The “Full Gospel” Origins of Peoples Temple

by John Collins

(John Collins is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. His collections of articles for this site may be found here. More information about Rev. William Branham prepared by John Collins may be found at the informational website, https://william-branham.org. His latest book is Jim Jones: The Malachi 4 Elijah Prophecy. Additional information related to the below article may be found in The Message Part 34: William Branham and Peoples Temple)

Laurel Street Tabernacle, Laurel and Prospect Streets, December 8, 1950

When ground broke for the new Laurel Street Tabernacle on the corner of Laurel and Prospect Streets on April 10, 1949, the people of Indianapolis, Indiana could have never known the impact this little building would have upon the world. Just a little over 4,000 square feet and seating 200, the new Assemblies of God church would soon be filled to overflowing as it took center stage for Full Gospel and Pentecostal Holiness revivals during the early 1950s. Assemblies of God District Secretary T. F. Zimmerman[1] traveled from the denomination’s headquarters in Springfield, Missouri to preach the morning services, while District Superintendent Roy E. Wead[2] offered the dedicatory address in the church led by the Rev. John L. Price. Jack Beam, who would later become a pillar for Jim Jones in Peoples Temple, was on the board.[3] The Rev. Lester Summerall, Assemblies of God missionary[4] and evangelist[5] from South Bend, Indiana, came to hold a series of nightly meetings in celebration.[6]

The church began in 1913 as just a small Sunday School class led by the Rev. D. B. Rickard. Within just two years, the class grew into a church body, and the original tabernacle was built across the street from the dedication. The church had continued to grow under the leadership of Rickard until 1922, when the torch was passed to the Rev. John L. Price.[7] Price was an Indianapolis native and WWII military veteran who served at the Assemblies of God churches in the Hampton and Newport News, Virginia areas while he was stationed at Fort Monroe.[8] He was also very active in the Assemblies of God denomination, speaking at the annual conventions at Rev. Zimmerman’s church in South Bend, Indiana,[9] the Glad Tidings Tabernacle in Munster, Indiana,[10] and other area revivals. Under his leadership, the church would continue to flourish and become a recognized name in the revival circuits, and Price would become a familiar face among the Assemblies of God leaders. Within just three years of the dedication ceremony, Price would represent Laurel Street Church at the two-week celebration of the grand opening of the new Assemblies of God Evangelistic Center at the First Assembly of God Church on National Road in Richmond, Indiana.[11]

The date of the Laurel Street Tabernacle’s ground breaking could not have been more symbolic, at least as it pertains to the creation of Peoples Temple. The year 1949 was one of division and conflict within the Assemblies of God denomination, and leaders of the Assemblies would be forced to make very difficult decisions. The following year, when the church was dedicated, marked the implementation of those decisions. The post-WWII Healing Revival was quickly spreading, and with it, a series of new, extra-biblical doctrines[12] that would play a critical role in the splitting of churches and the creation of new leaders. Though in their infancy, this set of doctrines was being accepted and promoted by numerous ministers and evangelists under the title “Latter Rain,” which referred to an ancient prophecy in the book of Joel in the Christian Bible. Leaders of the movement taught that the Christian Church must restore and equip a “five-fold ministry” which included modern-day apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Then, while appointing key individuals to these roles, the movement presented the idea that mainstream Christianity had become apostate and needed purging. Participants were asked to decide for themselves which side of the “spiritual war” they would take, and that those who joined the “five-fold ministries” would purge the wickedness and judge the apostate.[13]

Leaders of the Assemblies of God watched in horror, while men and women they considered to be unqualified took leadership roles throughout the organization. They realized that this new theology was divisive. By teaching that denominational churches had grown corrupt, those who joined the new movement were forced to consider those who remained in them as apostates. Meeting in in Seattle, Washington in September 1949 to determine how best to handle the situation, Assemblies of God leaders concluded that the “New Order of the Latter Rain” was founded upon Christian extremism with the sole purpose of severing fellowship among like-minded Christian believers.[14]

The curious origins and sudden spreading of the Latter Rain movement have baffled religious historians for decades. Though the denomination of faith and revival named with the same title originated at the Sharon Orphanage in North Battleford, Saskatchewan,[15] it was based upon principles created by and propagated through religious entities in the United States and Western Canada.

William Branham (left) and Avak Hagopian (center)

In 1947, Palm Springs, California millionaire Krikor Arkelian sought the help of Iranian “faith healer” Avak Hagopian for the healing of his crippled son.[16] Tatos “Thomas” Kardashian, great grandfather of Kim Kardashian, sponsored Hagopian’s tour through the United States,[17] and the highly publicized activities of the “healer” caused a flurry of interest from coast to coast. They teamed up with avowed anti-Semite[18] and Ku Klux Klansman[19] Clem Davies to sponsor Avak, and when Arkelian’s son was not cured, sponsored a Pentecostal[20] evangelist from Jeffersonville, Indiana[21] named William Branham. The Rev. Branham, who also had strong ties to the Ku Klux Klan[22] and promoted anti-Semitic Christian Identity,[23] was already touring the country and had claimed to be a “divine healer” as early as 1945,[24] joined with Avak in Florida of 1947.[25] Branham then teamed up with Demos Shakarian,[26] Tatos Kardashian’s nephew,[27] and Gordon Lindsay, who, with Davies, promoted the anti-Semitic views of British Israelism[28] using themes of world destruction.

It was the combination of this group of men with various racially-charged, apocalyptic doctrines that ignited the fuse sparking the New Order of the Latter Rain. During the fall of 1947, Lindsay arranged for Branham to hold a series of revival meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia, and leaders of the Sharon Orphanage and School from North Battleford, Saskatchewan attended the revival. They returned to the school continuing the revival, and began promoting the doctrines they heard throughout the continent.[29] Ern Baxter, pastor of the largest church[30] in Vancouver, joined Branham’s revival team[31] and began touring with Branham in the United States and Canada. Shakarian organized a foundation to support the ministers. Then, using their business entities such as the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association[32] and the Voice of Healing publication,[33] the men inspired hundreds of ministers to enter the healing revival and fulfill their roles in the “five-fold ministry.” By 1950, over 1,000 “healing” evangelists were gathering at Voice of Healing conventions.[34]

The Rev. John L. Price of the Laurel Street Tabernacle in Indianapolis was no stranger to the revival. Former “faith healer” and revivalist F. F. Bosworth, who had joined Branham’s campaign, frequented Indianapolis and the surrounding cities,[35] and was a familiar face at the Cadle Tabernacle where Branham and Jim Jones would hold the first of their joint nation-wide healing revivals.[36] Bosworth, who was instrumental in the creation of the Assemblies of God[37] and who claimed to be an authority on “divine healing,” had written a book entitled Christ the Healer,[38] and Price often preached on the same subject with sermons having the same title.[39]

Jim Jones, who was a Methodist pastor in Somerset, Indiana at the time, was also no stranger to the revival. He had taken interest in the evangelists promoted by Branham’s Voice of Healing  publication and was already making connections in the Latter Rain movement. He was called out as a “prophet” at a revival meeting in Columbus, Indiana just north of Branham’s church in Jeffersonville, taking his place among those in the “five-fold ministry.” Later, he traveled with his wife, Marceline, to a Latter Rain revival at the Bethesda Temple in Detroit, Michigan, where he was so eager to speak that the Rev. Myrtle Beall invited him to the platform.[40] Beall, whose Assemblies of God church had chosen to side with the Latter Rain half of the division, was forced to withdraw from the Assemblies of God.[41]

In 1951, Jones was offered a large sum of money to hold a series of revivals in Los Angeles, California for the Rev. Orval Lee Jaggers. Jaggers was both an editor for Branham’s publication[42] and closely affiliated with Leroy Kopp of Calvary Temple,[43] Like Branham,[44] Jaggers taught unusual doctrines concerning the Zodiac’s relationship to Christianity and teachings on Unidentified Flying Objects. Also like Branham,[45] Jaggers’ extra-biblical doctrines resulted in the formation of a destructive cult.[46] It should come as no surprise that Jones pronounced his belief in UFOs and extraterrestrial life throughout Peoples Temple’s history.[47]

Just outside of Richmond, Indiana in 1953, Branham and Baxter held a series of revivals In Connersville, Indiana at the Roberts Park Amphitheater. Two services were held daily from May 31 through June 10, one at 2:00 pm and another at 7:30 pm. The ministers invited the public under the auspices of a “Plain Old Fashioned Revival.”[48] Branham and Baxter had recently held a similar series of revivals in New York, New York, where Branham taught the Latter Rain message and British Israelism.[49] Not long after the Connersville revival, Jones changed the name of his Somerset Methodist Church to “Christian Assembly,” and began advertising “Full Gospel Preaching” in the Sunday newspapers.[50] Within months, Jones became a familiar face in the local Indianapolis Pentecostal community, and was invited to preach for the first time at the Laurel Street Tabernacle. The Rev. Price had announced that he would soon be retiring and that Jones was a potential candidate to replace him.[51] Intrigued by the Latter Rain doctrine, members of the church overlooked Jones’ participation in the “New Order of the Latter Rain” and ignored the warnings included in the resolution from the Assemblies of God Council. Based simply upon the number of times Jones shared the pulpit at the Laurel Street Tabernacle during his participation with Latter Rain, one could assume that Price and his congregation were considering a split from the main branch of the Assemblies of God. The church fully adopted Jones as an associate pastor and began advertising “Rev. James Jones” beside “Rev. J. L. Price” in their Sunday advertisements. It also changed the title to “New” Laurel Street Tabernacle and began advertising thousands of “miracles”[52] as was typical among ministers participating in the healing revival. They also introduced the slogan “Deliverance Center for All People.” Price and Jones began holding “Miracle Services” advertising “1,000 Miracles in 2 Months,” making waves throughout the Assemblies of God community – especially among those who were aware of Jones’ affiliation with Latter Rain. Price began claiming that his own sermons were “the prophetic Word under anointed preaching,” signifying his acceptance of the position of “prophet” in the “five-fold ministry.”

Not long after, sweeping changes came to the Laurel Street Tabernacle. It was announced that the Rev. W. L. Thornton would be replacing John L. Price as head pastor of the Laurel Street Tabernacle, and that he would be leading an “expansion and reorganization program.” He had served for two years as the director of the youth organization of the main branch of the Assemblies of God after serving for three years as an evangelist in the Indiana area.[53] Thornton was strongly affiliated with the non-Latter Rain sect of the Assemblies of God, attending international conventions at the headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.[54]

Whether as a result of Thornton’s impending takeover of the church and its direction or as the primary cause, Jones had created his own business entity registered in the State of Indiana as Wings of Deliverance, Incorporated, on April 4, 1955. Jones himself had no theological degree and would have been ineligible for leading an Assemblies of God church for multiple reasons. That did not diminish his impact on the church, however, and his being replaced created divisions in the Laurel Street Tabernacle. Several members sided with Jones during the church split[55] and met briefly under the “Wings of Deliverance” name. Either symbolically claiming that his motivation was geared towards helping the people of the church or pure coincidence, the group started meeting under the name, “Peoples Temple Full Gospel.” Eventually it transitioned to the shorter “Peoples Temple.”

Within weeks, Jones’ Latter Rain and Voice of Healing community came to his aid. In January 1956, William Branham agreed to preach at Peoples Temple.[56] In February, Latter Rain evangelist and close business associate of William Branham, the Rev. Joseph Mattsson-Boze of the Philadelphia Church in Chicago, offered Jones an honorary Certificate of Ordination into the Independent Assemblies of God[57] – the Latter Rain side of the division in the Assemblies – and joined Jones in series of revival meetings.[58]

In a handwritten note found on the back of the Certificate of Ordination, Jones accepted his membership into the Independent Assemblies of God as he expressed a very clear amount of distaste for his recent experience at the Laurel Street Tabernacle. He wrote:

Note. This ordination was given voluntarily by Joseph Mattsson Boze Executive & Official of Independent Assemblies. No creed or autocratic jurisdiction as to teachings of church organization only requirement is that ministers practice the Love of Christ and live honorable and practice every aspect of integrity in his pastoral and [unintelligible] relationships. This was given as an honorary recognition without my request for our good work as an independent church in Indianapolis, Ind. I naturally accept their ordination in that it requires no endorsement of a limited creed dogmatic ritual or narrow religious restrictive fellowship.

Peoples Temple was officially born, and Jones had officially taken his place in the Latter Rain revival. Nationally, he was gaining recognition. Locally, however, Jones was dealing with the fallout from the recent church split. Once again, his Latter Rain and Voice of Healing community came to his aid. Jones began advertising that Peoples Temple would be host to William Branham in a “Brotherhood-Healing Crusade” at the Cadle Tabernacle from June 11 to 15, 1956. Ministers and delegates from several states would be attending the revival, with up to 1,000 expected ministers. Among them was a who’s who lineup of those involved with both the Latter Rain and the Voice of Healing Revivals including Joseph Mattsson-Boze, Latter Rain evangelist and publisher of the Herald of Faith; the Rev. A. W. Rasmussen, leader of the Latter Rain and head of the Independent Assemblies of God; and Dr. David Du Plessis, the head of the World Pentecostal Fellowship.

William Branham, whom many considered to be the leader of the faith healing revival and close associate to Rasmussen, Mattsson-Boze, and Duplessis, were announced to be the featured speakers.[59] Peoples Temple would host the convention once more in 1957, announcing Branham as the featured minister in both afternoon and evening services held again at the Cadle Tabernacle, and with Voice of Healing editors and revivalists in the morning at Peoples Temple.

Joseph Mattson-Boze, William Branham

The Rev. Tommy L. Osborne, editor for Voice of Healing,[60] evangelist Tommy Hicks,[61] and F. F. Bosworth were the featured ministers.[62]

Jones also worked with the Branham campaign team to organize “healing revivals” in locations outside of his home state of Indianapolis. In the fall of 1956, Jones was the host of a revival in Chicago, from October 1 through 4. Branham recognized Jones as the primary host of the revival.[63]

History remembers the tragic conclusion to Jones and his followers in Guyana that claimed the lives of almost a thousand members of Peoples Temple, and many who study to critically analyze Peoples Temple often point out the warning signs that should have led to actions preventing the tragic loss of life. Looking only at the perspective of those who joined Peoples Temple, it would be easy to miss the actions that were taken to prevent further loss of life. From the committees that met to discuss the safety and unity of those within the Assemblies of God denomination, to the ministers and evangelists who publicly spoke against both spiritual and physical dangers in submitting full authority to a “five-fold minister,” to the sweeping changes within the Laurel Street Tabernacle itself, it is evident that many steps were taken to prevent extremism. While some of the Laurel Street Tabernacle and surrounding churches did join Peoples Temple, many members of the congregations heeded the warning. Through continued education of these warning signs and historical evaluation of such tragedies, we can prevent future loss of life. By forgetting Jonestown and the history behind it, we are at risk of allowing history to repeat itself..

References:

[1] 1951, Apr 1. Assemblies of God Meeting. St. Louis Post Dispatch.

[2] 1950, Dec 8. Laurel Street Church to be Dedicated. The Indianapolis News.

[3] 2013, Feb 17. Transcription of Marceline Jones. Accessed 2019, May 27.

[4] 1953, May 22. ‘Spirits’ Hold Grip on Girl. Windsor (Ontario, Canada) Star. “Rev. Lester Summerall of the Assembly of God bission [mission]… cooperated with the missionary.”

[5] 1954, Apr 27. Westside Gospel Tabernacle. The Indianapolis News. “Hear Rev. Lester Summerall, world traveler, evangelist, and writer.”

[6] Laurel Street Church to be Dedicated.

[7] Laurel Street Church to be Dedicated.

[8] 1956, Sept 17. Rev. John L. Price. Daily Press.

[9] 1936, Oct. 1. Convention Set for Tabernacle. South Bend Tribune.

[10] 1932, Oct 1. Glad Tidings Tabernacle. The Times (Munster, Indiana).

[11] 1952, Apr 11. Grand Opening of Richmond’s New Evangelistic Center. Palladium Item (Richmond, Indiana).

[12] Sharrock, Russell. 2006. COVENANT THEOLOGY: A Critical Analysis Of Current Pentecostal Covenant Theology. “These extra-biblical manifestations have become a de-facto evidence of a new level of spirituality and/or a new anointing.”

[13] Sharrock. “Tillian summarizes the Latter Rain or Dominion teaching stating: * The Church must be restored and equipped to rule by the five-fold ministries. * It must come to perfection and complete visible unity. * Out of the purified church will come a spiritual elite corps, a Corporate Christ who possess the Spirit without measure. * They will purge the earth of all wickedness and rebellion. * They will judge the apostate Church. * They will redeem all creation, and restore the earth. * They will eventually overcome death itself in a counterfeit of the Rapture. * The Church will thus inherit the earth, and rule over it from the Throne of Christ. “

[14] 1949, Sept 9-14. Minutes and Constitution with Bylaws: Assemblies of God, the Twenty-third General Council. “That we disapprove of those extreme teachings and practices, which, being unfounded Scripturally, serve only to break fellowship of like precious faith and tend to confusion and division among the members of the Body of Christ, and be it hereby known that this 23rdGeneral Council disapproves of the so-Called ‘New Order of the Latter Rain’.”

[15] Hinchcliff, A. M. 1999. Sons and Sonship. North Battleford, SK: Sharon Children’s Homes and Schools.

[16] 1951, Mar 2. Death Takes Well Known Village Man. Palm Spring (California) Desert Sun.

[17] Oppenheimer, Jerry. 2017.The Kardashians: An American Drama. “Robert and Tom’s grandfather, Tatos Kardashian, then the family patriarch who dominated the Kardashian household, had helped sponsor and pledged to build a temple in Los Angeles for an Armenian faith healer and mystic, twenty-year-old robed and bearded Avak Hagopian.”

[18] Oppenheimer. “For a time Kardashian had actually teamed up with another financial backer of the mystic, one Clem Davies, an avowed anti-Semite, whose books included such titles as The Racial Streams of Mankind, What is Angelo-Israel? And Pre-Adamic Races. He was known as a member of the Christian Identity Movement.”

[19] 1925, Nov 14. Will Preach on Ku Klux Klan at Sunday Service. Times Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Canada.

[20] Many sources list William Branham as a “Baptist” evangelist, however the 1936 deed to his “Branham Tabernacle” in Jeffersonville, Indiana. “Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle,” newspaper listings, city directory listings, and statements made by peers confirm his Pentecostal affiliation.

[21] Branham, William. 1947, Nov 2. The Angel of God. “They flew a boy, who prays for the sick, by the name of Avak. They brought him from Cairo over to pray for a man by the name of Arkelian. The same time they sent for him, they sent up in Indiana and had me to come to a woman with cancer.”

[22] Collins, John. 2017. Deep Study: Roy E. Davis, Imperial Wizard of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

[23] Burkun, Michael. 1997. Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement. “Pentecostalist William Branham (1909-65). Branham saw the serpent as a creature occupying a niche somewhere between animals and humans, “a beast,” to be sure, but with unspecified human characteristics. Has he put it in a 1959 sermon, “The serpent was a – like a prehistoric man, something next to God – or next to man… This animal that will mix the seed is complete – it’s extinct. God turned him into a snake.” According to Branham, the creature had sexual relations with Eve and fathered Cain, a connection particularly significant to the development of Identity’s view of the Jews as the seed of the Devil through Cain.”

[24] Branham, William. 1945. I Was Not Disobedient to the Heavenly Vision. “It was in the month of March, 1945.” See also 1947, Jul 6. Brother Branham, The Faith Healer. “Two years ago he was in a room by himself when he heard heavy footsteps behind him, and there stood a bearded man. The man said, ‘I have been sent from the throne of grace to bestow upon you the gift of divine healing.”

[25] Branham, William. 1948, Mar 4. The Angel of God. “Many of you has heard of Avak. You know, they come over here that time. Well, we’ve been trying to meet each other for some time. We met a few days ago in Florida, and put our pictures together and said, “…?… American…?… consults Divine healing.”

[26] Branham, William. 1951, May 7. Expectations. “I was just talking to my brother Shakarian. Now, all of you know Brother Demos.” See also, Branham, William. 1954, Aug 10. Prayer Line. “Brother and Sister Shakarian, the business man setting right there. Everyone else to me is a stranger.”

[27] Oppenheimer. “It was in California where Tatos Kardashian met his future wife, Hamas Shakarian, the matriarch and the great-grandmother of the famous Kardashian siblings. Hamas’s brother, Isaak Shakarian, had made a fortune in the dairy business in Downey, California. His son, Demos Shakarian, took over the business, but would earn his greatest fame as a Pentecostal evangelist who believed in miracles and healings, and in the early sixties would found a global organization for Pentecostal Christian businessmen called the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International.

[28] 1940, Aug 17. Annual Conference of Anglo-Saxon Christian World Movement. “The convention will open with the British Israel church service in the auditorium on Sunday at 11 a.m. Rev. Gordon Lindsay of Portland, Ore., will deliver the address.”

[29] The NEW ORDER OF THE LATTER RAIN: Their history and legacy. Accessed May 27, 2019. “During the fall of 1947 Gordon Lindsay arranged for Branham to hold a series of meetings in Vancouver, B.C. At that time Ern Baxter was added to Branham’s team. The meetings in Vancouver were attended by a few pastors and teachers from North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Several of the school’s teachers who went to a Branham’s meeting had him lay hands on them for an impartation. They returned to Battleford with the impartation which began the Latter Rain movement. From there it exploded among the Pentecostals throughout North America and then throughout around the world. Many other new healing ministries had risen to prominence out of this, taking it to various parts of the world, Branham’s continued to be one of the most widely known to the early 60’s.”

[30] Ern Baxter. Accessed 2019, May 27, 2019. “Brother Ern’s strong respect and allegiance to Scripture led him to a point of disagreement with some of Rev. Branham’s later claims, and the two parted ways. Ern Baxter became the pastor of the largest church in Vancouver, British Columbia, and also had significant spiritual leadership in the United Kingdom and Australia, in addition to a growing influence in the United States.”

[31] The NEW ORDER OF THE LATTER RAIN.

[32] Churchwater. 2017, Sept 2. Further connection of the New Order of the Latter Rain to the FGBMFI.

[33] Gardner, Velmer. 1954, July. Seven Spiritual Signs That Jesus Will Come In Our Time. The Voice of Healing. “On the first year of this 20thcentury, God sent the Latter Rain Revival.”

[34] Cloud, David. 2013, Aug 21. William Branham’s Bogus Healings. Accessed May 27, 2019. “As the pacesetter of the healing revival, Branham was the primary source of inspiration in the development of other healing ministries. He inspired hundreds of ministers to enter the healing ministry and a multitude of evangelists paid tribute to him for the impact he had upon their work. As early as 1950, over 1,000 healing evangelists gathered at a Voice of Healing [the name of Branham’s magazine] convention to acknowledge the profound influence of Branham on the healing movement” (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988, p. 372).”

[35] Example: 1924, Nov 10. Sermon Opening Evangelistic Drive is Heard By 3,000: The Rev. F. F. Bosworth Inaugurates Campaign at Cadle Tabernacle.

[36] 1956, Jan 21. Peoples Temple Full Gospel. The Indianapolis Star. “The Temple will be host to William Branham soon.”See also, Jones, Jim. 1956, Apr. The Open Door. “NATION WIDE MINISTERS CONVENTION: Special Speaker William Branham. Date June 11-15, Indianapolis, Indiana. Location Cadle Tabernacle”

[37] Liardon, Roberts. The Life of F.F. Bosworth. Accessed May 27, 2019. “As the Pentecostal wave moved through the country, Assemblies of God congregations began to spring up. In 1910, Bosworth established the First Assembly of God church in Dallas, and people flocked there from miles around to hear him preach.”

[38] Bosworth, Fred Francis. 1924. Christ the Healer.

[39] 1951, May 12. Assemblies of God: Laurel Street Tabernacle. The Indianapolis News.

[40] 2013, Feb 17. Transcript of Marceline Jones.“A short time after that we decided that we would go to a convention in Detroit …to the Bethesda Temple.”

[41] Paul’s Charge to Timothy. Accessed May 27, 2019. “MYRTLE BEALL (1896-1979) began preaching in the 1930s and later founded and pastored the 3,000-seat Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan, which was dedicated in 1949. She was forced to withdraw from the Assemblies of God after accepting the post-World War II New Order of the Latter Rain movement which had originated at Sharon Schools in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada. It claimed to be the latter rain miracle outpouring which was expected to precede Christ’s coming. Allegedly God has raising up prophets and apostles to lead this miracle outpouring, and “the prophetic word” was emphasized, whereby the secrets of men’s hearts were revealed. Beall’s Bethesda Missionary Temple became a very influential center for the New Order of the Latter Rain.”

[42] 1951, Jan. Associate Editors. The Voice of Healing. (Listed as O. L. Jaggers).

[43] Rev. Dr. Orval Lee Jaggers. Accessed May 27, 2019.

[44] Branham, William. 1953, Apr 3. The Cruelty Of Sin, And The Penalty That It Cost To Rid Sin From Our Lives. “What’s He doing? He is writing His first Bible. The first Bible was ever written, was written in the skies, the Zodiac. It starts out with the virgin, that’s how He come first. It ends up with Leo the lion, the second Coming. And He is writing His first Bible. 44 The second Bible was written, was written by Enoch, and put in the pyramid.” See also, Branham, William. 1955, May 22. The Ark. “He is in the world today, showing signs and wonders, and raising up people, great things taking place, ‘Showing signs in the heaven above, and on earth.’ Signs! Signs of flying saucers through the air, where even the Pentagon and all don’t know what to think of it, ‘Signs in the heaven above.’ ‘And on earth,’ the healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, the opening of the blinded eyes, the casting out of evil spirits, the Gospel being preached, signs before His Coming!”

[45] The Message. Accessed May 27, 2019. “The Message,” otherwise referred to as “Branhamism,” “Branhamites,” “Bride Churches,” “Evening Light Churches,” or “Spoken Word” are collectively describing the worldwide cult following of William Marrion Branham from Jeffersonville, Indiana. With the exception of the more extremist sects, most consider Voice of God Recordings in Jeffersonville Indiana to be the cult headquarters. “The Message,” is a pentecostal-style doomsday cult which believed (until 1978) that the year 1977 was the time of Armageddon. The cult leader held joint campaigns with Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, and some believe the events leading to 1978 massacre are related to his influence by William Branham.”

[46] The Universal World Church (Hawaii Fellowship). Accessed May 27, 2019. Hawaii fellowship of the Universal World Church is connected to the Church that was started by O. L. Jaggers who was influenced by the latter rain movement of the late 40’s. He with along with a host of other now famous people such as Oral Roberts AA. Allen, David Nunn W. V. Grant, William Branham read a book that had a tremendous influence on their ministries as revival preachers. This book was Franklin Halls book Atomic power with God through fasting and prayer. Hall mixed Biblical concepts with occult methodologies. He stated that if believers did not fast their prayers would be hindered but if the pagans fasted god would answer their prayers. Hall thought without fasting prayer was ineffectual. He also had the belief that the Zodiac was Gods revelation to man finding Gospel pictures throughout. His belief in astrology was confirmed through occult teachings which included that UFO’s were a revelation of Gods power.

[47] Q663 Transcript. Accessed May 27, 2019. “The UFOs – that means unidentifying [unidentified] flying objects – from some other planet in outer space apparently came over in groups of usually four or 16. Sixteen, let’s hope sixteen’s a good number for a change. They came over regularly at intervals all day long (pause) for days. They came right over the air base, as if doing surveillance.”

[48] 1953, Mar 5. Plain Old-Fashioned Revival. Palladium-Item.

[49] Branham, William.1950, Apr 5.Expectation. “That’s New York. See? ‘Preach the Gospel to every creature. These signs shall follow them that believe.’ He promised it. And then He promised the former rain and the latter rain. And we’re living now, have been for years, under the latter rain. 23 And just before God cut off relationship with the Jews, He put nine spiritual gifts into the Church. And just before the Gentile’s age is over, He’s restoring back in the Church those nine spiritual gifts, giving the Gentile church its last call before turning again to Israel.”

[50] 1953, Nov 21. Christian Assembly. The Indianapolis News.

[51] Hall, John R. Gone from the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History. “In September 1954, Jones received an invitation to preach at the Tabernacle, the very time when the congregation’s board was searching out a successor to the retiring minister, John Price.”

[52] 1955, Jan 1. New Laurel Street Tabernacle. The Indianapolis Star.

[53] 1955, Jul 16. New Pastor Leads Church Expansion. The Indianapolis Star.

[54] 1952, Apr 4. Thornton Goes to Convention. Linton (Indiana) Daily Citizen.

[55] Hamlett, Ryan. 2014, Feb 25. The Devil in the Old Northside. Accessed May 27, 2019. “After leaving Somerset, Jones spent a short while as an associate minister at Laurel Street Tabernacle near Fountain Square, where he gathered the first few members of what would become the People’s Temple.”

[56] 1956, Jan 21. Peoples Temple Full Gospel. The Indianapolis Star.

[57] Certificate of Ordination and Note, Independent Assemblies of God. Accessed May 27, 2019.

[58] 1956, Apr 21. Eastern Fellowship Convention. The Daily Mail.

[59] 1956, Jun 9. Peoples Temple Will Be Host to the Great William Branham Brotherhood-Healing Crusade.

[60] 1951, Dec. Associate Editors. Voice of Healing (Listed as T.L. Osborne).

[61] 1951, Dec. Address Directory. Voice of Healing.

[62] 1957, Jun 1. Peoples Temple. The Indianapolis Star.

[63] Branham, William. 1956, Oct 2. Father, the Hour Has Come. “Happy to see, today, is our host pastor, Brother James Jones, from Indianapolis, back there.”

Originally posted on September 17th, 2019.

Last modified on September 23rd, 2019.
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