Dig A Little Deeper: Advertising Campaigns
Followers of William Branham are astonished when they enounter other Christians who have never heard has name. Having based their understanding on Branham's impact to the
Christian community solely upon the recorded sermons, they form an opinion using Branham's allegations. As a self-proclaimed "prophet," William Branham promoted the idea
that he did not fancy himself one, claiming that the people called him one. Without examining the campaign advertisements, followers assume that people persuaded William Branham
to believe that he was, indeed, a prophet.
But when you examine the advertising campaigns by William Branham, they tell quite a different story. Not only did his advertising campaigns include promoting himself as a prophet,
they advertised other supernatural "gifts" to attract crowds. Yet Branham insisted that he never made this claim:
Some of you, right from this state, wrote me a letter and said, "When the anointing is on you, you can discern spirits."
Said, "Then, of course, we, then we believe you're a prophet." (Now, I never said I was a prophet. You said so. See?)
- Branham, 60-0607
Here not long ago, a real great minister come to me, and said, "I want to lay hands on you, Brother Branham." Said, "Everybody regards you as a prophet."
I said, "I never said I was a prophet." He said, "But the people regard you that.
- Branham, 64-0411
Of the advertisements, the most interesting is a large promotion claiming that William Branham healed former Congressman
William D. Upshaw. According to a testimony published in the
Wilmington Morning News, Saturday July 18, 1936, the "crippled" congressman Upshaw was caught running lightly up the aisles of
the Congressional floor, ignoring the crutches. Congressman Upshaw's own testimony to the Shreveport Times in 1915, Saturday May 8, 1915,
describes the life of a man who was crippled a short period of time in the late 1800's -- not the bedridden, wheelchair bound invalid
William Branham claimed in his account of the alleged "healing."
Most "Message" cult followers are not aware that Branham heavily advertised his campaigns, or that he hired campaign managers
promote his ministry to any group of people that were unaware of the questionable and even unscriptural statements Branham
made during his sermons. Branham often claimed that he did not advertise, and even asked his congregations, "Where is God [in that?]"
Of course, if we'd set it out in great big advertisements for a year ahead of time, and get every church in the country, and, oh, and swear up and down we wouldn't come unless everybody would cooperate, we'd probably start off with eight, ten thousand people or more, fifteen. But I—I can't do mine that way. I just… I have to do just as He tells me. And if He says, "Go down here," there's four or five down here, I just as soon go. I'd rather go to four or five knowing He sent me there, than to go to a hundred thousand knowing that He didn't send me there. See? See? I… My congregations and so forth is not as—as strong or as many as many of the brothers, or who are on the field today. But I don't have—I don't have the advertisements out like the rest of the brothers do. Another thing, I don't have the cooperation as other brothers do, and—because I'm interdenominational; and I have no church to back me up, just the friends of Jesus Christ is all I have.
Branham, 54-0306 - The Unconditional Covenant That God Made With His People
Now, oh, sure, we have great get-togethers, "meetings," we call it, worldlied revivals, and so forth, all full of tinsel, sure, great big things, and great advertisement, "The man with the message of the hour, and So-and-so and So-and-so." We have all of that, but where is God?
Branham, 63-1201E - Just Once More, Lord
Branham's Advertising Campaigns:
Click an image to see a full-sized view:
William Branham's Statements On Advertising:
Of course, if we'd set it out in great big advertisements for a year ahead of time, and get every church in the country,
and, oh, and swear up and down we wouldn't come unless everybody would cooperate, we'd probably start off with eight,
ten thousand people or more, fifteen. But I—I can't do mine that way. I just… I have to do just as He tells me.
And if He says, "Go down here," there's four or five down here, I just as soon go.
I'd rather go to four or five knowing He sent me there, than to go to a hundred thousand knowing that
He didn't send me there. See? See? I… My congregations and so forth is not as—as strong or as many as many of the brothers,
or who are on the field today. But I don't have—I don't have the advertisements out like the rest of the brothers do.
Another thing, I don't have the cooperation as other brothers do, and—because I'm interdenominational; and I have no church
to back me up, just the friends of Jesus Christ is all I have. That's all. That's all I want.
Branham, 54-0306 - The Unconditional Covenant That God Made With His People
And now, just as I was coming in just now, my brother, and Billy, and some of them was standing out there, told me that there had been adequate, enough sufficient of the funds to pay off all the debts. They paid off the rent on the church, and the newspaper, and the custodians of the church, and the music, and all the newspaper advertisements, the radio broadcast. Everything has been paid, up till tonight. I think they had enough, so that left the night love-offering free for me.
Branham, 54-0404E - God Has A Provided Way
So away I went to Mexico the next day. And when we went in down there… You can imagine how poor the people are; it was pitifully. And they wouldn't let us have no newspaper room. All the advertisements, they wouldn't let us put them out or nothing. And they wouldn't let us have no place to seat the people.
Branham, 56-0403 - Shepherd Of The Sheepfold
And then I—then hear these brethren get up and say those things, it just makes me feel good. 2 Then today I happened to pick up some of the advertisements. As Brother Joseph told you last night, I just kind of run in this time. I was scheduled for overseas at this very time, but was turned down on account of some investigation from tax that I'm going through at this time at my church. And the foundation of the church, how we have to have a governmental numbers and so forth, that we didn't know, because the Tabernacle is a interdenominational tabernacle. We didn't know you had to go through all that rigamarole; we thought that you were just a church and had deacons and pastors and so forth. But the government changes.
Branham, 59-0610 - As I Thought On My Way
No, I ain't going to let him do that. No, we're going to do that ourself. And then if there isn't sufficient to finish the meeting, then I will find out and we will wire the money up here from our own church at Jeffersonville to finish the debt, to finish the… so everything is paid off: the chairs, the auditorium, and the advertisements, whatever it is, we will pay it all off, and see it's paid off.
Branham, 61-0318 - Abraham's Covenant Confirmed
And now, next Sunday, don't forget, and I think Billy's already mailed out the—the advertisements. And it'll be quite a lengthy service, we believe, so come early as you can.
Branham, 62-0311 - The Greatest Battle Ever Fought
And now, I've asked the managers today in talking to them, I said, "Give me an opportunity in the—the advertisement in the "Voice of Healing," for ministers who would like… I'm not a teacher, but I do love God. And the times between my healing campaigns, let me come to individual churches and so forth, and teach and preach the Word, just like that, in the individual churches."
Branham, 50-0810 - Expectations
All the ministers begin to carry on. So they begin to talk about, along about two o'clock in the morning, the permissive will of God. God would permit it. It wouldn't be His perfect will, but being they had put up thousands of dollars for advertisement, rented great big auditoriums and things, big baseball parks and things down through there, why, it was no more than right we should go. Thousands of dollars, and natives was already piling in from everywhere, all down through there. I said, "God can send them all up here." And we found out later, He—it would've right. But no, they wouldn't listen to that. Huh-uh. No, we had to go anyhow, because they'd promised the brothers.
Branham, 53-1114 - Africa Trip Report
Well, Mr. Bosworth in fixing the itinerary and the advertisement, and—and Mr. Richey and many of the other ministers had hung a sign out in the street said, "Miracles every night."
Branham, 53-1129E - Testimony
He said, "Well, Brother Branham," said… I said, "I didn't appear here to be your competitor." He said, "If there's anybody competitor, it's me." He said, "You had advertisement here first." And I said, "Well, that's all right, Brother Shuler, there's plenty of room here."
Branham, 54-0320 - Faith Cometh By Hearing
And usually, ministers, when they sponsor the meeting, you'll say… "Did you announce it?" "Yep, to the church." That's just about it. That's shepherds; they want their flock to know about it. That's just a nice word. That's their business. 15 But the Business Men were a little different. They wanted the world to know about it, so they just flung out about three or four thousand dollars worth of advertisement on all streetcars, taxicabs, all bumpers of the cars, and everywhere. We had a wonderful time.
Branham, 54-0509 - The Invasion Of The United States
Here not long ago, I seen a—an advertisement up, where a certain campaign was coming to the city. And the word of the man, the man's name run great big letters all the way around, like that. And on the bottom, in a little corner, said, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever," way down in the corner. See?
Branham, 54-0509 - The Invasion Of The United States
Said, "Well, brother, we done made itinerary." And a group of ministers standing on the road, which Brother Baxter, Brother Bosworth, and all of them are witness. He said, "You got to go down." Said, "We done got thousands of dollars spent in the advertisement."
Branham, 54-0902 - South Africa Testimony
And then, some peoples write in, say, "Now, Brother Branham, we've already got the advertisement out. The Lord said that you was going to be here."
Branham, 55-1004 - Come, Let Us Reason Together
A few weeks ago I was in Karlsruhe, Germany. The church down there which is a some Zwingli, not a Lutheran, but they had… I went in. Billy Graham was there one night in Zurich, and I went in the next day. And my advertisement and Billy Graham's was setting together. Billy Graham has a place in my heart as a true servant of God. He preaches repentance, and he's doing a very fine job at it. God is using him; we know that.
Branham, 56-0129 - The Supernatural
And the meeting is going to be a very strange one, as far as advertisement. We… no one's advertised to speak. Well, I have the breakfast. But, all the rest of it is just to be the way the Holy Spirit leads. There's supposed to be Mr. Roberts, Tommy Hicks, and many of the other wonderful brethren that's on the field. Just to set in the meeting, and what the Holy Ghost says do, go do it.
Branham, 56-0621 - The Law Having A Shadow
And they come in a wonderful time, while the winter seasons are on, many tourists are in. And you've had the privilege of setting under the ministry of great men, and a joy when you see the advertisement up, a "Brother So-and-so is coming to the city," how it makes you feel. And I know you rejoice, and I rejoice with you.
Branham, 57-0226 - Sirs, We Would See Jesus
And tonight after much advertisement, and trying to cooperate with everybody, and showing the same spirit that we did when we first come, yet it's hard to get a little group of people to fill a little small arena like this. Then you could a wonder why it is that minister's hearts are alarmed.
Branham, 57-0517 - The Queen Of Sheba
We are happy to be in Chicago, in this great convention here now at the Sherman Hotel. And we praying that God's blessings will rest upon the meet—on this service and the Christian Business Men and the… As Brother Joseph said, "No advertisement, just a little place where we could get together." There's lots of churches in here. You see? So just a little place to get together, and I knew Joseph real well. And he would excuse me tonight, being hoarse and so forth.
Branham, 57-0629 - Stand Still And See The Salvation Of The Lord
It had come to the place, where that one day Mr. Jackson another friend of mine was coming down. And they advertisement and put out in Africa, and there was a little cub lion there in the floor at the little restaurant where he was a—putting up for the day for some lunch.
Branham, 57-0804A - The Great Commission
So immediately I went to Kingston. And they—they knowed Thursday afternoon that I'd be there Friday. That's all the advertisement we had. I'm not very good at making a…?… or estimating crowds, because I usually exaggerate on it. But the first night, I'd say we had about twelve, oh, about twelve hundred people out, because it was just known one day. And the next day they started runners running four miles on relay up the mountains. One runner would run for four hours, and then let some other runner go on up the mountain. And the second night there was about five thousand. And the third night it was estimated around fifteen thousand, maybe twenty. And there were thousands times thousands came to the Lord.
Branham, 59-0301M - Strait Is The Gate
And Divine Healing, we seen it advertised: "The blind will see; the deaf will hear; the dumb will speak." I don't know whether they will or not. I'd rather not have advertisement like that.
Branham, 60-0304 - Thirsting For Life
Brother Jack was showing me the advertisement… I stopped with his church last night, coming down, a very fine spiritual church at Shreveport, Louisiana. And he was showing me a picture that he'd put in the paper when I was there several years ago: quite a change. A person wouldn't know it was the same person.
Branham, 61-0118 - Jesus Christ The Same Yesterday, Today, And Forever
And we know that the day that we're living today, it pays to advertise. And we find out that these people who are making such big progress in business, are—are great men of advertisement. They—they put it on television. They smear it on boards, everywhere they can to advertise their products. "Smoke this one, not a cough in a carload." and "The thinking man's filter and some other man's tip," or something like that. I thought…?… is in a, "Stay lively longer with their beer." And all the stuff like that, it's a advertisement. And they write off a lot of their income tax just for advertisement. And it certainly pays off.
Branham, 61-0903 - Let Your Light So Shine Before Men
And then don't forget the Phoenix meeting. And now, I know we're not supposed to give advertisement from the platform here, 'cause we've made that a policy. But being this is all connected with the Full Gospel Business Men, I'm to have prayer for the sick, and preaching, four days prior the meeting at the Ramada, this coming December… [Someone says, "January."—Ed.] January the… ["19th through the 23rd."] 19th to the 23rd. Four day. I'll begin on the 19th, is that right? ["Yeah."] I begin on the 19th. And then I have four day's, meeting.
Branham, 63-1028 - Pardon
And I think Billy has sent out the wrong advertisement. Is… He said, "At the Biltmore Hotel," I believe, "it's to be at." It's… [Someone says, "Couldn't get it."] Couldn't get it. And it's at the Eastmont? ["Embassy."] Embassy, the Embassy Hotel. So any of the Full Gospel people over there would let you know, if you're over that way.
Branham, 65-0410 - The Easter Seal
Back To Digging