353-1 And that is, that the first is the placing some deacons into the church. And our little church here is sovereign. It doesn't have any denomination or anything to send its deacons; it elects its own deacons. It elects its pastor; it elects its trustees; it elects everything that comes in and out of the church. No one person has the say-so over anything; it's the church. And the church are those who come and support the church with their presence, with their tithe and offerings, are always the ones that has legal say-so in the placing of such.
And I want to thank the past board of deacons, and I say it from here for all the church. If any of those brethren are here, which was Brother Cox, Brother Fleeman, and Brother Higginbotham and Brother Deatsman, they have give us a good service, give the Lord, in this Tabernacle.
353-3 And ever so often, according to the bylaws of the church, every year, the deacons or trustees automatically fill their time. And if they want to come back, all right. If they do not want to come back, then they can place some in their places, that this board has resigned.
And the other night I called the trustee board, which there is a new board of trustees. Till I noticed Brother Luther McDowell here tonight; we're glad to see him in, which was formerly on the trustee board. I went down this week to find out and to check into having a photostatic copy made, which will be presented to the church also. That the trustees of the church now is Brother William Morgan, Brother Mike Egan, and Brother Banks Wood, and Brother Roy Roberson. And they're all of this city, except Brother Roberson that lives between the two cities. The Lord has seen fit in those men, and they have been honorable men, and they have now received the duty as trustees of this church.
353-5 And then while this meeting was going on, and was told by the assistant pastor that we--selecting of the new board of deacons, that these had served their time out and--and resigned, and it was to select some more deacons. Now, the church... The way this is done is the board can ap--appoint deacons, men that they have associated with and found to be honorable and just men.
The office of a deacon is a very great office, and a great honor to the Lord to be a deacon in the church. And so in the meeting the other night, certain man was called out to me. And when meeting with the pastor, the following--this last Friday, which was agreed by this man that these were honorable and just men.
354-7 One young man that they had found, was not exactly qualified (not because that he wasn't the right type of man), one that was suggested by one of the honorable men of our trustee board. But as the pastor and I came together, and I asked the age of the young man, he was in his early twenties: honorable, just, and a real man, but find out that he was a single man. The Bible requires a deacon to be a married man. He must be the husband of one wife.
And then another man which was a very honorable man, very qualified for the job and would made a loyal man, as a brother suggested him. Then after investigating the case, that the brother had just recently come into this faith; his wife doesn't believe in it. Then that disqualified the man as the office, because he must have all his family in subjection. They must be also in the faith, because it would be a conflict.
354-9 And we're building now, and we wish to place this church. And as the general overseer of the church, I must see that it's kept Scripturally, everything right on the Word.
And so therefore, then it has been found favorable with the board and the pastor, and the overseer, to select in this group of people here some men who we think to be honorable and just men. We can only bring them. And it's then they are appointed by the church, by their own vote. And then these man shall serve, if they feel that they will accept this office. Then they will come for a short time to see if they feel that maybe that God has called them. And if later, if they feel that they are disqualified, then they have a right in the next few weeks to resign the office, that someone else could be appointed in their place.
354-11 However, at the beginning of the revival that (if God willing) I want to hold here in this Tabernacle as soon as I get some rest, then I--then I'll... We will ordain these deacons by laying on hands, deacons and treasurer in this church. But first they must be appointed and--and see how they like it and how the congregation likes it. Then if it's--then if it's all right on both sides, then we make these men ordained deacons, just like trustees are elected the same way.
It's the sovereignty and the law of the church by the Word of God. Therefore, that--they just can't say that, "I think this man would be a right man." That isn't it. "Brother Neville thinks this man would be a right man," or "the trustee board thinks this man would be a right man," it has to be by the church. No one does anything within himself here. It's the vote of the church. It's a sovereign church.
The old set of bylaws was destroyed in the 1937 flood. We have recopied those, and will be hung on the wall here soon, the duties of trustees, deacons, treasurers, and so forth, pastor, associates, and so forth.
355-14 By the grace of God, it has been said to me, and a one hundred percent vote through the board of this church, that they have found that Brother Hollin Hickerson to be a just, honorable man, and in line in this position to receive the--the great honor of being deacon of this said Tabernacle.
Also, we have found, and by the vote of the board, that Brother Collins also has been found an honorable and just man. Being a minister himself; therefore, we would ask him to come and to be a--a deacon of the church; and not only deacon, but an associate to Brother Neville, and perhaps to a Sunday school class, or to take the place of Brother Neville, or whatever is being called on, he to be an associate to Brother Neville. That's Brother Collins.
And also the church has found in favor, that Brother Tony Zabel, an honorable and just man, and he's been favored before the trustee board and the pastors, to ask him to receive the office of deacon in this said Tabernacle.
355-17 And it's also been asked, and found an honorable man among us... (Not... these not being the only honorable men now, but just has been selected by the board.) Brother Taylor from Henryville, or Memphis, I believe it is, Memphis, Indiana. He's been with us for some time, acting as usher and whatever could be. That the church has found favor with him, or the board and pastor, that he would accept the--the great office as being the deacon of this said Tabernacle.
And it's also been asked that Brother Mike Egan's son-in-law, Brother--Brother Bob Harnard, has been selected by the board and by the pastor, to accept the office as treasurer of this said Tabernacle, which is an honorable job, and it requires justice and honor.
In doing this, I think, my brethren, that calling you from here, that it would be a great honor to you. And not only that, but something to do.
356-20 At this time I will have Brother Neville, our associate, to read the requirements of the deacon. Brother Neville, if you'll read it from the Word of God. [Brother Neville reads I Timothy 3:8-12--Ed.]:
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine and greedy of filthy lucre;
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
356-21 Amen. I would at this time ask these brethren who has been called, if they would just walk forward here to the platform just a moment. And as we bow our heads just a moment for prayer, I want them... And the church knows what this is, that this is electing your deacon board and your treasurer.
Lord Jesus, it is with sober, godly thinking that we come to Thee now. We come in respects of Thy most holy Word; we come believing that "Let every man's word be wrong, but God's be true." And we are grateful to Thee for this church which Jesus has purchased with His own precious Blood, and has given us this building to worship in...
And as the overseers of this great flock, which the Holy Ghost has ordained us to be, we are trying now to present to this congregation a loyal, righteous bunch of men that we believe to be Spirit-filled and ready for the office. As it is once said concerning the deacon board, "Go, look out yourself among you, men of good reports and with the Holy Spirit, that they might serve in this manner to take care of the widows and orphans, to distribute the money, and to care for the welfare of the church." Later in years we have just read the writing of that great, inspired, sainted Paul, who sets forth the declaration of the Scriptures of the requirements of such position.
God, honor these men. And now it is the choice, Lord, as a sovereign church, as the body of the Lord Jesus, that they do the electing. And [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]... and will direct this portion of the service in a special way, in that righteous and holy Name of Jesus.
357-25 Now with our heads bowed, not only our heads but our hearts, and as every member of this church, that comes here regular and supports it with your tithe and offerings, which is considered a member of this church... While, the pastor and I, alone, the--the associate pastor, Brother Neville, and I look on, I would ask if this church finds Brother Taylor to be a just man and eligible, by the best of your thinking to be deacon over this group of people, you will signify the same by raising your hand. [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.] All right. Now if there is any contrary, would you raise your hand. [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.] Thank you.
357-26 Does any of this members of this church here find, and all, do you find Brother Hollin Hickerson to be a just and honorable man, and a man that's found in your sight worthy to become the deacon of this said church, would you signify by raising your right hand? [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.] If it is contrary, then raise your hand. [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.]
Does this congregation find Brother Collins to be the same, a righteous and honorable man, and worthy of the job of being deacon of this church? Would you raise your hand? [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.] All right. Contrary, would you raise your hand? [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.]
357-28 Does this congregation find Brother Tony Zabel to be an honorable man and worthy of this office, of being deacon over this flock in this said church? Would you raise your right hand. [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.] Contrary, would you raise your hand? [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.]
Does this congregation feel that Brother Harnard is a just and righteous man, who has been with us for some time, to be the treasurer, secretary-treasurer of this church, to handle its finances and to pay its bills? If so, raise your right hand. [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.] Is there any contrary, raise your right hand. [Brother Branham pauses--Ed.]
358-30 I wish to say to the--the brethren who are standing at this present time, at the foot of this cross, that this church, with one hundred percent (no contrary at all), finds you all worthy in the sight of God for this office that God has called you.
Now, you have said, "Let these first be tried, and see if they desire this office." Within a few weeks, God willing, I will return back to lay hands upon this group of men to make them the official trust--or the deacons of this church, and treasurer. Let us bow our heads just a moment:
358-32 Lord, we are happy tonight that there is men still living on the earth that can walk godly before the world, so godly that a Tabernacle, with strict rules as this one has, can vote five men into position as their leaders without one vote contrary. We are happy for them, and we feel that You were with us in making these decisions, the board and we pastors.
God, bless these men. And may they serve this office with all their hearts, knowing that it is purchasing to them a great degree in heaven. Someday when the books of heaven shall be closed, may the Book of the celestial beings and the great Book of heaven be opened, may their names be one hundred percent before God and the Saviour and all the heavenly hosts to be the same in His Kingdom. Bless them, Lord, and may they serve this office well. In Jesus' Name we thank You for them. Amen.
358-34 I just want to shake your hands: Brother Harnard, and Brother Zabel, and Brother Collins, Brother Hickerson, and Brother Taylor. So happy to know that we have fellowshipped all this time with such honorable men. God bless you now. And we will see you right away, as soon as I get a little rest and get back, and see how you like your office. All right, by their vote, I think was one hundred percent, no contrary at all.
Oh, aren't you glad that you're associating with people today who can live before God, godly, and live before this present world in that condition? It is a wonderful thing.
359-36 And I'm so glad to know tonight that I have the privilege of--of having these men and this church to be my friends. I'm so glad that God let me associate myself with His church all over the world. Oh, they are res--despised and rejected and talked about, and as I said this morning in my message, maybe just mud daubers, the way the world looks at them, as a bunch of fanatics, but God looks at them as His children. I'm so happy for that. They might not be able to tell you how many miles it is to the moon. They might not be able to tell you all the solar systems and how it operates. But there's one thing they do know: they know the hour they were borned again. I'm so glad for them.
359-37 And as a little parable that I learned, and I'm going to associate it tonight with my two little girls to kind of make it come home to us, to make it real to us, that you'd understand the meaning of it. One morning, raising up out of bed... I got two little girls. One of them is Rebekah, and one of them is Sarah, and they're daddy's little girls.
And I've got a little boy, Joseph. I was coming from Chattanooga, out of a meeting one night, while I was there in this last campaign. And I was in the--the car, going along with my oldest son, Billy. His wife and Meda was in the car, and the girls. And as we were rolling along, nobody had said nothing for several city blocks. And I'd cut pretty hard on the people that night about the way they were doing. Nobody had said anything. And little Joseph come over and grabbed me by the shoulder, and he said, "Daddy, you sure did preach tonight."
359-39 And this morning, as I was leaving and going up to Eighth and Tenth Street, the--or Penn and Tenth, rather, nobody had said a thing, the wife and the two girls. And little Joseph took ahold of my shoulder again; he said, "Daddy, that, I sure liked that preaching this morning," he said.
I said, "Well, I've got one fan; that's my son."
And to our little saying... Up one morning and sitting in the room, little Becky come running out and say, she straddled my leg and put her arm around me, and she's daddy's little girl. And she was hugging me. And little Sarah jumped out of bed with her little pajamas and would, say, come running next. She's the little brown-eyed one.
Little Becky would say, "Oh, Sarah, there's no need of you coming, because I've got all of daddy myself. Daddy's all mine." And little Sarah, her little lips dropped down; her little brown eyes colored up. I motioned like this and stuck out the other knee, and she come and straddled it.
360-42 Becky's got longer legs, so they would reach the floor. Little Sarah was toddling, so I put both arms around Sarah. Little Sarah looked over to Becky and said, "Becky, you may have all of daddy, but daddy's got all of me."
And I think that's the way it is here. We might not know all of the theology, and all the great Greek words, this group of people might not know. But there's one thing sure: I believe Jesus has got all of us. Amen.
All right, Brother Neville.