Followers of William Branham believe that the 1937 flood in Southern Indiana was the result of the wrath of God against him for heeding his mother-in-law's advice and refraining from associating with the Pentecostal movement that was taking the nation by storm. According to Branham, his wife Hope's mother was strongly opposed to her daughter becoming associated with those "holy rollers," and Branham did not heed the calling by God.
Because this God was angered, Branham claimed that He sent the 1937 flood as punishment. In a tragic tale, Branham described being marooned on an island has his wife was caught in the storm, unable to reach her and protect her. Branham then described Hope and his daughter Sharon Rose dying in his arms in a hospital. This horrific turn of events became the turning point in his ministry; Branham's conversion to Christ by joining the Pentecostal faith.
It would seem that this emotional story was given to produce an overwhelming feeling of compassion in his listeners, because very little of the story matches historical fact, and Branham's accounts of this life-changing event do not match in his numerous tellings of his life story.
He describes a dying Hope speaking to the nurse, who happened to be a life-long friend of the family, instructing her to find a man like Branham. However, the name of the nurse changes between different recitations of the tale. One might expect that he would not forget the identity of this nurse, considering her supposed close association with his family.
But the most conflicting information to be found on this subject concerns the period of time that William Branham was the assistant pastor to Roy E. Davis. In many of his sermons Branham mentioned that Davis was a Baptist minister. However, according to contemporary newspaper advertisements, Hope was an active leader in the youth ministry in Davis' church, which was already affiliated with the Pentecostal movement.
After Davis left the scene, Branham started his own fellowship, and it was not called the "Branham Tabernacle" as his followers assume —Branham's church was the "Pentecostal Tabernacle" at the corner of 8th street and Penn street.
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