Was F. F. Bosworth Responsible For Death In The Healing Campaigns:
At the turn of the century, hundreds of alleged "faith healers" swept across America, leaving a trail of history that is well worth examining. Simply searching newspapers.com, one can find many evangelists making the news through very excited people eager to hear the Gospel and find ways to bypass medical science. And truly, many who professed healing in hundreds of meetings across the nation did get well. But as one examines the trails for the many ministers in this movement, it is evident that the minister was in no way responsible for the success (or failure) of their healing.
The "Bosworth Brothers" campaigns, ran by brothers F. F. Bosworth and B. B. Bosworth sept the nation in the early 1920's. To a mostly Christian nation, the two were about as famous as people today would consider Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks. Rather than today's excessive excitement directed towards the movie industry, people at the turn of the century were interested in God, interested in what appeared to be a new movement by God, and had a determination to spread the Gospel. When the Bosworth Brothers campaign came into town -- even large cities -- their impact was phenomenal. Large cities like Detroit published articles about how people were accepting the Gospel and being baptized.
Though William Branham claimed to have been published in newspapers across the nation for his "miraculous" healing meetings, there are very few that can be found in the archives. Outside of a single instance in Vandalia, Illinois, we find very few articles describing the success (or failure) of his meetings. Mostly we find only advertisements, paid for by the Branham campaigns, trying to attract crowds. For every one article we find of William Branham, we find literally hundreds for F. F. Bosworth.
And the newspapers describe the Bosworths much like they did William Branham during the 1947 Vandalia meeting. The Bosworth Brothers were excessively well-dressed for evangelists. While most people at the time were poor -- especially ministers -- the two looked like traveling businessmen. They travelled into town wearing expensive suits, raising many questions. Local ministers, watching the money flow in through the collection plates towards the sharp dressed men, started estimating the massive amount of money this would produce. Newspapers published articles of their estimation to be $227,000. Bosworth denied this, claiming the collection gathered $3,000, which was still quite a lot for the 1920's.
So the immediate question one asks themselves is, "Why would F. F. Bosworth leave fame and fortune of this level to join forces with William Branham?"
Bosworth's ministry is interesting at its climax. When people in the "Message" think of F. F. Bosworth, their minds refer back to his debate with Rev. Best in Houston, Texas. Very few in the "Message" are aware that this was not Bosworth's first debate, or that Bosworth seemed to attract this sort of trouble.
In 1927, a very sick man defied doctor's orders to seek healing in the Bosworth faith healing meetings. Following the formula laid out by F. F. Bosworth in his book and other literature, the man fully accepted Jesus Christ for his salvation, accepted his healing by faith, and confessed his faith in both in front of a very excited crowd. The crowd cheered as he left the platform with Bosworth, and he left with the assurance that he would be healed.
Then he died.
Where once Bosworth made big news in several cities for having healed people in his tent meetings, now he made news of a different sort. The wife of the deceased, very upset with this turn of events, decided to go public with her story. She did not want others to fall into this same trap.
After this, we continue to find Bosworth in the newspapers, but not nearly to the same extent. In fact, it appears that their ministry slowly began to decline until eventually there was no "Bosworth Brothers" in the news. By 1947, it is evident that the once famous duo were just a thing of the past.
When one fully examines all that happened in Bosworth's meetings, and also fully examines the newspaper articles describing Bosworth's debate with Rev. Best, the picture looks quite differently than the "Message" presents. While cult doctrine would have you believe that the public had refused William Branham's "ministry," it would appear that the public had decidedly refused the faith healers in general. And while the cult would have you believe that William Branham was the famous "healer" being refused, it would appear that Bosworth's fame was far more widespread. Could it be that Rev. Best was challenging Bosworth because of his book on divine healing? And since the newspapers could never fully establish who actually instigated the debate, could it be that Bosworth challenged Rev. Best to try and recover his pride that was humbled by the death of the poor widow's husband? Is it possible that this debate had very little to do with William Branham and more to do with the fading Post WWII divine healing movement?
Why else would Bosworth -- who never was fully in "the Message" have left his own ministry to join forces with William Branham? https://youtu.be/rk2-ZDj7xl4