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Our Stories - Kissing the Ring

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Our Stories - Kissing the Ring:

Growing up as a fully certified "Branhamite", I had learned that as God in Christ is the head of the Church, the "Prophet" is the head of the dispensation, the Pastor was the head of the assembly, and dad was the head of the family. I clung to every syllable proceeding about scripture and the Prophet from my fathers mouth as absolute truth.

My uncle was visiting our house one night giving us one of three topics to discuss. William Marion Branham, the "Prophet" or Brother Branham. I listened with rapt attention as the two discuss the great "mysteries" of dispensationalism and the offer William Branham received to meet the Pope. This was Sunday School gold and I couldn't wait to share my new found nuggets with the class, ages 5-18, at the next opportunity.

Sure enough, a couple of a weeks later, our teacher discussed the fact William Branham had declined a visit with the Pope. Oh how I had waited for this moment to contribute to the class. I raised my hand. Now was my time to shine.

"Yes, Ronnie."

"My dad said Brother Branham had an invitation to meet the Pope but he said, 'No sir, I'll not kiss the ring on the big toe of any man.'" The class erupted in laughter.

"Well Ronnie, I don't think it happened quite like that." More laughter.

"Yeah huh, my dad said Brother Branham had a meeting with the Pope but when he was told he had to kiss the ring on the Pope's big toe he would not go." Brother Bill's face reddened as he tried not to laugh.

"Ronnie, let's talk to your dad after church."

I was furious. Crossed my arms crossed my chest and refused to answer him.

After church, the brothers gathered up in a huddle with the pastor with my dad the central focus. I sat in the car still refusing to talk to anyone. Dad confessed that he had indeed made a joke about the Pope, William Branham and a big toe ring. It was the decision of the brothers that it would be best if my dad and uncle did not make wisecracks in front of the children about papal toe rings and William Branham.

Brother Bill fell off the church roof years later and went on to his reward. He was a good man. I miss him even though I no longer accept the theology of William Branham.

- Ronnie Nall
Former "Message" Believer