Immediately following the St. Louis campaign great signs and mighty works of God began to multiply in the ministry of Brother Branham. In a space of three months so many things happened on the phenomenal side that the recounting of them would fill several books. How the matter became so widespread in so short a time is still hard to understand, and is in itself a phenomenon. Inside of six months people were coming or writing from beyond national boundaries. Some, not knowing him or his name, saw Brother Branham in a vision and came to Jeffersonville to inquire whether there was anyone by that name there. Townspeople would refer them to the tabernacle. Then those who attended the Branham Tabernacle on a regular basis, with happy hearts would tell them the story. We shall narrate a few of these remarkable events which took place during the next few months.
In the course of the summer, Brother Branham was invited to Jonesboro, Arkansas, to the Bible Hour Tabernacle, where Richard Reed is pastor. People had gathered to the little city from twenty-eight states and Mexico, and some 25,000 people, it was estimated, attended the meeting. They were living in tents, trucks, and trailers, and some were sleeping in their cars. It was said that for a distance of 50 miles about there were no hotel accommodations available.
On the last night of the services, just as the Evangelist came to the platform, with thousands packed in and around the tabernacle, an ambulance driver standing to the right yelled and motioned to attract his attention. He said, "Brother Branham, my patient has died; can't you come to her?" Someone said: "There's about 2000 people standing between him and the reserved ambulance row; he cannot go." Then four stout men stepped up and as they started taking him out it was a moving sight to see the people pushing, trying to get near him. The Evangelist was taken to the ambulance row, and inside one of the ambulances he saw an old man kneeling on the floor, his overalls patched in many places. In his hands he clutched an old torn hat sewed with twine cord, and he said, "Brother Branham, mother is gone." The Man of God walked close to the still form and took her by the hand. Her eyes were set and she lay still and breathless. Brother Branham, as he discerned the woman's problem, looked back at the husband and said, "She has cancer." The man replied, "That is true." and kneeling on the floor he started crying, "Oh God, give me back mother." Then all was silent in the ambulance for a few moments.
Next the voice of Brother Branham was heard praying, "Almighty God, Author of eternal life, Giver of all good gifts, I beseech Thee in the Name of Thy dearly Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, give this woman her life again." Suddenly the limp hand tightened on the hand of Brother Branham, and the taut skin across her forehead began to wrinkle. Then with a little assistance from Brother Branham she sat up. The astonished husband saw what had taken place and threw his arms around her and cried, "Mother, thank God, you're with me again." Brother Branham slipped to the door of the ambulance to return to the platform. The driver of the ambulance said, "Sir, there are so many people standing against the door that I can't get it opened." Then he let him out another way, at the same time holding his coat against the window so no one would see him leave.
When he arrived at the lot it was packed full of people standing in a drizzling rain. He started pushing his way through the crowd. None of them paid him any heed for they had never seen him before. Day and night the tabernacle was packed, and few left the building unless it was for sandwiches or some necessary reason. All of a sudden he heard a pathetic cry, "Daddy, daddy," someone was calling. Looking up, he saw a blind colored girl pushing through the crowd. She had lost her father and no one was trying to help her find him. This pitiful sight touched the heart of the Evangelist, and he stepped into her path so that she would have to touch him.
"Excuse me please," said the colored girl as she realized she had run into someone. "I am blind and have lost my father and I can't find my way back to the bus." "Where are you from?" asked Brother Branham. "From Memphis," she said, "What are you doing here?" he asked. "I came to see the healah," she replied. "How did you hear of him?" said the Evangelist? "This mornin' I was listenin' on the radio and I heard people talkin' that had been born deaf and dumb. I heard a man who said he was from Missouri; said he'd been drawin' the blind pension for twelve years and now he could read the Bible. Sah, I've been blind since a little girl; cataracts blinded me. The doctuh says they're wrapped aroun' the optical nerve of my eye. If he should try to operate I would be worse off and my only hope is to get to the healah, and then God will heal me. I am told this is his last night heah. And they say I can't ev'n get near the buildin'. And now I have lost my father in the crowd, will you please help me to get to the bus suh?"
Of course the girl being blind couldn't see to whom she was talking and none of the people near her had recognized the man as William Branham, and they were wondering who he was and why he was paying so much attention to this colored girl. But, to test her faith, Bro. Branham said, "Do you believe those things that you have heard, especially when we have so many fine doctors today?" She replied, "Yes-suh, the doctors have failed to do anything for me. I believe the story of the angel that visited Brother Branham is true. If you will only help me where the man is, then I'll be able to find my father."
This was too much for God's humble Servant. He dropped his head while tears rolled down his cheeks. Then, raising his head, he said, "Little Lady, perhaps I'm the one you're looking for." Then she grabbed him by the lapels of his coat. "Is you the healah?" she cried. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she begged, "Don't pass me, suh. Have mercy upon me, a blind woman."
One would be reminded of blind Fanny Crosby who wrote, "Pass me not, Oh Gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by." Of course she had heard of other blind being healed, and had come believing that she too would receive her sight if she could get to Brother Branham. But said the Evangelist, "I am not the healer, I am Brother Branham; Jesus Christ is your Healer." Then after he asked the blind girl to bow her head, he began to pray:
"Lord, some 1900 years ago, an old Rugged Cross was dragging the streets of Jerusalem, dragging the bloody footprints of the Bearer. On the road to Calvary, His frail body fell under the load of the Cross. Then along came Simon of Cyrene, and helped Him bear it. Now, Lord, one of Simon's children stands here staggering in the darkness. I'm sure you understand..."
At that moment the girl screamed. "I was once blind; now I can see." The men who were coming for Brother Branham were drawing near. All the people's attention was on the young man whom they now recognized as Brother Branham. As they rushed toward him another heart moving thing happened. An old man with a twisted leg, leaning on a crutch, had been watching this drama, and he cried out, "Brother Branham, I know you; I've been standing in this rain for eight hours, have mercy on me!"
"Do you believe and accept me as God's servant?" he was asked. "I do." He answered, "Then in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you're healed! You may throw away your crutches." And immediately his crooked limb was made straight. His leaping and screaming drew the attention of the whole crowd and they began to press forward to touch some part of Bro. Branham's clothes. Yes, Bible days were here again.
Up until this time Brother Branham had received very little remuneration. He had never personally taken up an offering in his own tabernacle. He had worked as a game warden to support his family. The old suit of clothes that he had worn that night was torn and patched. He had discovered that one of the pockets had been badly torn and his attempt to repair it was rather amateurish. So he held his right hand over the pocket, giving his left hand when meeting other ministers. But the people did not notice the ragged coat that night. They were crying and pushing and trying to touch that worn garment, and as they did they were healed. It reminded one of the days of Jesus, when faith was high and everyone who touched the hem of the garment of the Saviour was made whole. To God be the Glory, GREAT things He hath done!
A few days after this meeting Brother Branham went to Camden, Arkansas, to conduct a meeting in the city auditorium.
While he was explaining his calling and ministry to the People a great bright light came into the building and settled over his head. A photographer who happened to be there took a picture of it, and lo, the light showed in the picture! Some might have supposed that the photograph had been retouched, had it not been that many hundreds of people present, witnessed the unusual phenomenon themselves. Many were healed and led to Christ in that meeting.
The following morning, while being taken by a group of men from the building to his car as hundreds were pressing forward to touch him, a voice was heard crying, "Have mercy upon me, thou man of God." Standing off from the crowd was a blind gray-headed colored man, accompanied by his wife. His hat was in his hand in reverence. Brother Branham stopped. "Take me to him," he said. Because of widespread segregation, one of the men said, "Brother Branham, you are in the South; don't leave the white people to go to the colored." Brother Branham replied that the Spirit of God was speaking to him to go to the man. As he drew near where the colored man was, the men drew a ring of arms around him so he could get through. The wife was saying, "De parson is comin' toward you; be quiet."
The colored man raised two feeble shaking arms, felt of Brother Branham's face and said, "Is dis you, Parson Branham? I nevah heard of you before in all my life until last night. I had a good old Mammy that's been gone many years. She had heart-felt 'ligion too. Her nevah tole me a lie in her life, parson. Now I'se been blind many years, and las' night it seemed she stood near my bed, parson, and said, 'Honey-chile, you go to Camden, Arkansas; there you'll find the Lawd's servant; his name is Branham and you shall receive your sight.' Parson, I immediately 'rose and put on my clothes, caught the bus, and wife and I have come over a hundred miles."
Brother Branham listened to the story, raised his eyes now filled with tears and said, "Father, I thank You for being merciful to the blind." Then he touched his hands to the colored man's eyes saying, "Open your eyes, Jesus Christ has healed you." And lo, the colored man could see!
Many other things happened of the same nature. On occasions the Spirit of God would speak to him about some sick person who had been on a bed of affliction for years. When this happened, invariably when he went to them they would be delivered. Many of these persons appear in his meetings from place to place, testifying now that they are well and strong.
On one occasion while in Santa Rosa, California, a man came into the building, and seeking out Brother Branham asked him to spell his name. When he had done this the man held a piece of yellow paper in his hand and said, "That's it, mother." He said that he had come from a Pentecostal Church, and he claimed that 22 years ago, while he and his wife were praying, the Holy Ghost spoke through him saying, "My servant, William Branham will come up this West coast bearing a gift of Divine healing in the latter times." They believed that it was a prophecy that had been given. And when they had heard Brother Branham's name they dug out that old prophecy and there it was written.
Thus is concluded the account as supplied from information given by those of Brother Branham's congregation at Jeffersonville.
The following chapter by Rev. Jack Moore, Co-Editor of THE VOICE OF HEALING, is an illuminating account of sketches and highlights in Brother Branham's meetings during the next few months in the course of the narrative.