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Our Stories - A Very Branham Christmas

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Our Stories - A Very Branham Christmas:

This story was sent in to us by a former member of the "Message" that we have tremendous respect for. We've met with Sylvia Perkins and her husband multiple times, and can honestly say that you will not find more genuine, friendly, and fun loving people. She has many, many stories about her childhood experiences in the "Message", and has the unique perspective of witnessing William Branham's strategies first-hand. If you haven't already listened to her interview with Rod Bergen on Off the Shelf, please do so -- it is very eye-opening.

Here is her story:

Growing up in the "Message" was so hard for many of us children, especially the girls. Today I was thinking of my Christmas memories, and for the first time, I was able to laugh instead of cringe and feel sad. I hope you will be able to laugh too, and if you are not now, will someday have the healing the Lord is giving to me in dealing with sad memories.

Our first Christmas in the "Message", we absolutely did not celebrate. I was kept from the stores and light displays, I did not understand and complained a lot to my folks. So the next Christmas, my mother decided she would do something to make Christmas truly "special".

A large yellow cardboard tree was erected on the living room wall, it had seven huge aluminum foil stars, and , oh joy, on the back of each one was the name of one of the "Seven Church Ages" dates and messenger. I was to memorize one each day. (I can still remember them to this day) and when it was memorized a tiny light was lit by each one. Still no presents, but what a thrilling tree and lights!

Next Christmas was "Stature of a Perfect Man", William Branham's hierarchical pyramid of "virtues" and "messengers". My mother constructed a layered pyramid, each day we added another layer, and learned about that virtue and a Bible verse about it, again, lights up when properly learned. Some friends came over and really made fun of me and our "funny tree". I then begged, "No more trees." My only gift that year was a pad and pen to take notes of William Branham's sermons .

The following year, we had a manger scene and the theme was "Seven Seals" Can you imagine a white, red, black and beige horse, all riding to the manger scene with a bow carrying indian astride each one! And the "souls under the altar" was a bizarre homemade altar with some small dolls lying under it, and again I "learned" William Branham's doctrine on the "Seven Seals".

The next year (In 1965), William Branham died on Christmas eve, so we only had a time of great mourning. My gift that year was my very own "On the Wings of a Snow White Dove" tape recording of Branham.

From then on we once again ignored Christmas, and after the horrible Christmas I had, I was not too sad.

My thought was, my parents would have been just as well off to tell me about Santa Claus, all the stories they told me were fables as well. And the fact that I saw the Branham family enjoying trees and Christmas made it an even more bitter pill to swallow.

After marriage, we have always had Christmas decorations, sometimes several trees and some nice memories and gifts. I am so glad, that after all the message indoctrination I endured as a child the Lord has brought me out into His Glorious Freedom! I do love Him so much!

- Sylvia Perkins