William Branham: Along Came Avak The Armenian:
When a normal (not programmed) Christian describes the Post WWII Healing Revival to a cult follower of William Branham, they find it difficult to communicate in a way that is understood. For decades, cult pastors have repeatedly trained their congregations to believe that there was only one single star in the Healing Revival: William Marrion Branham. All others -- even the big names such as Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, and more -- are overlooked. Why? Because William Branham convinced his following that he was the only superstar.
It is interesting when one systematically studies the recorded sermons of William Branham with regards to the other ministers. Often plagiarizing their sermons, Branham rode on the coattails of other ministers. Modern-day cult followers are unaware that several sermon themes came from these big names. "Thinking Man's Filter," for instance, was a sermon Branham mentions hearing first from Billy Graham. "As The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest" was a sermon by C. L. Franklin. Even his "return of Elijah" themes came from the world-renown healer/cult leader John Alexander Dowie years before the Healing Revival swept the land.
Of the healers who impacted Branham's ministry, Avak Hagopian is one of the most unique. From the moment Avak landed on American soil from Africa to the time he was kicked out of the country, his fame spread almost as fast as news of the War. Hundreds of thousands of people eagerly watched for any piece of information they could find on Avak, his journey and healing ministry followed by major news sources. William Branham was no exception to this rule. He wanted to see Avak.
And I have many thousand miles of flying ahead of me. I haveâ€¦ going up on theâ€¦ plumb from Vancouver, work down the coast as far as California, coming back to Fresno where I'm to go tomorrow, to the Armenian people. They flew a boy, who prays for the sick, by the name of Avak. They brought him from Cairo over to pray for a man by the name of Arkelian.
Branham, 47-1102 - The Angel Of God
But Branham was not able to see Avak in California. Crowds were so eager to see the famous healer that they swarmed to California -- so many that the Shrine Auditorium was rented to hold the masses. Over a thousand sick and afflicted went through the prayer line, and Avak prayed for them one-by-one. Through faith in God combined with the prayer of the famous Avak, many claimed their healing.
Though William Branham was persistent, Avak was difficult to catch. "Avak sightings" were broadcast over the news as he travelled through the country, the nation swept away with the fever of a 20-year-old healer. Newspapers, desperate for news of Avak, printed articles such as "Avak, The Healer, Is Hard To Find," in which they quoted people who mistakenly thought they had seen the healer. Branham, however, was able to find him in Florida. Though the words are not complete on the tape recording (without any 'blank spot on tape markers'), one can assume that Branham consulted Avak for one reason or another.
Many of you has heard of Avak. You know, they come over here that time. Well, we've been trying to meet each other for some time. We met a few days ago in Florida, and put our pictures together and said, "â€¦?â€¦ Americanâ€¦?â€¦ consults Divine healing."
Branham, 48-0304 - The Angel Of God
After this "consultation," William Branham mentions Avak several times -- but never mentions the meeting or Avak's quick rise to fame in the United States. Instead, Branham seems to be fixated on Avak's car. During his stay in the United States, one of Branham's associates gave Avak a Cadillac, and until Branham was given his own Cadillac, he would continue telling and retelling the story. In the many renditions, Branham would claim that he not only refused the same gift, but would never own this or any such luxury automobile. He referred to the poor people in the Southern United States, and how much it would hurt his appearance to be driving a fancy car while collecting money from the poor. Nevertheless, Branham finally got his Cadillac.
But the most interesting aspect of all of this is the picture of Avak that is painted in the newspaper articles. When one compares their descriptions of Avak to the early descriptions of Branham's "angel," one could easily form the opinion that Branham thought this young Armenian man to be an angel from God.
Regardless, Avak was just one in a long line of men that made up the Healing Revival of the 1940's and 1950's. And Branham cult pastors who claim that Branham's "vindication of prophecy" is based on "results of healing" must apply that same logic to young Avak and his successful tour of America. Branhamites who cherish newspaper clippings of men, women, and children who entered Branham's prayer line could do the same with any of the ministers who quickly rose to fame as the masses entered their meetings. They claim that this is "vindication" of Branham's "prophet" status. Do the newspaper clippings of Avak mean that the young Armenian man was also a "Vindicated prophet for this age?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iULMQUobEJ8