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William Branham died on Christmas Eve in 1965

He wasn't buried until Easter Monday in 1966

By Roscoe Barnes III, PhD

Copyright © 2019

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Evangelist William Branham

(1909 - 1965)

He claimed to have raised a fish, a boy and a baby from the dead.

On December 24, 1965, Evangelist William Branham died from injuries he received in a car crash on December 18 of that year. He was 56. Although his funeral was held on December 29, 1965, he was not buried until Easter Monday on April 11, 1966. The delay in the burial was prompted by the belief that he would rise from the dead. Some people, reportedly, believed he would be resurrected in the 1970s.


It's not surprising that his followers hoped for his resurrection. After all, he told stories of being used of God to bring others back to life. In fact, he claimed that God used him to raise an animal, a boy, and a baby from the dead.

Branham said that he once spoke to a dead fish, a Blue Gill, and it came back to life. He was fishing when he reportedly heard a voice that instructed him to save the fish. He recalled the Lord telling him that he would see a resurrection of an animal. He thought it would be a kitten, but he was apparently wrong. He recounted:

So, just about that time, I heard something coming off the the top of the mountain up there, a whirlwind, whirling around and around. Here it come down like that, and the Spirit of God come over the boat, said, "Stand up on your feet." Said, "Speak to that dead fish, say, 'I give you back your life.`"
And that little fish had been laying there for a half hour, with his entrails in its mouth, and its gills. I said, "Little fishy, Jesus Christ gives you back your life. Live, in the name of Jesus Christ." [The fish] flipped over on his back, and down through the water he went as hard as he could go.
Branham said he was in Finland in April 1950, when God used him to raise a boy from the dead who had been in a car accident. Years later, when he prayed for a dead baby in March 1956 in Mexico, the baby reportedly came to life, and a doctor provided a sworn statement about the baby’s condition.
Branham, the leader of the post-World War II healing revival, was known for having the supernatural ability to detect sickness and disease, as well as the presence of demons, in the people who requested prayer. According to historians, he used what some people call the “word of knowledge” to tell people things about themselves and their medical condition. He said the information he shared did not come from people or from any natural source; it came from God.
"Whenever Brother Branham was under the anointing, the most remarkable happenings took place," wrote Gordon Lindsay in The Gordon Lindsay Story (Christ For The Nations Inc., 1992). "It would seem that the omniscient knowledge of God would be manifest. Hidden things in the person's heart would be revealed."
Branham worked with Lindsay, Ern Baxter, and F.F.Bosworth, among other Christian leaders. Bosworth served as a mentor to Branham and other evangelists with healing ministries in the 1940s and 1950s. He also taught in Branham’s salvation-healing meetings. Lindsay and others reported thousands of people were healed through Branham’s ministry. Stories of miraculous healings in Branham’s meetings appeared in books, newspapers and The Voice of Healing magazine. David Edwin Harrell Jr has correctly stated Branham was legendary in his day. In a Foreword to C. Douglas Weaver’s book, The Healer-Prophet (Mercer University Press, 2000), Harrell wrote about the status of Branham as the one who “initiated the healing revival in 1946.” He noted:

Today, millions of charismatic Christians around the world know the names of the celebrities of the early healing revival, such as Oral Roberts, and of later television evangelists, such as Jimmy Swaggart. They are less likely to know William Branham’s name. But in the 1950s Branham’s name was on the lips on nearly every pentecostal. It was spoken with reverence and awe; it was a name that bespoke powerful miracles and supernatural happenings. …It was Branham who had unleashed God’s miraculous powers in the postwar period.

Although shrouded in controversy and steeped in doctrinal errors, Branham had a ministry that was unique and extraordinary, according to Bosworth, who believed Branham was a gift to the church. In his article, "Gifts of Healing Plus," Bosworth said that he had "never seen or read of anything to equal the healing ministry of William Branham." Bosworth added: "Brother Branham is a channel for more than the mere gift of healing; he is also a Seer as were the Old Testament Prophets. He sees events before they take place."
Whenever Branham had a vision -- and received a revelation about people -- he was never wrong during the early years of his healing ministry, according to Bosworth. And in every case, his revelations resulted in "perfect miracles exactly as he had already seen them in a vision," Bosworth wrote. In his view, Branham's success rate was "exactly 100%" during that phase of his ministry.
Despite all the claims of the miraculous and all the prayers that were made on his behalf, when Branham died, his death was final. Some of his followers accepted his status and moved on, but a few kept hoping for a special resurrection.

The story of Branham's death is a tragic example of what can happen when well-meaning people with good intentions act -- and pray -- with misguided faith that is crippled by bad theology.
#OTD #ThisDayInHistory #ThisDayInFFBosworthHistory

Related articles:
“This Day in F.F. Bosworth History (April 6): Birth of William M. Branham.” See here.
“On This Day (December 18): William Branham Has Car Crash that Leads to His Death.” See here.

“William Branham and the Pillar of Fire in Dallas, Texas: New light on famous photo.” See here.

"Why Ern Baxter Left the Ministry of William Branham: A Look at Problematic Concerns About Faith and ‘Borderline Psychic’ Phenomena.” See here.

Reminder: "F.F. Bosworth History" is now on Twitter. Follow @bosworth_fred

Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind "Christ the Healer," can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: bosworth25.


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Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at or For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @bosworth_fred and @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer #BosworthMention #BosworthMatters