On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
David Lunsford was born in 1942, during World War II, just after his father left to fight on the front lines in Germany. After the War the Lunsford family settled in the Imperial Valley area of California. There they became active in the local Pentecostal church. David's uncle was the Arizona State Preceptor of the United Pentecostal Organization. <mediaplayer image='File:Lunsford1.jpg'>File:Lundsford1.flv</mediaplayer> David's Pastor encouraged his congregation to attend Rev. William Branham's meetings. Starting in 1945 when William Branham would come to their area, David's family would go to the meetings. When David became a teenager, his mother advised him to make an effort to go to William Branham's meetings. At that time there were many Evangelists that came through town, such as Billy Graham and Oral Roberts, but David's mother told him to watch William Branham's ministry because everything he said came to pass. <mediaplayer image='File:Lunsford2.jpg'>File:Lundsford2.flv</mediaplayer>
In 1961, at the age of 19, David and five of his friends went to one of Rev. William Branham's meetings. It was a large convention of ten thousand people. David and his friends got their seats in the middle of the crowd. At the end of the service he witnessed several miraculous healings:
- An epileptic girl was delivered,
- A man with one leg shorter than the other was healed, and
- A man in a wheelchair with multiple sicknesses such as heart trouble and failing kidneys left the meeting pushing his wheelchair.
David left that meeting a zealous young man, telling his friends and family that Bible days were here again. <mediaplayer image='File:Lunsford3.jpg'>File:Lundsford3.flv</mediaplayer> On another occasion, David and his wife were quizzed by some friends on the doctrine of Serpent's Seed, but David didn't know how to answer his friend's questions. The next day during the breakfast service "Power of Transformation", William Branham broke from his preaching, pointed to where the Lunsford family was sitting, and preached for 10 minutes on the Serpent's Seed doctrine - all the while pointing at David and his wife. David said it was as if William Branham had overheard their conversation the previous night, as he answered all of their questions.
David's father, Jack Lunsford, and a family friend named Gene Hamby were later healed during one of William Branham's meetings in 1963.