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The Amazing Floating Pulpit Trick

Seek The Truth Blog

The Amazing Floating Pulpit Trick:

One of the legends that has entered cult mythology in the "Message" cult is that the "angels line the walls" of Branham's Tabernacle on the corner of 8th and Penn streets in Jeffersonville. After a recent church split wherein the pastor and entire staff of deacons resigned over what they claim to be Joseph and Billy Paul Branham stealing from the church, some of the locals now question whether that legend is true. For the rest of the cult following around the globe, however, this still remains a mythology associated with the following of William Branham.

One of the tales that William Branham told during his recorded sermons that contributed to this mythology is that of the "floating pulpit." According to William Branham, the 1937 flood could not even harm the tabernacle. Though he had to row his boat through high flood waters to reach the building, the pulpit rose to the top of the church, unharmed.

We come into this little, old tabernacle, you strangers. Well, this could be a glamorous place here on the corner, you don't realize that, that people has wanted to build this place and make it. But this is the way we like it. See, this is the way we like it. Old seats we were setting on there, was the--the old original seats out of the tabernacle here, went through the flood and floated up. My Bible laying open like that on the pulpit. It stuck against the ceiling and come back down with a Word on It, "I the Lord hath planted it. I'll water it day and night lest some shall pluck it from My hand." How we rowed across the top of it with a skiff, here. And she come right back down, the seats moving right back to their place. All they had to do was scrub it out and go on. See?
- Branham, 57-0901M

During the time of the flood, I was preaching here one night, left my Bible. The '37 flood came overnight almost, as it swept through the Tabernacle, picked up this same pulpit, raised it right up; there was no other ceiling in here then, and set it right against the ceiling. The Word being under the pulpit, instead of it sinking it floated, took it right up to the ceiling. And I rowed all around over here in a boat. And then when the waters went down, it came down and was laying right here at the same chapter I was reading out of, after the flood. "Heavens and earth will pass away, but My Word shall not." That's right. He's wonderful. Isn't He?
- Branham, 61-1231E

But is this legend really true?

Voice of God Recordings claims that historical archives of newspapers were damaged in the flood. Surprisingly, however, we find that like Branham's claim for the pulpit, the vast majority of articles are untouched, save a few during the months during the flood. Though we find absolutely no articles in the archives for the many supernatural claims Branham says were published in the local news, we do find the story about this pulpit!

Evidently, during the 1937 flood, a church reported a situation where a church floor broke loose, causing the floor, the platform, the pews, pulpit, and everything on it to be raised. According to the report, the carpet was not even wet afterward.

But oddly, this isn't a story about BRANHAM'S pulpit. Rather than describing a story at the Branham Tabernacle, the newspaper reporter described a story at the Presbyterian church in Jeffersonville.

On March 8, 1937, the Jeffersonville Evening News printed an article entitled, "Church Escapes In Freak Stunt." In the first paragraph of the article, the reporter describes the situation:

"One of the freak stunts of the flood in Jeffersonville and an item for Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not' column, happened at the First Presbyterian Church, it was learned. Water to the depth of approximately fifteen feet was in the edifice during the crest period, causing the floor joists to become loosened from the side walls. As the waters continued on their climb the church floor with the pews and pulpit, raised, and, floating on the top, were saved from damage. It was stated that the carpet on the pulpit floor was not even wet. It will be necessary to anchor the floor to the walls of the building, which were not hurt during the disaster, before services can be resumed, it was stated."
- Evening News, Monday, March 8, 1937

New documents on our records page! And more to come!

The video: