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William Branham and Berniece Hicks

Seek The Truth Blog

William Branham and Berniece Hicks:

Of all the sub-cults inspired by, affiliated with, or created by Rev. William Marrion Branham, the Christ Gospel Church International (CGC) followers of Rev. Berniece Hicks is most interesting by proximity. Its headquarters is also located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, less than three miles from the Branham Tabernacle. When asking the locals if they were familiar with the religious cult in Jeffersonville, it is not surprising that the answer given is often "which one?"

When new escapees of the CGC group first contact us, they are often surprised to learn how many of their "sacred teachings" were so similar to that of William Branham's teachings. Both adhering to very rigid, fundamentalist Pentecostalism, the two religious sects apparently grew from the same root. From Branham's teaching on the six-pointed Star of David to the "Seven Churches" that originated from the works of Clarence Larkin, it quickly becomes apparent that the connection between the two cult leaders was very strong. Former CGC members are amazed at the comparison of doctrine between Hicks and Branham, but are more amazed to learn where those doctrines originated from. Most of what Branham claimed to be "divine inspiration" was nothing more than blatant plagiarism of others before him.

They are also interested to learn that Berniece Hicks was the person William Branham appointed as Sunday School teacher, and that Branham's initial choice in decorative star for the church did not have six points. Branham's first Tabernacle had a pentagram above the door, apparently advertising his affiliation with the Odd Fellow Masons. Branham's mentor, Roy E. Davis, and his trustees were ranking members in the fraternal organization.

And our little Sister Hicks that used to be a Sunday school teacher here, I met her and her children, and husband, and I met Brother Ben Bryant and all those who went from this tabernacle out there to the west
Branham, 56-0923

But apparently, Berniece Hicks was much more than just Sunday School Teacher to William Branham. Most in William Branham's "Message" cult are very familiar with Branham's strong connection with and strong support from the Gospel Businessmen. It was through their suppor that William Branham continued to gain audience after the Post World War II Healing Revival faded away. As early as 1946, Berniece Hicks was secretary for the Gospel Businessmen's Club movement.

Now I've understood, this morning, that this was to be a businessmen's breakfast, and the Full Gospel Business Men, which I'm a member of their chapter.
Branham, 64-0321B

Likewise, Branham's followers are shocked to learn that a female was appointed to be Sunday School teacher. While Branham surrounded himself with female ministers during a large portion of his ministry, he often condemned women from preaching, teaching, or other activities outside of the kitchen. While one can be certain these female ministers were not present in the locations where this doctrine was popular, Branham's cult following today is largely unaware of the women connected with his ministry. Most pastors in the cult would strongly condemn men who appointed female members of the congregations to a teaching position in the church, unaware that they are condemning William Branham himself.

Recently, and around the same time the Jeffersonville sect of William Branham's "Message" cult split, Berniece Hicks' "Message" church also split. The end result was much the same for both fundamentalist Pentecostal groups; the divisions in the church were enough to break many people free. Those who escape give similar testimonies of undue influence, further supporting the studies of mind control in the "Message". But these stories are nothing new. Apparently, Christ Gospel Church International has been under examination for several years as members escape and give testimony.

The former members said that Mrs. Hicks controls the lives of her church members, that she delves into their sexual habits, that she tape-records conversation she has with members. They say that she is given large sums of money, that she has a valuable collection of antiques bought with church money, that she has an unlimited expense account.
Courier Journal, April 12, 1979

Investigative reporters have looked into the financial allegations of the CGC sect for years, concerned that donations to the church were being used for personal gain.

"There is so much money involved here ... We talked with people who gave their refrigerators, their TVs, even their houses, to the church. I think when you're talking about large amounts of money, it takes the subject out of the private sector and into the public sector."
Courier Journal, April 15, 1979

When escapees from the CGC group compare stories with escapees from the Branham sect, they also find similarities in the handling of funds. Those in Branham's version of "the Message" having been made aware of our government records page have also been asking questions regarding the use of funds for what appears to be personal gain. Especially when learning that hundreds of millions of dollars in funding have been moved through the organization into what appears to be "shell corporations."

But can we really say that William Branham was solely responsible for the many sub-cults?

When one takes a step back to examine Jeffersonville history, especially the history of Roy E. Davis as he swept through the country swindling money as he created religious groups from South Carolina to California, it becomes apparent that a higher power was involved in the creation of this flavor of money-making fundamentalism. Davis introduced William Branham into the ministry through his Pentecostal church, and continued to be involved in Branham's ministry until he was under investigation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And like many of the sub-cults, Davis moved large amounts of money for both personal and political gain. As he rose from official spokesman to Imperial Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, members of the sects he created found themselves at the center of money scams and swindling.

The video:

The research material (Including newspaper articles)

Stone Mountain To Dallas - The Untold Story of Roy E. Davis: