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Roy E. Davis And His Band Of Merry Women

Seek The Truth Blog

Roy E. Davis And His Band Of Merry Women:

Throughout his ministry, William Branham claimed that he was not a "Pentecostal minister" until the 1937 flood, which he claimed to have been an act by a wrathful God for his failure to join "those Pentecostals." Recently, we published a series of articles examining Hope's death, which occurred long after the flood receded, placing this entire portion of his life story into question.

Also, we recently published an article describing the Branham family history. While William Branham claimed to have supported his "widowed mother" after the early death of his father, the newspapers describe a very much alive Charles Branham arrested in Indiana for production of liquor during the days of Prohibition of alcohol. Young William appears to have been inept, shooting himself in the leg while hunting -- not the kind of child one can imagine providing for "nine siblings" in the "hills of Kentucky."

While Voice of God Recordings has made the claim that newspaper archives were "destroyed" in the 1937 flood, we find that they are very much intact and readable. And the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper is even searchable online -- any who wish to do so can verify our findings at this website:

It is interesting when one begins to search through the archives. Most of the history we've been taught came from William Branham himself. And as we've pointed out time and again, his version of "truth" does not appear to match actual recorded history. But more than that, the picture he paints of the men who were involved with his early life is vastly different from the men we find recorded in the newspapers.

One such man is Branham's former pastor, Roy E. Davis.

William Branham claims that Davis was the pastor of a "Missionary Baptist Church," and that he was affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

He said, "Young man, how'd you ever know me?" Said, "Doctor Roy E. Davis, the one that ordained you in the Missionary Baptist church, and—and he was the—the head speaker for the Southern Baptist Convention," he said, "he was the one sent me here for you to pray." Said, "I've been prayed for, since I was a little boy, but I always believed that God would heal me 'cause I took the right stand in the time of prohibition. I, when liquor was going to be brought in, I was called one of the dry bones." He said, "I lost the president of the United States because of my stand."
Branham, 64-0412 - A Court Trial

When I was first converted and was ordained in the Baptist church, I had a good old teacher by the name of Dr. Roy Davis. He was a lawyer before his conversion, and he took everything from a legal standpoint in the Bible. And I remember my first sermon I preached. I preached on Samson a grinding for the enemy. Well, I went over and had my own hands tied to the post. And, oh, I went through every emotion that I guess that I thought the preacher could go through. And when I noticed old Dr. Davis setting there with his finger up to his mouth just watching me... And after the service was over, I had made my altar call. A lot of the old mothers was walking up, patting me on the shoulder. Oh, they said, "Billy, that was wonderful."
Branham, 57-0306 - God Keeps His Word #1

But the picture of Roy E. Davis printed in the newspapers is a much different man. We first find him making a big name for himself by violating the Mann Act. The Mann Act, passed by Congress in 1910 to address prostitution, human trafficking and what was viewed at the time as immorality in general, makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution. According to the press release, Davis had taken a seventeen-year-old girl with him from Tennessee, and was living with her immorally. Davis claimed that he had taken her as a stepchild.

Davis continued to make big news. Members of his congregation accused him of theft. One claimed that he gave her an invalid deed for property, and testified for the warrant of his arrest. Her charges were dropped after he gave her some money, but she later pressed charges for another trial.

During his trials, newspaper reporters described the unusual scene at the court room. It appears that Roy Davis had up to sixty women at the trials to support him. His female support group continued to grow and become vocal -- so vocal that some were arrested for their outburst. Witnesses say that Davis was instigating their commotion.

While William Branham claims to have been opposed to alcohol and supported Prohibition, Davis was a very vocal speaker against the government regulation of alcohol. According to Davis, his church often had drunkards in the pews sitting in the laps of "members" of his congregation. One can only assume that this band of very vocal women were part of this scene.

"In my own church in this city I have had to leave the pulpit to raise drunken men out of the laps of members of my congregations. I have had to take women -- drunken women -- by the arm in the presence of my congregation and lead them to their seats."
- Davis, Courier Journal, Wednesday February 5, 1930

Davis wrote a letter to the editor that was published on February 5, 1930 that stated, "For the peace of the nation, this damnable curse [Prohibition] should be abolished and inaugurated in its stead something reasonable to take its place. In the name and for the defense of the American youth I plead for something better than we have, and anything, in my estimation, would be better than this thing."
- Davis, Courier Journal, Wednesday February 5, 1930

Local ministers were outraged that this man writing under the name "Baptist" was condoning the abolishment of the Prohibition Law. One minister wrote in response: "We feel it our duty to report that he has never been a member of the Louisville Ministerial Association, or the Louisville Council of Churches. He is running an independent mission of the Pentecostal Baptist Church but has not affiliated with any denomination so far as we are able to discern and does not voice any denominational position or the opinion of any organized group of Christian people."
- Edgar C. Lucas, President of the Louisville Council of Churches, Courier Journal, Saturday February 8, 1930.

Why did William Branham claim that he was ordained in a Baptist church, and why did he claim that it was affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention? Was there a motive for his deceit?

Multiple times, Davis was arrested for situations similar to his violation of the Mann Act of 1910, harboring minors for the intent of prostitution or "unsavory conduct." The newspapers are filled with articles about his indictments for fraud, theft, and more. And we also find multiple articles describing a young William Branham as an elder in this church of questionable deeds where liquor-filled women fling themselves upon men during service. Could we really say that William Branham was unaware of these things? Could he have been unaware that Davis was living with a seventeen-year-old-girl? Or that he was so vocal against Prohibition Law? Why was William Branham untruthful about his wife Hope and their denominational affiliation?

When one compares William Branham's statements concerning his mother-in-law and her objection to "those Pentecostals," one has to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. William Branham claimed that she was opposed to the Pentecostals who held Gospel-centered revivals. Could it be that she was opposed to her daughter sitting in a church filled with hedonism? Was she concerned for the eternal salvation of her daughter? Did William Branham feel guilty for allowing her to be active in Davis' church? Was Hope part of Davis' band of merry women?

The video:

PDF containing the newspaper articles:


All research publications:

Government records: