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Raymond Hoekstra, Little David, Leslie Ashley, and William Branham

Seek The Truth Blog

Raymond Hoekstra, Little David, Leslie Ashley, and William Branham:

Yesterday, we published a thought-provoking image to our Facebook Page, comparing William Branham's statements about meeting Raymond Hoekstra before making his mythological hunting trip in Arizona that his cult following refer to as the "Cloud event." Branham often referred to this event in his ministry as an angelic visitation, and claimed that after seven angels discussed the "Seven Seals" of Revelation, they broke through the Earth's atmosphere. According to Branham, he was standing there watching as they broke through the skies, leaving behind a "mystery cloud."

The thought-provoking image presents a fundamental problem with this mythology. While Branham claimed to be standing "underneath this [cloud]," he also claimed to have been in Houston, Arizona at the beckoning call of Raymond Hoekstra. According to Branham, his hunting trip was after that meeting -- placing his trip after the "mystery cloud" of February 28, 1963.

And Raymond Hoekstra had already wrote me several times, but you know, I had planned after that meeting to go on a hunting trip with Mr. McAnally and them. And I thought, "Well, if I let them kids die and don't put my effort forth, I'll never be able to go hunting again." 62 So I said, "All right, I'll come." I come over to Houston, had the meeting, and course the... they never killed them, they just... they give them life.
Branham, 65-1127B - Trying To Do God A Service

When one examines William Branham's connection to Hoekstra, many questions are raised. What could be important enough to convince William Branham to risk being caught supporting a homosexual transvestite murderer? Did Hoekstra have some unknown control of William Branham? Was this control political or spiritual?

William Branham was no stranger to Hoekstra. In the early Pentecostal circles, most of the ministers supported each other as they spread their new gospel throughout the nation. Branham first described Hoekstra on recorded sermon describing Hoekstra's involvement with a boy nicknamed "Little David."

And a minister from Indianapolis was there, by the name of Raymond Hoekstra. Many of you might've knowed him. And he was with the Little David.
Branham, 50-0818 - It Shall Be Even As It Was Told Me

"Little" David Walker was, in the Pentecostal circles, seen as a child prodigy. In the late '40's and early '50's, "Little David" attracted huge crowds in churches, auditoriums, and tents around the world. Over time, he became known as the "Miracle Boy Preacher." Like other big names in the movement, his sermons were printed and published to the world, the most popular being, "I Spent Five Hours In Heaven." Even William Branham was convinced that "Little David" was God's Gift to the church. Did this position influence his decision to join Hoekstra in supporting the transexual murderer?

In July, 1947, Reverend Hoekstra was requested by the family of "Little" David Walker to take over the direction of his work and ministry. The State of Indiana took issue with this, because the child should be in school with his class mates. In 1948, this unusual situation was approved by the Indianapolis Probate Court, and Hoekstra effectively became the campaign manager for the child who chose to be a world-wide evangelist rather than attend school.

Little David had been introduced into the Pentecostal faith at the Apostolic Gospel Tabernacle in Long Beach, California, and had supernatural experiences that led his family to believe that he had a call to preach the Gospel at age 9. There was just one problem: at age 9, the boy had no sense of doctrine. Strangely, those who studied the ministry of Little David and his acceptance by the Apostolic and Pentecostal ministers admit that this was not much of a problem -- this was the case with many ministers in the Pentecostal faith. "Evidence," or the ability to produce supernatural signs, took priority over correct interpretation of scripture and understanding of doctrine. In 1949, Hoekstra began suffering difficulties in his ministry after awareness started spreading concerning his association the child evangelist and lack of solid Bible teaching.

These difficulties did not stop Branham from continuing the doctrine, however. William Branham often praised Hoekstra and "Little David" during his sermons, and even allowed them to share his pulpit at the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

How many hear "The Wings Of Healing," Doctor Wyatt and them; and a bosom friend of mine, Raymond Hoekstra? 'Course he's preached right here at the Tabernacle, Raymond Hoekstra. He went up into East India, up there, and had a revival, and had thousands of converts up in there. See what God's a-doing?
Branham, 53-0329 - Israel And The Church #5

From the book "Little David Miracle Boy Preacher":

In the 40’s “Little David’ was healed of blindness at age 5; called to preach at age 9 during a five-hour vision of heaven; immediately began crusades across America. Thousands of people packed stadiums, auditoriums, and tents to hear the boy preacher; multitudes saved and healed; in San Diego, many sailors convened before going overseas in the war, and some are preaching the gospel today; mission journey to Mexico at age 12, where God saved him from kidnappers; preached with William Branham during the early days of Branham’s ministry
- Little David Miracle Boy Preacher

While Hoekstra was the child's campaign manager, and in the same Cadle Tabernacle where William Branham started Jim Jones into his rise to infamy, Hoekstra scheduled a crusade of meetings. "Little David" preached to a packed house of over 10,000 people. During the course of this meeting, Hoekstra embraced the mysticism of the "Latter Rain" movement, and began believing that healing oil was flowing through his hands. Others in the meeting claimed to have received the same "evidence." Over time, many of the ministers -- Hoekstra included -- decided to abandon the idea of speaking in tongues being the evidence of the Holy Spirit.

Branham attributes this situation to the beginning of his own ministry. In fact, he specifically mentions "Little" David Walker as impacting him greatly when he started working in the "Full Gospel" business -- to the extent that he thought the child was an "angel," and was certain that he was "God's 'gift' to the Church":

When they had a little boy raised up sometime ago, and I went to see the little lad about ten or twelve years ago... His name was little David Walker, a wonderful little preacher. He didn't tell little stories like mama had coaxed him, how Jesus a little baby. He took off his coat, and took a text, and handled it like a man. And I talked to some of the brethren. I had just been new in the full Gospel realm. I didn't know they had the same trouble that we Baptists had, of all kinds of breakups. I thought they were angels. And so then we find out, one of them said, "Well, he belongs to the certain-certain group." I said, "What difference does it make where his father belongs? He's the gift that God has sent to the Church."
Branham, 58-0107 - The Queen Of Sheba

While the child was the "gift" or the "angel," Hoekstra's impact on William Branham was no less significant. It was so strong that Branham would interrupt the reading of Scripture to remind his own followers of their connection.

Now, in the Scripture, the 2nd chapter of Luke. And before I read this, though, I'd forgot to make mention of these other ministering brother. Brother Hoekstra here—I... He's been a bosom friend of mine for years. I remember the first time I met Brother Hoekstra. In Indianapolis, Indiana, there was a boy dying with polio in the iron lung.
Branham, 54-0725 - Do You Now Believe?

But Hoekstra did not continue the "Little David ministry," though it lasted almost three years. In 1950, he decided to leave the UPC and start a prison ministry, and made the following announcement in The Pentecostal Herald:

This is to advise all concerned that Raymond G. Hoekstra is not in fellowship with the United Pentecostal Church"

Years later, and though Hoekstra was not a believer in William Branham's "Message" or Pentecostalism in general, Branham continued his undying devotion to the man who helped "God's Gift" (Little David) to preach his doctrinally-incorrect teachings to the Church. Hoekstra asked William Branham to speak in Houston, TX on behalf of the homosexual transvestite and female prostitute who murdered a real-estate agent. Organizing a "Mercy for Ashley-Lima Committee, Hoekstra declared a campaign of meetings to be held in Houston. This meeting was announced in the Odessa American on Wednesday, February 27, 1963.

Those familiar with the "Cloud Event" are faced with several questions after reviewing all of the information. How could William Branham be standing underneath a cloud on February 28, 1963 when he claimed to have hunted after he was in Houston Texas for a revival that started March 5, 1963?

But the questions run much deeper than simply Branham's problematic statements with the cloud. Why support spreading the "Message" of a child with no grasp of theology rather than his own "Message?" And why did Hoekstra not follow William Branham's "Message?" If the child was "God's gift to the Church," why did William Branham not spread the child's "Message" instead of creating a new one?

Pictures of Little David, newspaper articles, and more:
The newspaper clipping advertising the Houston meeting:

Voice of Healing's Writeup on "Little" David Walker:

Sermons by "Little" David (Walker)

More on Raymond Hoekstra:

More on the homosexual transvestite murderer:

A Video about Hoekstra and the “Mystery Cloud”:

Our research page: