A testimony by Brother Tommy Flannigan dated Sunday, January 26, 2014:
My name is Tommy Flannigan, I am 90 years old, and I have been following Brother Branham’s Message and ministry since 1951, when I first attended Brother Branham’s meeting in Los Angeles, California, the night after Congressman Upshaw was healed. I heard Brother Upshaw’s testimony that night and listened to a message by Brother Branham. After that, my wife and I became personal friends of the Upshaws, and we attended Brother Branham’s meetings or listened to him on the radio whenever he was in the Los Angeles area.
I was originally from a farming community in Southern Illinois. My parents were devout Missionary Baptists Christians, and some of my earliest childhood recollections are of my father reading the Bible to me out load in the evenings and crying while he read. I accepted the Lord at the age of twelve in a tent revival. I very sincerely believed the Bible then, but I did not really understand very much until years later when I heard Brother Branham.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, I enlisted in the Army and was sent to the Solomons, Bouganville, and other islands in the South Pacific to fight the Japanese with the 37th Infantry Division under General MacArthur. We travelled and fought from island to island and eventually invaded the island of Luzon in the Philippines and prepared for the Battle of Manila. I was a corporal and operated some anti-tank guns during the battles. On one occasion while we were marching I had a bad headache and had taken off my helmet. General MacArthur spotted me and drove up to me in his jeep and yelled at me to put my helmet back on. He was just taking care of me as one of his soldiers, and if I can ever say something on his behalf I will do so.
On another occasion I was sitting on the ground near Manila with some of my buddies eating lunch. The Japanese were firing their large guns in the vicinity, and suddenly I felt led to jump with my men into some holes nearby. Not even three seconds had passed after we dove into the holes that three shells of Japanese artillery hit right exactly where we were sitting. But for the hand of Almighty God, all of us would have been dead.
After the Japanese surrendered, I was assigned to take care of the Japanese prisoners. Whenever I could I would a give small New Testament to any Japanese prisoner who knew some English. As fierce as the Japanese were during the fighting, they were as meek as lambs after the Emperor told them to lay down their arms. One time I was hauling Japanese prisoners in a jeep to Northern Luzon. I had just switched from being the driver to the passenger position and slid down in my seat to read a magazine. Immediately after that, we got into an accident, and the hood of a truck that hit us came through our windshield and cut my scalp open. Had the accident occurred just seconds before when I was sitting straight up, I would have been decapitated. I was awarded a Purple Heart for the incident. Once again the dear Lord saved my life during World War II.
After the War, I returned home to Illinois and had another near-death experience. I was driving a concrete truck downhill on a road with a steep embankment on the side. As I was driving down in first gear the road started to give way and cave in, and before I knew it, the concrete truck and I went over the cliff. I didn’t know what to do, but I jumped from the driver’s side door, and I was sailing through the air with the truck. The last think I can remember was praying like Steven in the Bible, “Lord, receive my spirit.” Later I woke up thirty miles away in a hospital bed. I ended up with a bad back and two slipped disks, but once again the Lord had spared my live.
Around that time, I had rededicated myself to the Lord, and almost immediately stopped smoking cigarettes. They just did not taste good to me anymore, but it was several years later before I heard Brother Branham preach against smoking.
A few years after the War both my parents had passed away, and I moved to California to start over. I married a wonderful but very fiery Italian Pentecostal Christian girl. After our first son was born in 1953 and my wife had a miscarriage, five doctors told her that she could not have any more children. My back continued to hurt, and for many years I would lie down on the floor and rock my spine at night to relieve the pain. We attended many of Brother Branham’s meetings at the time, but neither my wife nor I ever tried to get a prayer card. There were just so many other people in the meetings who seemed to need healing more than we did. My oldest son, however, was born with a large raised black birth mark right above his left eye that would often swell and fill with blood. The doctors told us that they would have to remove it surgically when he was older. When he was just one year old, however, my wife and I carried him through one of Brother Branham’s fast prayer lines. Brother Branham just put his hand on my son and said, “God bless the baby.” Within two months the black mark was gone; God had healed our son.
Around the beginning of 1962 I bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder and began to buy Brother Branham’s tapes at the meetings. We also started to receive the tapes regularly from Jeffersonville. It was then that I began to understand who Brother Branham really was.
It was with great anticipation that in early 1964 we were waiting for Brother Branham’s meetings in the Great Central Valley north of Los Angeles to begin. Almost fifty years ago, on Saturday, February 8, 1964, we drove 100 miles up from Los Angeles to the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield. We arrived early and went to a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant to have supper. While we were waiting at the restaurant, I talked to a man by the name Mr. Price, who was behind us in line. He told me he was also going to Brother Branham’s meeting and that he was hoping to be healed.
When we arrived at the fairgrounds auditorium there appeared to be thousands of people in attendance, but it just so happened that Mrs. Upshaw was sitting right in front of us. My wife had written the words “Flannigan Family” on one of my old handkerchiefs and placed it in a box next to where Brother Branham would preach.
How thrilling it was to sing Only Believe and to hear Brother Branham preach The Token. As usually happened, Brother Branham waited until the presence of the Angel of the Lord came before he started calling out people from the audience. Personally, just sitting there, I was praying to God and thanking him for sending to us a prophet to fulfill Malachi 4:5 and 6, Luke 17:30 and Revelation 10:7. I kept reciting the words of those scriptures to God in my prayer and asking for a closer walk with the Lord, but at no time did I pray for healing for myself or for my wife.
The first person Brother Branham called out of the audience that night was Mr. Price, whom we had met at the restaurant earlier. Brother Branham told Mr. Price to stand up, and when he did my wife said, “That’s the man we saw at the restaurant!” Immediately Brother Branham turned in our direction and looked at me and said:
“Here's another man setting here looking right at me, a real contact. The man is suffering with a stomach trouble and a back trouble. His name is Mr. Flannigan. I don't know you, but that's true. That's your wife setting there by you. She's suffering too. You believe that God's able to tell me now, in your fine contact of faith? Your wife has a back trouble, and she's got a female trouble. It's in the womb. That's THUS SAITH THE LORD.”
I had never in my life spoken personally to Brother Branham, and he did not know us. Afterwards, Brother Branham prayed over the prayer cloths in the box next to him, and my wife retrieved my handkerchief. Nevertheless, before this experience and even afterwards for a while, my wife had a hard time fully coming into the Message.
I was totally healed, and my back never hurt me again. The next year on September 18, 1965 my wife gave birth to our son Billy. The following month, in November, 1965, Billy began to have trouble with his intestines, and his bowels would not move. I did not know what to do and I dialed 411 for information for Brother Branham’s phone number in Tucson. When I got the number and called it, Brother Billy Paul answered and said that Brother Branham was not home right then but that he would call us back. While we were sitting around the kitchen table after supper waiting for Brother Branham to call, my wife was washing and drying the dishes. The phone rang, and I answered. I talked briefly to Brother Branham for the first and only time in my life, and he asked me to put my wife on the phone. My wife then began to talk to Brother Branham and to cry and say that she was afraid that she had committed the unpardonable sin because she had resisted the Message with her fiery temper so much. Brother Branham assured her that she had not committed the unpardonable sin, and then asked her what she had in her hand. She said that she had a dish rag that she was using to dry the dishes. Brother Branham told her to lay the rag on the baby and that he would be alright. She did so and Billy’s bowel problem was over immediately. After that my wife fully came into the Message, and we moved from Los Angeles to Arizona.
There are many other testimonies I could give but I would like to close by saying that for more than the past fifty years I have tried to pass out the Message to as many people as I can, as often as I can. After three near-death experiences in my youth, I have known for nearly 70 years now that the Lord is not through with me yet. Nearly every day I go to truck stops, libraries, stores, restaurants and checkpoints, and approach whomever the Lord lays on my heart to contact, and give to them the Message. Some days I have as many as twelve contacts, some days I have none, but usually I have about 4 to 6 people to whom I bear witness each day. Even today I gave the Message out to eight people on my way from Sierra Vista to Tucson. I especially like to talk to soldiers and I let them know I served in World War II when I witness.
I hope someday to see everyone who reads this testimony. May God bless you all. Brother Flannigan.