autumn, why, those whirlwinds come, little… We call them “whirlwinds.” And they–and they pick up dust. You’ve seen them on the desert like that: same thing. So I watched, but it didn’t leave off. Usually it’s just a puff for a moment, then it goes, but it’d already been in there two minutes or more.
24-4 Well, I started up the lane again. And I turned to look at this again. And when It did, a human Voice, just as audible as mine is, said, “Don’t you never drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way. There’ll be a work for you to do when you get older.” Why, it liked to scared me to death. You could imagine how a little fellow felt. I dropped those buckets, and home I went just as hard as I could go, screaming the top of my voice.
24-5 And there was copperheads in that country, snakes, and they’re very poison. Mother thought, coming alongside of the garden I’d perhaps got my foot on a copperhead, and she ran to meet me. And I jumped up in her arms, screaming, hugging her and kissing her. And she said, “What’s the matter, did you get snakebit?” Looked me all over.
I said, “No, mama. There’s a man in that tree down there.”
And she said, “Oh, Billy, Billy, come on?” And she said, “Did you stop and go to sleep?”
I said, “No, ma’am. There’s a man in that tree, and He told me not to drink and not to smoke, drink whiskeys and–and things.”
25-1 And I was packing water to a moonshine still, right then. And He said, “Don’t you never drink or defile your body in any way.” That’s immoral, you know, and my child–young manhood with women. And to my best, I have never one time been guilty of such. The Lord helped me of those things, and as I go along you’ll find out. So then, “Don’t drink, or don’t smoke, or do not defile your body, for there’ll be a work for you to do when you get older.”
Well, I told that to mama, and she just laughed at me. And I was just hysterically. She called the doctor, and the doctor said, “Well, he’s just nervous; that’s all.” So she put me to bed. And I never, from that day to this, ever passed by that tree again. I was scared. I’d go down the other side of the garden, because I thought there was a man up in that tree and He was talking to me, great deep Voice that spoke.
25-3 And then sometime about a month after that, I was playing marbles out with my little brothers, out in the front yard. And all at once I had a strange feeling come on me. And I stopped and set down aside of a tree. And we were right up on the bank from the Ohio River. And I looked down towards Jeffersonville, and I seen a bridge rise up and go across that, the river, span the river. And I seen sixteen men (I counted them) that dropped off of there and lost their lives on that bridge. I run in real quick and told my mother, and she thought I went to sleep. But they kept it in mind, and twenty-two years from then the Municipal Bridge now (that many of you cross when you cross there) crossed the river at the same place, and sixteen men lost their life building that bridge across the river.
It’s never failed to be perfectly true. As you see It here in the auditorium, It’s been that way all the time.
25-5 Now, they thought I was just nervous. Which I am a nervous person; that’s true. And if you ever notice, people who are–are inclined to be spiritual are nervous. Look at poets and prophets. And look at William Cowper who wrote that famous song, “There is a fountain filled with Blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins.” Did you ever… You know the song. I stood by his grave not long ago. Brother Julius, I believe, I don’t know, no… Yes, that’s right, was with us over there at his grave. And–and there, after he had wrote that song, the inspiration left him, he tried to find the–the river to commit suicide. See, the spirit had left him. And people like poets and authors and–or not–I mean prophets…
26-1 Look at Elijah, when he stood on the mountain and called fire out of the heaven and called rain out of the heaven. Then when the Spirit left him, he run at a threat of a woman. And God found him pulled back in a cave, forty days later.
Look at Jonah, with enough inspiration when the Lord had anointed him to preach there in Nineveh, till a–a city was the size of St. Louis repented with sackcloth. And then when the Spirit left him, what happened to him? We find him up on the mountain after the Spirit left him, praying to God to take his life. And, you see, it’s inspiration. And when these things happen, it–it does something to you.
26-3 Then I remember coming on up. I got to be a young man. (I’ll hurry to make it within the next little bit.) When I got to be a young man I had ideas like all young men. I… Going to school, I’d found them little girls. You know, I was real bashful, you know. And I–I finally got me a little girlfriend, and like all little boys, about fifteen years old, I guess. And–and so, oh, she was pretty. My, she had eyes like a dove, and she had teeth like pearl, and a neck like a swan, and she–she was really pretty.
26-4 And another little boy, he–we were buddies, so he got his daddy’s old model-T Ford, and we got a date with our girls. And we was going to take them out, riding. We got enough to buy two gallons of gasoline. We had to jack the back wheel up to crank it. I don’t know whether you ever remember that or not, you know, to crank it. But we–we was going along pretty good.
And so I had a few nickels in my pocket, and we stopped at a little place and got… You could get a ham sandwich for a nickel. And so, oh, I was rich; I could buy four of them. See? And after we’d eat the sandwiches and drank the coke. I started taking the bottles back. And to my surprise, when I come out (women had just start falling from grace at that time, or from womanhood), my little dove was smoking a cigarette.
26-6 Well, I’ve always had my opinion of a woman that would smoke a cigarette, and I haven’t changed it one bit from that time on. That’s right. It’s the lowest thing she can do. That’s exactly right. And I–I thought I… Now, the cigarette company could get after me for this, but I’m telling you; that’s just a stunt of the Devil. It’s the biggest killer and sabotage this nation’s got. I’d rather my boy be a drunkard than to be a cigarette smoker. That’s the truth. I’d rather see my wife laying on the floor, drunk, than to see her with a cigarette. That’s how…
27-1 Now, this Spirit of God that’s with me, if That is the Spirit of God (as you might question), you smoking cigarettes has got a slim chance when you get there, ’cause that just… Every time you notice it on the platform, how He condemns it. It’s a horrible thing. Keep away from it. Ladies, if you have been guilty of that, please, in the Name of Christ, get away from it. It breaks you. It’ll kill you. It’ll… It’s a–it’s a cancer by the carloads.
The doctors try to warn you. And then how they can sell you that stuff… If you’d go down to the drug store and say, “Buy… I want to buy fifty-cents worth of cancer.” Why, they’d come lock them up. But when you buy fifty-cents worth of cigarettes, you’re buying the same thing. Doctors say so. Oh, this money-mad nation, it’s too bad. It’s a killer. It’s been proved.
27-3 Well, when I seen that pretty little girl just acting smart, this cigarette in her hand, that liked to killed me, ’cause I really thought I loved her. And I thought, “Well…”
Now, I’m called a woman-hater; you know that, because I’m always kind of against women, but not against you sisters. I’m just against the way modern women act. That’s right. Good women should be packed along.
27-5 But I can remember when my father’s still up there running, I had to be out there with water and stuff, see young ladies that wasn’t over seventeen, eighteen years old, up there with men my age now, drunk. And they’d have to sober them up and give them black coffee to get home to cook their husband’s supper. Oh, something like that, I said, “I…” This was my remark then, “They’re not worth a good clean bullet to kill them with it.” That’s right. And I hated women. That’s right. And I just have to watch every move now, to keep from still thinking the same thing.
27-6 So, but now, a good woman is a jewel in a man’s crown. She should be honored. She’s… My mother’s a woman; my wife is; and they’re lovely. And I’ve got thousands of Christian sisters who I highly respect. But if–if they can respect what God made them, a motherhood and a real queen, that’s all right. She’s one of the best things that God could give a man was a wife. Besides salvation, a wife is the best thing if she is a good wife. But if she isn’t, Solomon said, “A good woman is a jewel in a man’s crown, but a–a ornery one or no-good one is water in his blood.” And that’s right, it’s the worst thing could happen. So a good woman… If you’ve got a good wife, brother, you ought to respect her with the highest. That’s right. You should do that. A real woman… And children, if you’ve got a real mother that stays home and tries to take care of you, keeping your clothes clean, send you to school, teaching you about Jesus, you should honor that sweet old mother with all that’s in you. You should respect that woman (Yes, sir.), because she’s a real mother.
28-1 They talk about the illiteracy of Kentucky mountains. You see it in this here dogpatch stuff. Some of them old mammies out there could come here to Hollywood and teach you modern mothers how to raise your kids. You let her kid come in one night with her hair all messed up, and lips, and slips (What do you call that makeup stuff they put on their face?), and her dress all squeezed to one side, and been out all night, drunk, brother, she’d get one of them limbs off the top of that hickory tree and she’d never go out no more. I’m telling you, she’d… And if you had a little more of that, you’d have a better Hollywood around here and a better nation. That’s right. It’s true. “Just try to be modern,” that–that’s one of the tricks of the Devil.
28-2 Now, this little girl, when I looked at her, my heart just bled. I thought, “Poor little fellow…”
And she said, “Oh, you want a cigarette, Billy?”
I said, “No, ma’am.” I said, “I don’t smoke.”
She said, “Now, you said you didn’t dance.” They wanted to go to a dance, and I wouldn’t do it. So they said there was a dance down there, what they called Sycamore Gardens.
And I said, “No, I don’t dance.”
She said, “Now, you don’t dance; you don’t smoke; you don’t drink. How do you have any fun?”
I said, “Well, I like to fish; I like to hunt.” That didn’t interest her.
So she said, “Take this cigarette.”
And I said, “No, ma’am, thank you. I don’t smoke.”
28-4 And I was standing on the fender. They had a running board on the old Fords, you remember; I was standing on that fender, setting in the back seat, she and I. And she said, “You mean you won’t smoke a cigarette?” Said, “And we girls has got more nerve than you have.”
And I said, “No, ma’am, don’t believe I want to do it.”
She said, “Why, you big sissy!” Oh, my. I wanted to be big bad Bill, so I–I sure didn’t want nothing sissy. See, I wanted to be a prize fighter; that was my idea of life. So I said… “Sissy, sissy?”
28-6 I couldn’t stand that, so I said, “Give it to me!” My hand out, I said, “I’ll show her whether I’m sissy or not.” Got that cigarette out and started to strike the match. Now, I know you’re… Now, I’m not responsible for what you think; I’m just responsible for telling the truth. When I started to strike that cigarette, just as much determined to smoke it as I am to pick up this Bible. (See?) I heard something going, “Whoooossssh!” I tried again; I couldn’t get it to my mouth. And I got to crying; I throwed the thing down. They got to laughing at me. And I walked home, went up through the field, set down out there, crying. And–and it was a terrible life.
29-1 I remember one day dad was going down to the river with the boys. My brother and I, we had to take a boat and go up and down the river, hunting bottles to put the whiskey in. We got a nickel a dozen for them to pick them up along the river. And dad was with me, and he had one of those little flat… I believe they was about a half pint bottles. And there was a tree had blowed down, and dad and this man was with him, Mr. Dornbush… I had his… He had a nice boat, and I wanted to find favor with him, ’cause I wanted to use that boat. It had a good rudder and mine didn’t have no rudder at all. We had just old boards to paddle with. And if he’d let me use that boat… So he done welding, and he made the stills for dad. So he… They throwed their leg up across that tree, and dad reached in his back pocket, and pulled out a little flat bottle of whiskey, handed it to him and he took a drink, hand it back to dad, and he taken a drink, and he set it down on a little sucker on the side of the tree that went out. And Mr. Dornbush picked it up, said, “Here you are, Billy.”
I said, “Thank you, I don’t drink.”
He said, “A Branham and don’t drink?” Every one died with their boots on nearly. And he said, “A Branham and don’t drink?”
I said, “No, sir.”
“No,” Dad said, “I raised one sissy.”
29-2 My daddy calling me a sissy, I said, “Hand me that bottle.” And I pulled that stopper out of the top of it, determined to drink it, and when I started to turn it up, “Whoooossssh!” I handed the bottle back and took off down through the field as hard as I could, crying. Something wouldn’t let me do it. See? I could not say that I was any good. I was determined to do it. But it’s God, grace, amazing grace that kept me from doing those things. I wanted to do them myself, but He just wouldn’t let me do it.
29-3 Later on I found a girl when I was about twenty-two years old; she was a darling. She was a girl that went to church: German Lutheran. Her name was Brumbach, B-r-u-m-b-a-c-h, come from the name of Brumbaugh. And she was a nice girl. She didn’t smoke, or drink, or–or she didn’t dance or anything, a nice girl. I went with her for a little while, and I’d then about twenty-two. I had made enough money till I bought me an old Ford, and I… We’d go out on dates together. And so, that time, there was no Lutheran church close; they’d moved from Howard Park up there.
30-1 And so there was a minister, the one that ordained me in the Missionary Baptist church, Doctor Roy Davis. Sister Upshaw… The very one that sent Brother Upshaw over to me, or talked to him about me, Doctor Roy Davis… And so he was preaching, and had the First Baptist church, or the–the… I don’t believe it was the First Baptist church, either, it was the Mission–called the Missionary Baptist church at Jeffersonville. And he was preaching at the place at that time, and we would go to church at night, so… And we’d come back. And I never did join church, but I just liked to go with her. Because the main thought was going with her. I just might as well be honest.
30-2 So then going with her, and one day I… She was out of a nice family. And I begin to think, “You know, you know, I oughtn’t to take that girl’s time. It isn’t–it isn’t right, because she’s a nice girl, and I’m poor, and–and I…” My daddy had broke down in health, and I–I… There wasn’t no way for me to make a living for a girl like that, who’d been used to a nice home and rugs on the floor.
30-3 I remember the first rug I ever seen, I didn’t know what it was. I walked around the side. I thought it was the prettiest thing I ever seen in my life. “How would they put something like that on the floor?” It was the first rug I’d ever seen. It was one of these… I believe it’s called “matting rugs.” I may have that wrong. Some kind of like “wicker” or something that’s laced together and laying on the floor. Pretty green and red, and big rows worked in the middle of it, you know, it was a pretty thing.
30-4 And so I remember I–I made up my mind that I either had to ask her to marry me, or I must get away and let some good man marry her, somebody that would be good to her, could make her a living and could be kind to her. I could be kind to her, but I–I–I was only making twenty cents an hour. So I couldn’t make too much of a living for her. And I… With all the family we had to take care of, and dad broke down in health, and I had to take care of all them, so I was having a pretty rough time.
30-5 So I thought, “Well, the only thing for me to do is tell her that I–I–she–I–I just won’t be back, because I thought too much of her to wreck her life and to let her fool along with me.” And then I thought, “If somebody could get ahold of her and marry her, make a lovely home, and maybe if I couldn’t have her, I could–I could know that she was happy.”
And so I thought, “But I–I just–I just can’t give her up.” And I–I was in an awful shape. And day after day I’d think about it. So I was too bashful to ask her to marry me. Every night I’d make up my mind, “I’m going to ask her.” And why, what is that, butterflies, or something you get in your… All you brethren out there probably had the same experience along that. And a real funny feeling, my face would get hot. I–I didn’t know. I couldn’t ask her.
So I guess you wonder how I ever got married. You know what? I wrote her a letter and asked her. And so her… Now, it wasn’t “Dear Miss,” it was a little more, you know, on the love side than that. It was just not a–an agreement, it was… I–I wrote it up best I could.
31-2 And I was a little afraid of her mother. Her mother was… She was kind of rough. And–but her father was a gentle old Dutchman, just a fine old fellow. He was an organizer of the brotherhood, the trainmen on the railroad, making about five hundred dollars a month in them times, and me making twenty cents an hour, to marry his daughter. Mm. I knowed that would never work. And her mother was very… Now, she’s a nice lady. And she–she was kind of one of these high societies, you know, and prissy like, you know, and so she didn’t have much use for me anyhow. I was just an old plain sassafras country boy, and she thought Hope ought to go with a little better class of boy, and I–I–I think she was right. And so… But I–I didn’t think it then.
31-3 So I thought, “Well, now, I don’t know how. I–I can’t ask her daddy, and I–I’m sure not going to ask her mother. And so I got to ask her first.” So I wrote me a letter. And that morning on the road to work, I dropped it in the mailbox. The mail… We was going to church Wednesday night, and that was on Monday morning. I tried all day Sunday to tell her that I wanted to get married, and I just couldn’t get up enough nerve.
So then I dropped it in the mailbox. And on at work that day I happened to think, “What if her mother got ahold of that letter?” Oh, my. Then I knowed I was ruined if–if she ever got ahold of it, ’cause she didn’t care too much about me. Well, I was just sweating it out.
31-5 And that Wednesday night when I come, oh, my, I thought, “How am I going to go up there? If her mother got ahold of that letter she’ll really work me over, so I hope she got it.” I addressed it to Hope. That was her name, Hope. And so I said, “I’ll just write it out here to Hope.” And so… And I thought maybe she might’ve not have got ahold of it.
So I knowed better than to stop outside and blow the horn for her to come out. Oh, my. And any boy that hasn’t got nerve enough to walk up to the house, and knock on the door, and ask for the girl, ain’t got no business being out with her anyhow. That’s exactly right. That’s so silly. That’s cheap.
32-1 And so I stopped my old Ford, you know, and I had it all shined up. And so I went up and knocked at the door. Mercy, her mother come to the door. I couldn’t hardly catch my breath; I said, “How–how–how do you do, Mrs. Brumbach?”
She said, “How do you do, William.”
I thought, “Oh-oh, ‘William’…”
And–and she said, “Will you step in?”
I said, “Thank you.” I stepped inside the door. I said, “Is Hope just about ready?”
And just then here come Hope skipping through the house, just a girl about sixteen. And she said, “Hi, Billy.”
And I said, “Hi, Hope.” I said, “You about ready for church?”
She said, “Just in a minute.”
I thought, “Oh, my. She never got it. She never got it. Good, good, good. Hope never got it either, so it’ll be all right, ’cause she’d have named it to me.” So I felt pretty fair.
32-4 And then when I got down at church, I happened to think, “What if she did get it?” See? I couldn’t hear what Doctor Davis was saying. I looked over at her, and I thought, “If maybe she’s just holding it back, and she’s really going to tell me off when I get out of here for asking her that.” And I couldn’t hear what Brother Davis was saying. And–and I’d look over at her, and I thought, “My, I hate to give her up, but… And I–I… The showdown’s sure to come.”
So after church we started walking down the street together, going home, and–and so we walked to the old Ford. And so all along the moon is shining bright, you know, I look over and she was pretty. Boy, I’d look at her; I thought, “My, how I would like to have her, but guess I can’t.”
32-6 And so I walked on a little farther, you know, and I’d look up at her again. I said, “How–how you feeling tonight?”
She said, “Oh, I’m all right.”
And we stopped the old Ford down, and we started to get out, you know, around the side, walk around the corner, go up to her house. And I was walking up to the door with her. I thought, “You know, she probably never got the letter, so I just might as well forget it. I’ll have another week of grace anyhow.” So I got to feeling pretty good.
She said, “Billy?”
I said, “Yeah.”
She said, “I got your letter.” Oh, my.
I said, “You did?”
She said, “Uh-huh.” Well, she just kept walking on, never said another word.
I thought, “Woman, tell me something. Run me away or tell me what you think about it.” And I said, “Did you–did you read it?”
She said, “Uh-huh.”
My, you know how a woman can keep you in suspense. Oh, I–I didn’t mean it just that way. You see? See? But, anyhow, you know, I–I thought, “Why don’t you say something?” See, and I kept going on. I said, “Did you read it all?”
And she… [Blank.spot.on.tape–Ed.] “Uh-huh.”
33-2 So we was almost to the door; I thought, “Boy, don’t get me on the porch, ’cause I might not be able to outrun them, so you tell me now.” And so I kept waiting.
And she said, “Billy, I would love to do that. She said, “I love you.” God bless her soul now; she’s in glory. She said, “I love you.” Said, “I think we ought to tell our parent, the parents about it. Don’t you think so?”
And I said, “Honey, listen, let’s start this out with a fifty-fifty proposition.” I said, “I’ll tell your daddy if you’ll tell your mother.” Rooting the worse part off on her to begin with.
She said, “All right, if you’ll tell daddy first.”
I said, “All right, I’ll tell him Sunday night.”
33-4 And so Sunday night come, and I brought her home from church and I… She kept looking at me. And I looked, and it was nine-thirty; it was time for me to get going. So Charlie was setting at his desk typing away, and Mrs. Brumbach setting over the corner, doing some kind of a crocheting, you know, or them little hooks you put over the things, you know. I don’t know what you call it. And so she was doing some of that kind of stuff. And Hope kept looking at me, and she’d frown at me, you know, motion to her daddy. And I… Oh, my. I thought, “What if he says no?” So I started out to the door; I said, “Well, I guess I’d better go.”
33-5 And I walked to the door, and–and she started over to the door with me. She’d always come to the door and tell me good night. So I started to the door, and she said, “Aren’t you going to tell him?”
And I said, “Huh.” I said, “I’m sure trying to, but I–I–I don’t know how I’m a-going to do it.”
And she said, “I’ll just go back and you call him out.” So she walked back and left me standing there.
And I said, “Charlie.”
He turned around and said, “Yeah, Bill?”
I said, “Could I talk to you just a minute?”
He said, “Sure.” He turned around from his desk. Mrs. Brumbach looked at him, looked over at Hope, and looked at me.
And I said, “Would you come out on the porch?”
And he said, “Yes, I’ll come out.” So he walked out on the porch.
I said, “Sure is a pretty night, isn’t it?”
And he said, “Yes, it is.”
I said, “Sure been warm.”
“Certainly has,” he looked at me.
And I said, “I’ve been working so hard,” I said, “you know, even my hands is getting calluses.”
He said, “You can have her, Bill.” Oh, my. “You can have her.”
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