8 months ago

Midway Gospel Tabernacle - William Branham's 'Missing' Pentecostal History

Very special thanks to Rev. Chris Rowe of the Apostolic Temple — formerly Midway Gospel Tabernacle — for so graciously opening his doors to us last weekend and letting us review the archives of the church. Without those records, there were pieces of our historical puzzle that we might have not otherwise been able to find.

Rev. G. B. Rowe did not see skin color when he looked at an individual, from lay members to elders of the church. All were welcome, no matter their race. I learned in the testimonial meeting this weekend that even Rev. Rowe's funeral was preached by a minister with black skin. This would have been extremely difficult during the years that Indiana boasted as having the largest concentration of white supremacists in the nation, organized under the Indiana Ku Klux Klan. It is very significant when considering that Branham was at the time the bishop of a church led by the Klan's former second-in-command, Rev. Roy E. Davis, and built his evangelistic career holding revivals with the Klan's supreme religious chaplain Rev. Caleb A. Ridley. Branham's assistant pastor at the time that he visited Mishawaka, George DeArk, taught that people with black skin were the result of a sexual union between Cain and an ape. William Branham later changed this to his “Serpent’s Seed” doctrine.

Rev. Rowe has given us permission to share the history of his church, including pictures, publications, and other information we collected, which has a strong intersection with the history of William Branham. Not the version of history used by Branham's stage persona; the history of Midway Gospel Tabernacle is meticulously documented with many photographs and helps to paint a much clearer picture of the events that happened in the early 1930s missing from Branham's biographical record.

A new research page has been added to william-branham.org that describes the history, and we have already started processing the hundreds of documents and photographs collected during the trip. Though William Branham claimed to have been a baptist, unfamiliar with Pentecostals and divine healing, Branham’s own Pentecostal church was part of the revival circuit for Pentecostal leaders, and his trip to Mishawaka was nothing like what was described in his fictional life stories. Mishawaka’s Rev. G. B. Rowe and Cincincinnati’s Rev. Frank Curts — both Pentecostal leaders — were on revival tours that led Curts to Branham’s Pentecostal church immediately before Branham joined the Mishawaka revival led by Branham’s campaign manager Raymond Hoekstra.

You can learn this and more on william-branham.org.

Midway Gospel Tabernacle:

Browse more videos

Browse more videos