William Branham claimed to have held a baptismal service in the banks of the Ohio River that drew international fame. According to the story, thousands attended and over five hundred were baptized. As Branham was immersing the seventeenth person, a light shone from the heavens and God Himself spoke from the heavens. In a story that parallels Jesus' baptism by John, Branham claimed that the Father announced his ministry by saying, "As John the Baptist was sent forth to forerun the first coming of Christ, you have the Message that'll now forerun the second Coming of Christ."
This supernatural event, according to Branham, gathered a very large crowd in Jeffersonville. Five hundred people were baptized, the local news arrived, and the Associated Press quickly picked up the story. And according to Branham, these reporters printed the story of the mystic light in an article that quickly spread throughout the United States and Canada.
Those who study this event quickly find great difficulty, due to the fact that the Associated Press archives contain no such article. And while one would assume this edition of the newspaper would be found on display in the ministry headquarters, Voice of God Recordings, it is not to be found. We can only rely on the statements made by William Branham himself, along with the actual story that was printed in the newspapers -- which seems to have not gained national attention. The reporter who described the baptismal service did not take notice of a massive gathering, an unusual number of converts to Christ being baptized, a light shining from the heavens nor a voice announcing William Branham's ministry. In fact, according to the reporter on the scene, there were not even seventeen converts, no mention of the baptism, and even more interesting, no mention of the tabernacle which supposedly held the meeting.
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