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The Tabernacle Dedication Problem

Seek The Truth Blog

The Tabernacle Dedication Problem:

A question came in last night that is worth reposting. After having learned that William Branham was referring to Roy E. Davis' Pentecostal church when describing the events of 1933, one researcher asked: "How does this fit with the photograph of William Branham laying the cornerstone?"

As many are aware, there are huge, faith challenging problems for cult followers when they discover that William Branham and his wife Hope were elders in a Pentecostal church prior to the 1937 flood. A large portion of the conflicting "life story" tales are dedicated to the fact that Hope's mother would not allow them to worship with "those Pentecostals." Learning that Branham was a Pentecostal minister before "God punished him" in 1937 does not only undermine yet another part of the fictional life stories -- they undermine the "Message" itself.

Though one could date the cornerstone photograph often displayed on through Graham Snelling and his son (seated on his knee in the center of the photograph), it would not be as conclusive as the documented court record. To understand the problem, one must read the text of the deeds.

When sale of land is processed through the United States Court System, the land is described as it is positioned in the city's plot system. If any developments on that land are also described. An example of this is found in the deed to Roy E. Davis' church sale in 1934 after he was extradited to Arkansas on charges of Grand Theft and Murder:

"Being the lot on Watt Street, in said City of Jeffersonville, upon which was formerly situated a house of Worship."

Even though the structure no longer existed, the deed recognized the fact that it once held a building, and that building was a church.

The deed to the "Trustees of the Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle," however, describes only the plot of land:

"Being Lot No. 16 in Block No. 4 of Ingram & Reads subdivision of Part or Letter A in Grant No. 2 of Clark County, state of Indiana."

Also telling is the fact that they paid no back taxes -- taxation started in 1936:

"It is further agreed that the purchasers are to pay all taxes for the year 1936 due in the year 1937."

In either case, the current Tabernacle states, "Dedicated in 1933." This presents another huge problem: Buildings are not dedicated until AFTER they are built. According to the deed, the land was not developed as of November 9, 1936.

Why did the church add this dedication stone? Were they attempting to ward of any questions concerning the dedication issue? Were they attempting to hide the fact that William Branham and Hope were, in fact, Pentecostal prior to the 1937 flood?

The timeline is highly interesting. Hope Branham was diagnosed with tuberculosis in January of 1936. The tabernacle deed was November of 1936 -- ten months after her diagnosis!

Why did William Branham claim that God "killed Hope" when she "took sick" with tuberculosis in 1937, convincing him to become Pentecostal?

To any who missed the original blog post:

The full list of government records can be found here: