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The Basics: Bridge Prophecy

1: Big Four Bridge
2: Clark Memorial Bridge
William Branham claimed to have been given a vision by God concerning the construction of the Clark Memorial Bridge that joins Southern Indiana to Louisville Kentucky over the Ohio River. In his descriptions of this vision, Branham claimed to have seen the deaths of sixteen men as they fell from the bridge and drown. It was a prophecy of destruction, similar to other prophecies given by Branham to his followers; a proclamation of death from God through this prophet without reason or a plea for repentance.

The George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge began construction in June 1928, and was finally opened to the public on October 31, 1929 as a toll bridge. According to government records, William Branham was 20 years old during the final stages of the bridge's construction. This would have given plenty of time to warn the authorities of the men whose lives would otherwise be lost and their families. But we find no record warning, only the description of what he claimed to have been a vision from God.

But history tells a much different story. During its construction, the operations were monitored by the United States Coast Guard. Their observation of the construction is recorded in a series of log books. The logs were entered every two hours of every day, and those logs recorded everything from the daily barometric pressures to the groceries and other supplies used by the men at work. While the logs do record deaths,none of them were caused by drowning. Instead, they describe several rescue operations and and only two fatalities.

It is common knowledge that several men died by falling from a bridge that spans the Ohio River from Kentucky into Indiana, however, events which have been recorded in the historical records of Jeffersonville. There were over thirty fatalities during the construction of the Big Four Bridge. Twenty of these fatalities occurred in a single incident. The Big Four bridge was built in sections placed upon pillars, and during severe winds one section was damaged. Forty-one workers were standing on this section when it fell. New construction came to a halt when the bridge was repaired with additional support.

The subject of William Branham's vision, Clark Memorial Bridge, was not constructed in this manner. According to the local bridge authorities, the method used during its construction is the same method used today, and this type of bridge construction has endured due to its increased safety. The Clark Memorial bridge was seen as a huge success with a limited number of fatalities, none of which were a result of drowning.

This prophecy is clearly the result of the words of a man, not the Word from the Lord. Some have claimed that he was mistaken about which bridge the prophecy described, but the Big Four Bridge ended construction in 1895, long before William Branham was born. In addition, there is no record that this prophecy was given before the event. It would seem as though William Branham claimed an event in the history of the city as a new 'prophecy,' but like the other prophesies we will examine, the facts do not match its declaration. The prophet has spoken presumptuously.

More information on the bridge prophecy may be found at
Detailed coast guard logs can be found here

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Branham's accounts of this prophecy:

Now, that's the way the gift is supposed to be working. See? Now, I want you to notice this. It wasn't my sincere prayer that brought this gift. Gifts are not brought by sincere prayers. Gifts are foreordained of God. They're ordained and sent. Here at the Municipal Bridge. Sister, no doubt you know where the Municipal Bridge is, don't you, cross from Jeffersonville to Louisville? Twenty-two years, when I was a little boy, just a little bitty lad about five years old, or six years old, when the Angel of the Lord appeared in the bush... You've heard me tell that haven't you, when I was packing water? Well, about two weeks after that, I was playing marbles with my little brother. And I thought I'd got sick, some real funny feeling came on me. And I went and set down by the side of a tree. And I looked down at the river, and there went a bridge, a big, great big bridge going across the river. And I counted sixteen men that fell off of that bridge and drowned. And I went and told mother. And I told her I seen it. And they thought I was crazy or something. They thought I was just at a little nervous hysterical child. And twenty-two years from that time, on the same ground went the Municipal Bridge across, and sixteen men lost their lives on it. See? Wasn't nothing that... It's-it's God sent it. Your prayers brought it. See?

And I'm very happy tonight to start the prayer line here in-in Minneapolis. And I desire all of you to pray for me while I'm praying for others, and have faith and believe that what I tell you is the truth. Most all of you, oh, I guess, in here, and the manager has been explained the way, they... it came to me and was ministered by an Angel, Who one night walked into the room. When I was a little boy, it started. It would talk to me down through life. One time when I was about seven years old, it came out of a bush. A whirlwind was whirling in the bush, and it said for me never to drink, or to smoke, or defile my body; there was something for me to do. Now, my people were formerly Catholic and there was not very much that-that they knew about it, and they just kept those things down. And about four days after that, it appeared to me and a strange feeling came upon me, as it always does, and I seen the Municipal Bridge, at Jeffersonville, cross, come up out of the wilderness on the hill where I was standing, and crossed the river. I seen sixteen men fall off of it. They put that down and twenty-two years from that day, the Municipal Bridge spanned the river at the same place and sixteen men lost their life on it. And just things like that. It's nothing I can do in myself. It's just what He shows me, is all I can speak. Only thing that any true man of God could ever say, but what God would put in his mouth to say. Outside of that, it would totally be a failure. And when It met me, many times, and told many things which I probably get a chance after while, to tell you in one of the meetings.

Here's mother setting here tonight. I ran as hard as I could. She thought a snake had bit me or something. But I wouldn't tell her. And my little brother and I, a few days later from that was setting out under the tree. We'd been playing marbles. And I felt a peculiar feeling, like a... Something was standing near me. And all at once, something happened. I set down. And I looked, and I seen coming up out of the river a big bridge, spanned across the river, and sixteen people fell off of it. I went and told them. They said, "Why, you dreamed." I Said, "No, I looked at it. I seen it." Twenty-two years from that time, the big Municipal Bridge spanned across the Ohio River, and sixteen men lost their life on it. And it just started like that, and begin... That was before I was ever even a Christian. My people wasn't Christian. Gifts and callings are without repentance. It's a foreordination of God. Then It kept telling things on down.

When I was a child, twenty-two years before this beautiful bridge spanned the river, setting down in my yard, I seen this thing go across the river and seen the men that lost their life on it. My mother thought I was nervous. Right here at Mr. Wathen's on Utica Pike when I was packing water in two little syrup buckets, out of the bush come a sound of "Whew." [Brother Branham makes a blowing sound-Ed.)] I didn't see no leaves blowing nowhere, and looked up in the tree, looked like a barrel-size, going back and forth in the tree. And out of there come an audible voice and it said, "Don't you never smoke or drink or defile your body in any way. There'll be a work for you to do when you get older." I'm at home. I'm among people. I'm among young ladies that I went with in my young days. I'm amongst boys here, boyfriends that I played together. I ask you today if you ever seen me smoke, drink, or be drunk, or-or defile myself in-in that way? No, sir. I did not. Not for my goodness, but it's by His mercy, His foreordained will for me to do this.

And coming down along a lane, which many people right here in this building now, that I see, Brother Ryan, for one, setting here, Brother Bosworth, for another one, sitting near, and Brother Baxter is near. I've taken them right to the place; they've seen the place and all about it. People come from Canada, and everywhere, going in there wanting to see that place, know where it's at. And there, One spoke to me from out of a tall poplar tree, that said, "Don't you never smoke, drink, or defile your body, for there's a work for you do when you get older." Why, it liked to scared me to death. I run home. Mother thought I was hurt or something, and-or bitten by a snake. Then a few days after that, setting... That was my first vision, setting out there under a big silver poplar tree in the front yard, where the tree stands yet today... Standing out there in the front of that place, I seen Something, like yesterday afternoon, I seen Him coming upon me, that I never... I didn't know what it was. In a little bit I moved off, and I looked, and I seen moving up out of those bushes down by the river, and along there came a big bridge, and it spanned across the river. I seen men dropping off of it and losing their lives. And I went in and told mama. She said, "Honey, you went to sleep." I said, "Mama, I was not asleep." I said, "I was setting there. I had a funny feeling, mama." I said, "Oh, I'm scared, mama. What's the matter with me?" She said, "Oh, you're just nervous, honey." I said, "Mama, something... I don't want to feel this way." And it was Something moving. And just... She wrote it down. And twenty-two years from that time, the Municipal Bridge which spans the Ohio River run across at the same place, and the same amount of men dropped off the bridge and lost their lives, just exactly. From that it would take... Some of these days, I want to set on a tape recording, and tell it in detail, which would take hours, and hours, and hours, to go into the things from a little boy, that I'd see things. I seen the '37 flood coming. I remember, I stood right on Fall's City Transfer Company; many you all acquainted with Jeffersonville, knows where that's at. I stood there and was preaching. I'd become a minister then. Many other things happened along the line, oh, it's numerous. How It would tell me to watch at a certain place, do a certain thing.

So then, I remember about two weeks after that, I was playing marble with my brother, and there I-I felt something strange come over me. I didn't know what was taking place. And I went out, set down just a minute, and I looked, and right before me, I seen something moving. And the waters looked like the river was looking closer to me. And I seen the Municipal Bridge that spans the river now, come up and cross the river, and seen the amount of men dropped off, and went in and told my mama. She said, "You had a dream, honey." I said, "No, ma'am. I stood and looked right at it, and I seen what it did." And-and twenty-two years from that very same year, the bridge which spans the Ohio River, and just exactly the same amount of men lost their life. And they just kept on going. Every time, everywhere, just vision after vision. Nobody...
53-1108 LIFE STORY

No, they happen all the time. They've been since I was a little baby. The first thing I can remember in life, was a vision. And gifts and callings are without repentance. When I was only six, oh, not over five or six minutes old, my mother tells me that when the old midwife, washing me as a little bitty five pound baby, and laid me on the arm of my mother, when she opened up the-the old door for a window we had in the little cabin, that that Light come in, hung there. When I was eighteen months old, I remember of a Voice speaking to me and telling me that was going to live near a city called New Albany. And I have. At the age of just a little bitty boy, I could remember He speaking to me and telling me about a bridge that was going to span the river, how many men would lose their life on that bridge. And they wrote it down to see what it was all about. They thought I was dreaming. I was out in the yard, just something come over me, and I set down. I seen it. And I went and told mother, she said, "You went to sleep, honey." I said, "No, ma'am, I never went to sleep. I stood and watched It come up out of the bushes." And twenty-two years from that time, the Municipal Bridge span across the Ohio River, and the same sixteen men lost their live on it, just like It said. See? And it's always been that way. And Christian friends, to the best of my soul, I say this for God's glory: I have never seen one time but what it was just as perfect, just exactly the way It said it would be. And many people come... You might think, "Well, Brother Branham, does just the common class of people come?" No. Multi-millionaires, doctors, everybody comes. There's been some of the best doctors that this nation has, is set in my home, and I've led them to Christ: the best of doctors.

A little later on, about two weeks later I was playing marbles with my brother, and I felt something come to me. We lived up on a hill, and the river was below us: a wilderness around. And I saw a bridge come up out of the wilderness. And it started across the river. Sixteen men dropped off in-into the water and perished. And I seen a big sign, it said "twenty-two years." I run in and told my mother. Oh, she said, "Son, you're nervous. You went to sleep and you were dreaming." I said, "No. No. I saw it." So they wrote it down on a piece of paper. And twenty-two years from then, the great bridge crossed the river, and twen-sixteen men dropped off of it and-and drowned in the river. Every time, it's perfect.

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.

Then two-about two weeks from then, I was playing marbles with my brother, and Something come upon me, and I looked down at the river. And I saw a great bridge span the river, and I watched sixteen men drop off of it and lose their lives. When It left me, I ran in to my mother and I told her. "Oh," she said, "honey, you was dreaming." But I wasn't. But she wrote it down. And twenty-two years from that day, the Municipal Bridge spanned the river at the same place, and sixteen men lost their life on it. It just kept coming all the time, like that. Later, I become converted. What all that He had did-all the-the Holy Spirit has done would make many, many books. So I'll just have to touch the spots now, that you'd under-so that you'll understand.

Just even you take this big bridge down here, when I saw it come twenty-two years before it was put up down there, saw the men lose their lives on it. When they put the bridge across there and spoke of it. My mother wanted to take me to the doctor, thought I was having nervous spasms. And I told her; I said, "I seen a bridge go across, and I counted them men." Twenty-two years after that, the bridge went across, and the same amount of men lost their lives. I think it was sixteen, exactly. Now, I thought, when they put those big girders up there, "That bridge will last forever." Oh, they've painted it three or four times, and it's rusting down right now. What is it? The rays in the air burned it up.

Certain things happened. When I was a little boy He spoke to me, He said, "Don't never smoke or drink, or defile your body. There's a work for you to do when I get-when you get older." It's in the book back there. You may read it. And my mother and them, they thought I was just nervous. And then It went ahead, and two days-three days after that told how that bridge would cross the river just below our place now. Sixteen men would lose their life on it. And they wrote it down. And twenty-two years from then it happened just exactly, and sixteen men lost their life. It's never been, out of the thousands of things, but what it's been perfectly right. See? That's right. See, things happen when you're a child, that impresses.

And as a child, about eight years old, seven or eight years old, I was packing water to a moonshine still that my father owned. And while one warm September afternoon, sitting down, crying, going fishing out to the pond with the boys, and they... couldn't go on account of I had to pack this water. I heard like a Whirlwind in the tree, about half way up. Still, everywhere else, September in Indiana, everything's real still, dying, quiet. And this Whirlwind in a bush, there come a Voice out of there, and said, "Never smoke, drink, defile your body (that's run with women), anything like that, for there's a work for you to do when you get older." And my mother called the doctor, she thought I was so nervous. A week after that, I seen the Municipal Bridge, in a trance, as I called it, seen the Municipal Bridge cross the Ohio River, seen sixteen man lose their life on it. Twenty-two years from that day, the Municipal Bridge crosses the same place, and sixteen man lost their life in it.
64-0419 THE TRIAL

How could it be so? How could it be so? It looked like it would be impossible. Then when It spoke, a few days from that, and said. And I begin to see these visions and things that always happened. It would scare me. My brethren said to me, said, "That's of the Devil." My Baptist brethren said, "That's of the Devil." I said, "You know, I'll just be standing, and," I said, "the first thing you know, it'll go into like a trance, like, or something." I said, "I see things that always happen. He told me, twenty-two years before that bridge went across there, how far it would go across, when it would go across, and how many men would lose their lives. And it was perfectly, every time." And then some of them said, "That's the Devil." And I got away, and started crying and praying, one night. I said, "Lord Jesus, You know my heart. I love You. Let me die. Don't let me have any... the Devil to have anything to do with me. I'd rather die than be a false witness of You." And it was at that time when this Light returned again and showed me the Scripture, that in this day this thing is supposed to happen. Here it is laying right here in the Scripture now. It's been thirty-three years since that time, but I'm a witness that it's the Truth. I'm a witness of these things that it's Truth.
64-0427 A TRIAL

At the tree, at seven years old, where the Voice spoke to me and said, "Don't never smoke, chew, or drink, or defile your body." And me in a bootlegger's home, didn't even know what a Bible was, no more than just a word. We might have been able to found an almanac, but not a Bible in our house. Nothing but a bunch of... Not talking against my people, but God knows all about it. There was no way at all, my people before me, back behind that were Catholic. They had all married away from church and gone away, and there wasn't no religion at all. We didn't even pay any attention to it. But He-He told me what was going to happen, that I was to not to smoke, or drink, or defile my body in any way, there would be a work for me to do when I got older. Well, it was years and years after that. How did I know I'd be a minister? I hated the thought of a preacher. But it happened, anyhow. It goes to show He keeps His Word. Seventeen years after He appeared to me there in a bush... We find out, next day after that, He showed me a bridge crossing the river, spanning it, showed sixteen man drop off of it. I told mama. Sitting against a tree, looked at it. She said, "You went to sleep, honey." I said, "No, I never, mama. I watched it." Exactly seventeen years from that day, the Municipal Bridge at Jeffersonville spanned over to Kentucky, and the seventh... And the sixteen man lost their life on it, just exactly like it said. Ah, so did Mr. Unbeliever has tempted me all along!
64-0621 THE TRIAL

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