Roy Davis

    From BelieveTheSign
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    Roy Davis wrote "I am the minister who received Brother Branham into the first Pentecostal assembly he ever frequented. I baptized him, and was his pastor for some two years." Roy Davis was a convicted criminal and a leader in the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a far-right white supremacist organization.

    Starting on the wrong foot?

    Roy Davis was born on April 24, 1890, in Texas. By 1912, at age twenty-two, Davis was traveling regularly and preaching as a Christian minister connected to the Baptist Missionary Association.[1]

    Davis was frequently involved in criminal activity. In 1916, he went on a forgery crime spree with his brothers who seem to have operated with him as a gang. Davis presented himself as a minister at a bank asking them to cash a fraudulent cashier's check created by his brother who presented himself as a business owner making a donation to Davis's ministry. Davis's swindle involved multiple banks, including Continental State Bank, First State Bank, and Toyah Valley State Bank in west Texas during 1916. Davis was pursued by local law enforcement for his crimes causing him to flee the state. He abandoned his wife and three children in Texas and fled to Georgia where he took the alias of Lon Davis and married another woman.[2][3][4] Davis was apprehended in Georgia during May 1917 after being turned in by a woman who recognized him and was upset that he had abandoned his Texas family and remarried illegally.[5] Davis was returned to Texas where he was convicted on swindling and forgery charges and given a two-year jail sentence on June 29, 1917.[3]

    By January 1919, Davis was released from prison, returned to Aldersville, Georgia, and had resumed preaching as a Missionary Baptist minister under the name Lon Davis.[6] Davis posed as a Christian missionary]] bound for Egypt to gain the trust of the community and was later offered the pastorship of the Acworth Baptist Church during the summer of 1920.[7] In 1921 Davis started publishing The Progress newsletter from the church. The newsletter focused on exposing what Davis believed were secret subversive activities of the Catholic Church.[8] Davis also began holding Ku Klux Klan meetings at the church. Although unknown to his church, Davis had been appointed by Imperial Wizard William Joseph Simmons as an official spokesperson for the KKK and charged with organizing new chapters of the KKK. Members of his church became upset about some of the material Davis published in The Progress and began investigating his past. They soon discovered his criminal record in Texas, and discovered he had abandoned his wife and children. At a meeting on July 14, 1921, he was removed as pastor.

    Davis ran into legal problems again in 1921. He purchased the printing press for The Progress newsletter using a fraudulent check, swindling the seller out of $1,000.[9] After being exposed in Georgia, Davis left the state, leaving by train with his wife and their five-year-old daughter. They traveled to Oklahoma where Davis continued holding revival meetings in Baptist churches and conducting KKK recruiting.[10][11]

    Ku Klux Klan

    Davis was reported to be among the founding members of the William J. Simmons revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Davis also told newspaper reporters that he was a coauthor of the KKK's constitution, bylaws and rituals which were first published in 1921.[12]

    In 1922, Davis returned to Georgia where he began to speak openly supporting the Ku Klux Klan. He held rallies and meetings to recruit members in Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Carolina.[13] Newspapers articles at the time reported Davis to be a "high Klan official". The newspapers also began recording and reporting on his speeches in which he explained the principles of the KKK to include "white supremacy" and "protection of pure womanhood". Davis bragged about his recruitment efforts and the reach of the KKK, stating that he had been involved in recruitment across the southern and midwestern United States. He reported 92,000 KKK members in Oklahoma and Texas. Davis also boasted that governors, congressmen, and United States Senators had joined the KKK in recent years.

    Davis faced legal trouble again in September 1922 when complaints were filed against him in connection to a burglary case in Waco, Texas. He was accused of stealing firearms from the United States Marshalls.[14] Davis was also named in connection to a 1923 criminal investigation in Louisiana.[15]

    The KKK started a newspaper in 1923 titled The Brick Bat and Davis was named editor. Its articles publicly degraded and attacked KKK opponents, calling for boycotts of unsupportive businesses. In May 1923, Davis instigated physical violence when two business owners he targeted in his publication were involved in an altercation with KKK members.[16][17] Despite the violence, Davis continued to publish his attacks against Klan opponents. One of The Brick Bat's targets filed charges against Davis and he was subsequently arrested in Georgia and charged with criminal libel on June 24, 1923.[18][19]

    Somehow Davis had managed to keep his dual identities secret from many people. He had been employed as president of Georgia Farmer's Union until July 1923 when his fellow board members discovered his activities and had him investigated. They discovered he had abandoned his wife and children in Texas, had been involved in criminal activities across the United States, had remarried illegally, been dismissed as a minister from multiple churches, and was involved in the KKK. The board of the Georgia Farmers Union called a special meeting to show the results of their investigation and publicly expose Davis, but Davis failed to appear and returned to Texas.[20][21] Upon being exposed, Davis and one of his brothers were subsequently caught by vigilantes in Texas and beat with wet rope. Davis's brother was hospitalized with severe injuries.[22]

    About the same time, Hiram W. Evans ousted William Simmons as Imperial Wizard of the KKK and took over leadership of the organization. Evans expelled Davis from the KKK.[23] By 1924, Davis and Simmons regrouped and began an effort to form a new klan organization, Knights of the Flaming Sword, where Simmons resumed his role as Imperial Wizard.[24] Traveling across the south, Davis successfully retained the loyalty of at least 60,000 Klan recruits and had secured over $150,000 ($2.3 million in 2021 dollars)[25][26] Davis's efforts during this period earned him the accolades of Simmons who appointed Davis as "Royal Ambassador" in honor of his activities.[27][28]

    Pentecostal preacher

    In 1924, Davis moved to Tennessee to oversee a new chapter of the Knights of the Flaming Sword. At the same time Davis was working with Simmons to establish the Knights of the Flaming Sword, Davis also began efforts to formally establish the Pentecostal Baptist Church of God where he served as general overseer.[29] After a financial scandal over misuse of funds led to the collapse of the Knights of the Flaming Sword, Davis began to refocus on building up the new denomination.[27] He resumed traveling and holding revivals in Oklahoma and Tennessee in August 1925.[30] Davis continued holding revival though 1926 and 1927.[31] Davis travelled to California to hold revivals in 1927. Davis had begun to adopt Pentecostal beliefs. A newspaper article detailing Davis's criminal history reported that he had been excommunicated as a Missionary Baptist and had his minister's license revoked following an incident with baptists in Florida before 1927.[32]

    Davis began working with Caleb Ridley, Imperial Kludd (national chaplain) of the KKK, and Rev. Fred B Johnson, William Joseph Simmons chief of staff, to build a new denomination.[33] Davis planted a First Pentecostal Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee where he served as founding pastor in 1928.[34][35] He soon ran into issues when most of the other churches in the area refused to cooperate with his revival meetings.[36] Davis challenged other church leaders to a debate and tensions boiled over after Davis made threats against the other ministers. One minister reported Davis's threatenings to police and filed charges against him. Davis was arrested and jailed, but was released on bond pending trial in April 1929.[37]

    To escape his impending trial, Davis fled to Louisville, Kentucky. His brothers and some church followers also moved and planted a new church for the First Pentecostal Baptist Church of God on Jefferson Street. In Louisville Davis gained publicity after he penned a newspaper article voicing opposition to prohibition.[38] Davis ran into legal troubles in Kentucky during March 1930 after he defrauded multiple people by soliciting donations to a fake charity.[39] After being jailed and released on bail, Davis moved again, this time to Jeffersonville, Indiana where he moved his First Pentecostal Baptist Church and the national headquarters of the denomination.[40][41] He began in Jeffersonville by holding healing meetings at a tent revival and published advertisements in local newspapers. His revivals were supported by Ralph Rader's Pentecostal Church in Jeffersonville. Rader was brother of prominent evangelist Paul Rader. The revival meetings were very successful and lasted for two weeks.[42]

    While the revivals were still being held in Jeffersonville during September 1930, when he was 40, Davis was reported to police for living with a 17-year-old girl, Allie Lee Garrison. He was accused of living with her "for immoral purposes". Davis seemed to have abandoned his second family and took up a relationship with Garrison. Law enforcement arrived mid-service to arrest Davis in front of his congregation. Davis was transferred to federal custody in Louisville where he was charged in federal court and indicted by a grand jury for violating laws prohibiting the trafficking of minors. Davis fought the charges and claimed he was the foster father of the teenaged girl. He claimed to have been living with her for six years. Over sixty of his followers, mostly women, accompanied him to court to plead on his behalf.[43][44][45] Davis successfully convinced the court to drop charges against him, but he was jailed ten days and members of his church were fined for their antics during the trial.[46] Davis subsequently married Garrison on a trip to Mexico.[47]

    After being released from jail, Davis resumed pastoring his church in Indiana and traveling and holding revivals in other states including Ohio, Texas, Arkansas, Michigan, and Tennessee.[48][49][50] Davis maintained a pastorship at multiple other churches he had planted and he visited regularly.[51][52][53] In Jeffersonville, Davis continued to make news by publicly opposing prohibition. His support for alcohol proved popular in the community and attracted many people to his church.[54][55] Davis was not happy with the press coverage that the local newspaper Jeffersonville Evening News gave his church. Davis was writing up articles after each service and taking it to the paper pressing them to publish his articles. After repeated refusals, Davis started a new publication called The Banner of Truth to publicize his services and aid recruitment.[56]

    In March 1930, Davis was charged with federal racketeering for the criminal activities at his Jeffersonville church, but was able to evade prosecution. Davis confessed to authorities that his Baptist minister's license had been revoked.[57] Davis continued to run into legal problems related to his illegal activities. He was arrested again in 1931 after again soliciting donations and loans under false pretenses.[58] Davis was extradited from Indiana to Kentucky a second time to face the charges.[59] Davis privately paid his accusers who dropped the charges.[60]

    In 1932 Davis continued to travel regularly between the churches he had planted in Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee holding revival meetings and conducting KKK recruitment.[61][62][63]

    Enter William Branham

    Davis appointed associates to serve as leaders in the churches while he was away. In the Jeffersonville First Pentecostal Baptist Church, Hope Brumback was made worship leader, and William Branham and George De'Ark were made ministering elders. He appointed his brothers Dan and W.J. as leaders of other groups.[64][65]

    William Branham joined Davis's church in 1929 where he was baptized and ordained by Davis as a minister and began to serve as an elder the same year.[66] In his sermons, Branham indicated that Christian Identity Theology was being taught by elders in Roy Davis's church:

    The first time I ever met anyone in my life, after I had been converted…I was…met Brother George DeArk and them down there. And I was walked, and the Lord led me to a little place. And they was discussing where the colored man came from. And they were trying to say that the colored man…That Cain married an animal like an ape, and through there come forth the colored race. Now, that’s wrong! Absolutely, that’s wrong! And don’t never stand for that. Cause there was no colored or white, or any other different, it’s just one race of people unto the flood. Then after the flood and the tower of Babel, when they began to scatter out, that’s when they taken their colors and so forth. They’re all come from the same tree. That’s exactly right. Adam and Eve was the father and mother, earthly, of every living creature of human beings that’s ever been on the earth. That’s right.:[67]

    Branham indicated in his sermons that he traveled with Davis and participated in his revival meetings. Branham was key member of Davis's inner circle and was involved in both his religious and criminal activities.[68] Branham participated in revival meetings in Nashville with Davis and Caleb Ridley. Branham reported that in one meeting held in Memphis, Tennessee that Davis drank sulfuric acid to make people "believe that God's real".[69] Davis and the First Pentecostal Baptist Church financed Branham's first tent campaign meetings in June 1933 in Jeffersonville.[70][71][72] Between March and April 1934, the First Pentecostal Baptist Church in Jeffersonville was destroyed by a fire. After being denied a permit to rebuild, Davis moved from Jeffersonville and Branham became pastor of Davis's congregation. Branham moved the group to a new building and renamed the church the Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle, later changing the name to the Branham Tabernacle.

    Commenting on the event, Branham stated

    I remember when Brother Roy Davis, down there, and his church burnt down. That bunch of people was just like scattered sheep without a shepherd, had no place to go. And Mr. Hibstenberg was Chief of Police then, and he called me down there. He said to me, “We're here to help you.” Said, “I'm Catholic, myself, but,” said, “them people,” said, “they don't probably have the clothes.” It was during the time of the depression. Said, “They go to other churches and they feel out of place, and they're good people. I know many of them.” He said, “Billy, if you want to start a church,” he said, “I want you to know that we're behind you in anything we can do to help you.” And I thanked him for it. We had a tag day. First, we prayed and asked the Lord. And people come to me and wanted to build a church, so could have a place to go. And we decided [on] this place.[73]

    Davis was proud of Branham and referred to Branham as Saint Timothy to his Saint Paul.[74] Branham similarly spoke highly of Davis who would later participate in some Branham Campaign meetings.[75] Branham and Davis maintained a lifelong relationship, and Branham continued to support Davis after he became national leader of the KKK.[68]

    Roy Davis' Pentecostal Baptist Church

    William Branham stated that, prior to ministering on his own, he was the assistant pastor at the Missionary Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana and that he served under the direction of Dr. Roy E. Davis, the pastor, who also ordained him. But this is not true as the actual name of the Davis' church was the "First Pentecostal Baptist Church."

    It appears that sometime in 1933 or 1934, the First Pentecostal Baptist Church burned down. At around the same time, Roy Davis was extradited from Indiana to Arkansas to stand trial for grand theft.[76]

    This also puts into serious question William Branham's assertion that he left his position as assistant pastor and started holding meetings on his own in 1933, because of a disagreement with Roy Davis over the ordination of women.

    According to Douglas Weaver in his book, The Healer-Prophet, Roy E. Davis was the pastor of the First Baptist Pentecostal Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Roy Davis' church was not a Missionary Baptist Church as indicated by William Branham but was a "Holy Ghost church where they worship God in Spirit and not in fleshly denominations" (See Jeffersonville Evening News, 10 June 1933, 4:7).

    According to Roy Davis himself (see below), William Branham received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Roy Davis' home in Jeffersonville. While Roy Davis had originally been a baptist, at the time that William Branham attended his church he was a Pentecostal minister.

    Dr. Roy E. Davis was the Pastor of the First Pentecostal Baptist Church, and Hope Brumbach was one of the speakers, according to this January 28, 1933 advertisement from the Jeffersonville Evening News.

    However, William Branham says that he first encountered Pentecostal people at a convention in Mishawaka, Indiana. While he was drawn to them and was invited to speak in their churches, he stated that he refused to join with them because of his mother-in-law. He indicated that this was one of the biggest mistakes of his life and God allowed his wife and daughter to be taken from him because of his disobedience to God in not joining the Pentecostals.

    This is a heartbreaking story that is familiar to all followers of William Branham; however, on closer examination, is it the truth? According to Roy Davis and Douglas Weaver, William Branham attended a Pentecostal church pastored by Roy Davis well before Hope died. Roy Davis himself says that William Branham received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in his home. This all precedes the death of Hope and Sharon Rose Branham in July 1937. William Branham tells how Hope, just before she dies, makes him promise to go back to the Pentecostal people.

    But how could he go back to the Pentecostal people if he had never left them? If he had been the assistant pastor in a pentecostal church and his own church was known as being Pentecostal before Hope died?

    What is the truth?

    The evidence follows. Can you tell truth from fabrication?

    Letter from Roy E. Davis

    The October 1950 issue of the Voice of Healing magazine contained a letter from Roy E. Davis. The following excerpts from that letter contain some very interesting information:

    Letter from Roy Davis
    First, I am the minister who received Brother Branham into the first Pentecostal assembly he ever frequented. I baptized him, and was his pastor for some two years. I also preached his ordination sermon, and signed his ordination certificate, and heard him preach his first sermon. I was the first man on this earth whom Billy ever saw anoint and pray for a sick person. I feel I can write more intimately of Billy Bran­ham than any living minister, as he also received his Baptism of the Holy Ghost in my humble home in Jeffersonville, Indiana. After that experience we were most "chummy" and grew to love each other a great deal. Many intimate conversa­tions were indulged in between us during those days concerning the deeper things of the Holy Ghost.
    He would always drift out into some sort of conversation which I did not grasp, and later came to disregard as entirely visionary, and finally to dismiss his strange cogitations as useless and irrational. I had been a Baptist preacher for many years, and had been taught to disregard such ideas and concepts of spiritual things as visions, talking with the Lord, and kindred things. Therefore this explains my impa­tience with Brother Branham, and at a time when had I listened also to that "voice" perhaps he would not have been circumscribed so long by my imposed pro­vincialism. As a direct result of my failure to listen to God on matters so deeply im­portant to us both and to the world in general, I went through the very fires of hell. Still I was unbending, and would NOT yield myself wholly over to God in matters which were more or less strange to me.
    Then, after paying a terrible price for my protracted stubborness, I got the con­sent of my dogmatic brain and heart let God have His way with my life. I had to see that I was "not my own!' and that see­ing such, I happily realized one day that God wanted to take my entire life, work over, fill it up, and send it out for the promulgation of the gospel of the Son of God as He wanted it to be, and not as had previously decreed it should be. Since that time, hallelujah, now several years past, I have been superlatively happy the REAL full gospel work of our precious Jesus.
    When I read of the way God is using my "Timothy" in the spread of the doctrines of God and His eternal love and power, my soul thrills exultantly, and my eyes fill with tears of genuine gratitude to Him for His condescension to work in Billy Bran­ham, in unfolding the spiritual mysteries of God's plan to a desert-conditioned world. I feel that I, too, will have a great interest in the Land of the Unsetting Sun over every soul saved under the ministry of Billy Branham. I so deeply thank God for the full surrender Billy seems to have made to Him.
    There are few things which would give me more joy than to be in one of his cam­paigns. But I, too, am conducting healing campaigns, and therefore I have no time to visit in one of his campaigns. But may I say, that I feel that every prayer that is prayed for Billy meets the approval of our Heavenly Father. Praying for Billy Bran­ham is tantamount to praying for anyone of the great apostles of love and power on this earth.
    May the good Lord bless you, and keep His hands on Brother Branham, is the wish and prayer of
    Yours in the blessed hope,
    R. E. Davis, Sr.

    Imperial Wizard

    Following the destruction of his church building in Jeffersonville, Davis began to refocus his efforts elsewhere. He transferred the national headquarters of the Pentecostal Baptist Church of God to Memphis, Tennessee later in 1934.[40] He continued to successfully plant churches and conduct KKK recruitment. In 1936 Davis held meetings nationally, with publicized revivals in New Mexico and Florida.[77][78] In 1937 Davis held publicized revival meetings in New York City, while he continued to spend much time at his church in Kingsport, Texas.[79][80]

    Congressman Congressman Upshaw

    Davis continued to be involved in criminal activities throughout the 1930s and 1940s. He was connected to a scheme in 1938 soliciting money for a fake charity in Indiana and Kentucky in which his brother Dan Davis and four women from his church were arrested in Newport, Kentucky.[81] In 1939 law enforcement from Arkansas attempted to extradite Davis related to charges of theft of an automobile and a murder in Arkansas. Davis was already out on bond due to charges in Indiana at the time. Davis was located by law enforcement in Kentucky who extradited him to Arkansas. Davis plead with Kentucky authorities claiming he would be lynched by enemies if he was extradited. In Arkansas Davis spent some time in prison.[82]

    After leaving prison in November 1942, Davis and fellow KKK member, former Congressman Upshaw, began working together in California.[83][84] They set up an organization to collect money to open an orphanage. Davis was accused to stealing money from the charity in 1944 when they failed to use the collections for their stated purpose. He was arrested on three charges of grand theft, petty theft, illegal possession of firearms, and impersonating an FBI agent.[85][86] The charges were dropped after Davis had his associates returned funds to several donors.[87] Escaping charges yet again, Davis returned to holding revival meetings and KKK recruiting.

    By 1950, Davis was part of the executive committee of Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in Texas. Davis also remained active as a revivalist during the 1950s. He was working with multiple churches to hold revivals, including the Pentecostal Assemblies of God. Davis reported that he had a large tent he traveled with to preach from. The William Branham Campaign team published an article publicizing Davis and his revivals in Voice of Healing in October 1950.[74] Davis was also present and participated in Branham Campaign events during the 1950s and was publicly endorsed by Branham. Davis continued to visit Branham campaign meetings, and be endorsed by Branham multiple times through the early 1960s.[88]

    Davis became president of the Oak Cliff White Citizens Council in Dallas Texas during the 1950s which he used as a platform to oppose racial integration.[89] In 1958, Davis was known by law authorities to be Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Flaming Sword in Texas, a position he had been holding for some time. Internal friction in the Klan led to issues between Davis and others KKK organizations.[90] According to police investigation, during 1958 Davis had angered other klan members "over handling of Klan funds."[91] Opponents burned a cross in Davis's yard prompting Davis to call the police. During questioning by police, Davis said he had been a KKK member for 45 years. He told the authorities that he was second in command of the national KKK organization at the time.[90]

    Later in 1958 Davis was offered formal leadership of the Texas branch of the KKK headed by Imperial Wizard Eldon Edwards, which Davis accepted becoming KKK Grand Dragon of Texas. As official leader in Texas, Davis continued to champion efforts to halt integration of schools and support continued racial segregation.[92][93][94] Davis was successful in rallying support to halt integration of the Dallas schools that year.[95]

    By 1959 Davis had been elected leader of the national KKK organization and was reporting himself as National Imperial Wizard of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and conducting rallies in multiple states. He conducted a public KKK recruitment campaign in Arkansas during May.[90][96] Later that year Davis attended another large rally in Florida where he removed his mask and identified himself again national leader of the KKK.[97] Davis was involved in organizing a national KKK convention in Jacksonville, Florida in 1960.[98] Davis continued to be involved in fraud cases and was named in a case involving a fraudulent check in July 1960.[99] Davis endorsed Richard Nixon for President of the United States]] in the election of 1960.[100]

    In 1961, Davis continued holding KKK rallies. The KKK adopted the motto "Yesterday, Today and Forever" in KKK promotional material.[101] Pictures of Davis in the local newspaper showed him demonstrating a Klan salute in full KKK costume. He reported 1000 new members as a result of his campaign in Louisiana.[102] A cross was burnt in the front yard of Congressman Overton Brooks during a Davis led KKK rally in Shreveport, Louisiana in February 1961.[103] Davis was questioned by authorities and denied being involved in the cross burning. Shreveport Mayor Clyde Fant declared that local authorities would not tolerate KKK activity and called Davis "unamerican" for intimidating a Congressman.[104] Federal authorities launched an investigation following the cross burning.[105] Davis was arrested, fingerprinted, and warned by authorities that he was not welcome in Louisiana. Davis claimed that he revoked the charter of the KKK unit in Shreveport for conducting the cross burning without his permission.[106] Video footage of Davis was recorded leading anti-communist protests at the Burl Ives concert on December 30, 1961.[107]

    Davis continued to be deeply involved in KKK activities following his runs-ins with police, and came under deep scrutiny again following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963. Davis had been living in Dallas for several years and was running his faction of the KKK from there. Davis was named in an investigation by the United States Secret Service as being suspected of authoring a pamphlet entitled J.F.K Wanted For Treason shortly before the assassination.[108]

    Davis continued to travel and preach as an evangelist and conduct KKK recruitment in the later years of his life. He died in Dallas on August 12, 1966, aged 76.


    Quotes regarding William Branham receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit


    I'm a Pentecostal Baptist. I got the Holy Ghost since I've been a Baptist. That's right.


    Well, I'm a Pentecostal Baptist now, you know. So I got the Holy Ghost.


    I'm a Baptist, but that... Not... I'm a Pentecostal Baptist. I got the Holy Ghost, so that changed my things a little bi


    And so I remember when I first got converted though, and they give me my license in the Baptist church as local exhorter license and to do a little evangelistic work. I'd put my Bible under my arm and I'd go down the street, my, when they call me reverend, oh, I was a full fledged preacher.


    I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost back in my shed. See? And about a year later, or something like that, I was--I was--spoke in tongues.


    I tell you how I received it. I come just the way the Bible said it. I never varied for any denomination. My own Baptist church put me out because I wouldn't ordain a woman preacher. It's not Scriptural, and it's not right. And I said, "You might as well put me out, 'cause you have to sooner or later. So I'll just walk out before you do do it." All right.


    I was converted in a converted barroom. And I feel very much at home now. I look back there and see that counter, and so forth. It was a little, colored church, where I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, was led there by the Lord.

    INFLUENCE_ NY.NY V-18 N-9 THURSDAY_ 63-1114

    I know many of them think that I've lost my mind. Even my good old righteous mother, that died a few years ago. When I first received the Holy Ghost, there was no one in our country knowed anything about It. And I was just a local, little, young Baptist preacher about twenty years old.

    Quotes regarding Roy Davis


    And did you notice in the "Voice of Healing," Brother Gordon's little paper that he puts out. In there, that same man come back, Doctor Roy Davis, and testified that he was ashamed of himself for the things that he had said, and he himself prays for the sick now.


    And Doctor Roy Davis was, Missionary Baptist Church that ordained me into the Missionary Baptist Church, was the one who sent him to me--the one who first told me I had a nightmare, when the Angel of the Lord came to me. Now he's preaching Divine healing himself. See? So he said in his letter, many of you read in the "Voice of Healing," where he said, "If I hadn't been backslid in my own heart, I would've believed the boy in the beginning." See? And so now he sent him over there.


    Be sincere. Be humble before Him. That's right. And Dr. Davis standing there, an old Methodist bishop was setting there with this young preacher. A young, Roy Davis he was setting there with this bishop. That infidel said, "Any of you guys," and some of them, the ministers was saying, 'Mark 16 from the 9th verse on is not inspired. It isn't inspired, so you can't depend on it.'"
    He said, "Well then, I'll say over there, 'Come unto me all ye that labor and heavy laden,' Matthew 11:27 said," I'll say, 'That's not inspired then.'"
    So he had him on a spot. And Roy said... The Holy Ghost begin to move on him, say, "Stand up there." So he said, the old bishop, he said, "If that infidel makes that challenge one more time, if I die in my shoes, I'll go to heaven believing God's Word."

    So he said, "Now, listen, son. Set down and let him just... He's just popping his own brain. Let him alone."

    So it was the Holy Spirit moving. So when he made that challenge again, he let out a big "Ha-ha" and held his watch up. "If there's a God, I'll die in a minute." Waited for a minute and said, "Didn't I tell you wasn't no such a thing? Ha, ha, ha," like that, laughed out like that.
    So Roy when he made that challenge said, "Why not some of you guys out there believe that God's so real," said, "try this sulfuric acid test."
    Now, now, I'm not telling people to do that. Don't you do it unless the Holy Ghost is with you. See? Now, I don't believe in taking up serpents, or... I believe if I was baptizing out in the water, and a serpent grabbed me, I'd throw him out on the bank and go ahead and baptize like Paul did or something like that. Or somebody slip poison to me, I'd trust God for my healing. That's right. But I don't believe in bringing things, say, "Come here and I'll show you I can do it." I think that's wrong. That's right.
    But Brother Davis walked up to the platform. We got a notary public's statement on this. He walked up there. He said, "Christian people," about two or three thousand setting there, he said, "I'm twenty-five years old." He said, "I'm a minister of the Gospel," and he said, "I--I know that my God is able to deliver me from that," but said, "nevertheless, if He does or does not, I'll never let that infidel stand there with that in his hand and challenge God's Word." He said, "I'll meet you in glory."
    Grabbed it out of his hand...?... and drank ever drop of it right down, stood there and preached the Gospel, and about fifteen hundred people received the baptism of the Holy Ghost setting in the meeting. Hallelujah. Yes, sir.


    "And he said, "I was a president (I believe it was) of the Southern Baptist Convention." Said, "Dr. Roy E. Davis that ordained you in the Baptist church said to me," said, "I have been prayed for hundreds of times, but he was the one that advised me to come over here to have you to intercede to God for me."


    I'm a Baptist preacher, out of a Missionary Baptist church, ordained by Dr. Roy E. Davis out of Dallas, Texas, and was made a local elder for the church at Jeffersonville. My first revival, five hundred came to Jesus Christ out of a three thousand congregation when I was twenty--about twenty-two years old.


    "Well," he said, "I been--I was a Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention," and said, "you know who sent me here?"
    I said, "I have no idea." Said, "The same man that ordained you in the Baptist church, Doctor Roy Davis. And he said come over here." And he just got off, and they pushed him in on the grounds. I said, "Sir, I can only say what I see; I don't know."


    And the minister from the Baptist church, Dr. Roy Davis, who ordained me, told me I eat something and I'd had a nightmare. And he kinda made light of it. But he's preaching Divine healing today. But however, he said, "Billy, you've nervous." Said, "Go over home. I think you need a rest."
    I said, "Dr. Davis, I don't appreciate that. If that's the way it is, then you can just wipe my name off, 'cause I'm going to listen to God."


    When I was first converted and was ordained in the Baptist church, I had a good old teacher by the name of Dr. Roy Davis.


    I was ordained in the Missionary Baptist Church by Dr. Roy E. Davis from Big Springs, Texas. And then I was--been a Baptist. You know the Baptist church, you don't be put out of a Baptist church for your doctrine, because they have no doctrine; it's a fellowship. It's a fellowship, the Baptist. And each church is sovereign in itself. What you're put out of a Baptist church for is immoral living. So I left the Baptist church in order to be free from all denominations, that I could preach to the body of Christ.


    So, one day, I was out here praying, long ago. I'll tell you why, who I was praying for, was Roy Davis. And I was out here praying, because he had called me "a puppet," and I was praying for God to forgive him for it. And he had a press back there, wrote a paper. And that press caught afire and burnt down, a couple nights after that, while they were running it.

    FAITH_ JEFF.IN SUNDAY_ 57-1229

    And when the--Brother Davis, Doctor Roy Davis, many of you know him, who ordained me into the church, into the Baptist Church, when he said I had a nightmare, how would I, with a seventh grade education go and preach to kings and potentates and monarchs around the world. I can't tell you.


    When Dr. Roy Davis, that ordained me in the Missionary Baptist Church. And when the angel of the Lord come to me and told me I was to take this message around the world, he said, "Billy, you need some rest. You'd better go home." I said, "Dr. Davis, that Angel stood there and told me that."


    But when I walked to the platform, and it happened to be that he knew the old Baptist preacher that ordained me in the Baptist church, Doctor Roy E. Davis. Doctor Davis told him to come, see me when I come to the coast, to have me to pray for him. And he moved in and was setting in his wheelchair.


    And so they 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 during this time... I'm leaving out my conversion. I was converted. And was ordained by Doctor Roy Davis, in the Missionary Baptist church, and had become a minister and have the tabernacle that I now preach in in Jeffersonville. And I was pastoring the little church. And I...
    I'd heard of Pentecostal, but they were a bunch of "holy-rollers that laid on the floor and frothed at their mouth," and everything that they told me about. So I didn't want nothing to do with it.


    Well, I remember after I was ordained in the church, the Baptist church, by Dr. Roy Davis, here at Watts Street in Jeffersonville, where the church was at the time...


    A Baptist preacher baptized me. I said, "I want to be baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ." Dr. Roy E. Davis baptized me in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ when I was just a boy.


    And Doctor Roy E. Davis of the Missionary Baptist church that baptized me into the Baptist faith, was a--or Baptist fellowship we call it.


    And I remember when Brother Roy Davis, down there, and his church burnt down. That bunch of people was just like scattered sheep without a shepherd, had no place to go. And I... Mr. Hibstenberg was Chief of Police then, and he called me down there and he said to me, "I--We're here to help you." Said, "I'm Catholic myself," but said, "them people," said, "they don't... probably have their clothes." (It was during the time of the depression.) Said, "They go to other churches and they feel out of place, and they're good people. And I know many of them." He said, "Billy, if you want to start a church," he said, "I want you to know that we're behind you in anything we can do to help you."


    Now, I have been through these years, and this Tabernacle has stood, though I was ordained in a Missionary Baptist church by Doctor Roy E. Davis, about thirty-three years ago here in Jeffersonville... Now, I... Since then, I was in the organization just a short time, a few months, until something come up that was unscriptural by the church, and I told him I could not go that.


    Then, about seventeen years after that, I was, had become a minister, a Baptist preacher, of the Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Roy E. Davis ordained me as one of the local pastors, give me rights then, by the state, to marry, bury, baptize, so forth. And the Missionary Baptist Church burned down, which I was assistant pastor, at the time. And Mr. Davis come back to Texas, which he was of Davis mountains, and--and down near Van Horn, Texas. That's where they come from. And so, while he was gone, I started to take over the congregation.

    Quotes regarding William Branham's First Introduction to the Pentecostal Movement


    I was right up here in Indiana, at a certain place called Mishawaka. The first group of Pentecostal people I ever seen is called the--the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ...


    ...I got my first acquaintance with Pentecostal people. We come through Dawa... or Mishawaka, and there was a... Mishawaka, Indiana. And there was a great convention going on. ...And I thought, "That's just awful that they'd do that." My self-styled Baptist ways, you know, so I--I thought...


    When I first seen the Pentecostal people, and heard them speak with tongues, I'd been taught as a Baptist that that was of the devil.


    I remember when I first seen Pentecostal people, over around Mishawaka, Indiana...

    William Branham met John Ryan of William Sowders' School of the Prophets in Louisville, KY. This John Ryan supposedly spoke in tongues and prophesied over William Branham as a child:


    An old man, one of the first that I ever seen in the realms of Pentecost and came to my house when I was just a--a little lad, and set in my room. And I've been always, for Pentecost, I wasn't critical, but I didn't understand that speaking in tongues before these things happened. And I still, we know that there is some of it make-believe, but behind it there's a genuine article. And this man come to my room when I was just a boy preacher and set in there one day. And I come in and he went... he kind of jumped and threw his hands up and spoke in tongues . And he said, "Thus saith the Lord," speaking in tongues , said, "A great ministry lies before you that God will use you to shake the world." And the elderly brother, is setting right back there, is John Ryan.

    Quotes regarding William Branham's Mother-in-law


    When we got to her mother--got to her mother...?... When we got over there, why there's where the trouble started, right there.
    She said, "William Branham, do you mean to tell me that you'd take my daughter out amongst a bunch of trash like that?"
    I said, "Well, look, Mrs. Brumbach. They're not trash."
    She said, "That's a bunch of holy-rollers." She said, "And you take her out of here, she'll starve to death." She said, "Today she might have something to eat, and tomorrow she might not have nothing to eat."
    But brother, I come to find out what she called "trash" was "the cream of the crop." And bless my heart...?... And said, "You mean to tell me that you'd take..." Said...
    And Hope started crying. And she said, "Mother..." She said, "I--I--I want to go with him." And she said, "Very well, Hope. If you go, your mother will go in a grave heartbroken. That's all." And then Hope started crying.
    And--and there, friends, is where my sorrows started. I listened to my mother-in-law in the stead of God.


    And I stood down there not long ago. Say, "Will it last?" Yes, sir. I stood there when my own baby, about fourteen years ago, fifteen, my own little baby, six months old when I was praying for it, and it died and it went out from under my arms. I was walking up the road... I lost my father, my brother, and my wife (You know my story.), just because that I wouldn't hook myself up with you people.
    My mother-in-law said that we were too good to be with such people, said they were nothing but a bunch of backwash.


    Now, from here, listen. I listened to my mother-in-law instead of God, and forsaken the church, and went on back with the Baptist people. Right away, plagues hit my home. My wife took sick; my father died on my arm; my brother was killed. And everything happened just in a few days. A great flood hit the country and washed away the homes. My wife was in the hospital. And I was out on a rescue with my boat. And one night out in the water, my boat got in the current, and was going over a big falls. I couldn't get the motor started, and I raised up my hands, and I said, "Oh, God, don't let me drown. I am not worthy to live, but think of my wife and baby."
    And I tried again, and it wouldn't start, and I cried again to God. And then, just before going over the falls, the motor started, and I got to the land.

    Video Script

    William Branham's ability to captivate his congregation with a heart-warming… or heart wrenching… story, is well know. Among his favorite tales was the oft-repeated account of his introduction to the Pentecostal movement… a key event in William Branham’s life story.

    But the story didn’t end there... Not everyone in their family was as impressed with the Pentecostals as the young Baptist minister and his wife.

    William Brahnam lost his wife in July, 1937. But before she died, Hope made him promise that he would go back to the Pentecostals he had forsaken, and preach for them...

    And William Branham made good on his promise to his dying wife…


    Many tears have been shed over the years - and understandably so - by people reflecting on the heartache endured by this young minister and the cost to him of not obeying the Lord fully…

    But the lesser known tragedy is this… except for the very real loss of life, very little of this story is what it seems.

    Did William Branham really start out as a Missionary Baptist?


    In a letter that was published in the Voice of Healing magazine in October 1950, Roy Davis wrote the following: I am the minister who received Brother Branham into the first Pentecostal assembly he ever frequented. I baptized him and was his pastor for some two years… I was the first person whom Billy ever saw anoint and pray for a sick person.

    I feel I can write more intimately of Billy Branham than any living minister, as he also received his Baptism of the Holy Ghost in my humble home in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

    So, Roy Davis was his first pastor but not in a Missionary Baptist church. It was a Pentecostal church.

    And Roy Davis not only pastored the Pentecostal Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, but also referred to this church as a "Pentecostal assembly", and spoke of introducing William Branham to praying for the sick, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    And these experiences all took place before 1933.

    The 1931 City Directory for Jeffersonville confirms that Roy Davis was the Pastor of the Pentecostal Baptist Church. This directory was printed two years before William Branham built his tabernacle, and before his marriage to Hope.

    Why did William Branham feel compelled to grossly misrepresent his "Baptist" roots?

    While we may never know for certain, one thing is clear… His introduction to Pentecostalism happened long before his story indicates.

    Was William Branham really a Baptist pastor?

    In March 1933, William Branham laid the cornerstone for his new church. But the name of the church was not “Branham Tabernacle” then. It was… the Pentecostal Tabernacle.

    In 2009, Believers International published a photo-anthology of William Branham’s life called “Messenger”. On page 11 of this book is a newspaper ad from the mid-30’s for William Branham’s church, the Pentecostal Tabernacle.

    Further, the obituary for Hope Branham clearly indicated that she was attending the Pentecostal Tabernacle at the time of her death.

    So William Branham was never the pastor of a Baptist church.

    His disobedience caused the deaths of many of his loved ones


    But remember this part of the story?

    How could the death of William Branham’s brother, Charles, in a car accident on August 5, 1935… a full 2 years before Hope died… be related to his failure to embrace Pentecostalism when he was preaching in a Pentecostal church.

    Do you understand why we are having a hard time with some of this??

    When was William Branham baptized with the Holy Spirit? As we mentioned earlier, Reverend Roy Davis’ testified that William Branham "received his Baptism of the Holy Ghost in my humble home in Jeffersonville, Indiana."

    This would have taken place prior to 1933 when he started his own church.

    However, we appreciate that this does not agree with William Branham’s version of the events…


    So was it in Roy Davis' home… or out back in his shed… or somewhere else?


    So... how could God's prophet be so confused about when he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, when he said it was impossible for such a thing to happen?


    Does God punish his children for disobedience by killing their loved ones? Compounding the tragedy of William Branham's personal loss and fabricated testimony is the fact that he suffered from a fatalistic, Old Testament view of God… a God who would wreak havoc, kill his wife and little girl, just to teach him a lesson… ironically for a rejecting something that he had been a part of for years!

    He apparently adopted this distorted view of God from his Pentecostal pastor, Roy Davis, who wrote:

    As a direct result of my failure to listen to God on matters so deeply important to us both and to the world in general, I went through the very fires of hell.

    Does the Bible really teach that we have to live mistake free or face the brutal punishment of a God of wrath?

    Doesn’t the Bible say that perfect love casts out all fear?


    If you are afraid, it is because you have not fully experienced the perfect love of God.?

    When we first heard these tragic stories from William Branham’s life, we naturally thought them to be true.

    Sadly, the facts show otherwise.

    Why did William Branham feel the need to misrepresent nearly every aspect of this story… his background, his faith, his conversion, the order of events.

    Did he really feel like God was punishing him? For a fictitious decision?

    Was it to gain sympathy, or to punish himself for the death of his wife and daughter? He certainly wouldn't be the first to suffer a mental break from such an event. Whatever the case, the tragedy is only aggravated when this manufactured tale is accepted as truth and then told and retold.

    Most people assume that when William Branham speaks of Jesus Christ, that he is talking about the same Jesus preached by the apostles. But that isn't consistent with his story of Gods "punishment".

    According to the gospel Paul preached, the wrath of God was unleashed upon his Son on Calvary. The wrathful punishment of believers as preached by William Branham, for mistakes that they make, bypasses the blood of Jesus and is not biblical. If this is your revelation… as obtained from the message… then it is a different Message from the grace of the New Testament that Paul preached.

    Further reading

    • Jorgensen, O., Supernatural: the Life of William Branham, Book Two: The Young Man and His Desperation (1933-1946), Tucson Tabernacle Books, 1994
    • Lindsay, G. (Editor), The Voice of Healing, Vol.3, No. 7, Voice of Healing, Inc., October, 1950
    • Weaver, C.D., The Healer-Prophet, Mercer University Press, 2000


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