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Clifton Woodrow Brannon was born to George Wesley and Beulah Green Brannon on April 14, 1912, in Fitzgerald, Georgia. When George Brannon died, Clift became the chief support of his family which included six brothers and sisters. After graduation from high school in 1929, Brannon attended Georgia School of Technology and Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He was admitted to the practice of law in Atlanta in 1932.
On February 16, 1935, he was married to Ola Ruth Hall of Winder, Georgia. The Brannons had three children, Beverly Mae, Madlyn Sue, and Clifton Woodrow. Brannon became an attorney for Home Owners' Corporation in 1933, a position he held through 1935. Between 1940 and 1949, he was general counsel for R. G. LeTourneau, Inc. and the LeTourneau Foundation. His law practice in Longview, Texas, began in 1946 and continued until 1949.
Concurrent with his career as a lawyer, Brannon became increasingly involved as a lay preacher. He had joined the Methodist Church in 1923, and experienced conversion in 1932 through his mother's influence. He preached his first sermon in 1932. He was licensed to preach by the North Georgia Conference Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1933, and attended Atlanta Bible Institute in 1934. In 1940, he was appointed general counsel and director of Winona Lake Christian Assembly, Inc., Indiana, for which he prepared a charter. He served in this capacity between 1940 and 1949.
Brannon conducted revivals yearly between 1933 and 1949 and was a supply pastor between 1942 and 1946. In 1945, he was ordained to the ministry and became Vice President of the Baptist Brotherhood Convention of Texas, a position he held between 1947-1948. He was President for the 1949-1950 term.
His first radio broadcast was held in 1938, and he subsequently broadcast two hundred consecutive weekly one-hour programs from radio station Whosoever Heareth, Inc., between 1942-1946. The first broadcast was in October 1942, from the Level Grove Baptist Church in Cornelia, Georgia, aimed at providing rural residents with a substitute for church services where there were none. The station opened while Brannon was a layman and working deacon of the First Baptist Church in Toccoa, Georgia. On Brannon's invitation, Billy Graham spoke several times on the Whosoever Heareth Hour in 1945.
Brannon became a full-time evangelist for the Southern Baptist Church in 1949, a career which included a radio and TV ministry. He received an LL.D. from Burton Theological Seminary, and since 1949 has conducted revivals in at least thirty-eight countries on three continents. He was Vice President and Director of All India Prayer Fellowship, Inc., in 1973, and became President of Clift Brannon Evangelistic Association in 1974. Other positions he held included member of the Board of Directors of Word for World Crusade, Universal Concern Foundation, past President of Texas Baptist Brotherhood Convention, Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and President of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.
In his work of evangelism, Brannon developed an edition of the New Testament to be used by workers in individual evangelism. Soul Winner's New Testament, King James Version, was first published in 1959 with Brannon as editor. Other editions included an American Standard translation, 1972, Soul Winner's Living Bible New Testament, 1973, and The Guide to God New Testament, 1974.
In 1974, Whosoever Heareth, Inc., transferred rights to the Clift Brannon Evangelistic Association, Inc., which scheduled the activities of Brannon and his wife. Whosoever Heareth became a Foundation for paying designated expenses and distributing Soul Winner's New Testaments world-wide.
Scope and Content
[NOTE: In the Scope and Content description, the notation "folder 1-1" means box 1, folder 1.]
Approximately half the records in this collection deal with various aspects of the use and supplementary materials of the Soul Winner's New Testament. Folder 1-8 is a collection of brochures and other promotional materials used for the publicizing and distribution of the New Testaments. The file of correspondence in folder 1-3 is mostly a collection of testimonials from users and other topics related to the use of New Testaments. Folder 1-1 contains a copy of the Soul Winner's edition, which is meant to be used with the notebook in folder 1-7. This edition includes instructions for visitation evangelism, topical references for such subjects as prayer, salvation, victory, and answers to commonly-asked questions. The notebook has a more detailed sequence of biblical references used as a guide for personal evangelism with the New Testament.
Financial records (folder 1-4) are from Whosoever Heareth, Inc., and include audits and exemption forms listing expenses of revival, publishing, and evangelistic activities of the organization. Legal documents in folder 1-5 include records of the trademark and incorporation papers for Whosoever Heareth, Inc., and a 1974 document of the agreement of the Corporation with the Clift Brannon Evangelistic Association.
Folders 1-2 and 1-6 have clippings and printed brochures with data and stories about the evangelistic work of the Brannons. Also part of this collection are nine cassette tapes containing sermons by Brannon, two of which were given by his wife. They are undated and are listed by topic in the Location Record in this guide.
The material in this collection has been organized by the archivist. A copy of the Personal Worker's New Testament was returned to the donor.
The records in this collection were received at the Archives in September 1980, from Rev. Clift Brannon.Accession 80-119
T2 - Side 1: God Opened My Heart; Ruth Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Continued, Ruth Brannon; John 3, Clift Brannon.
T3 - Side 1: Holy Spirit--Birth, Baptism, and Blessing; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Continued.
T4 - Side 1: Paul's Last Great Challenge; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Continued.
T5 - Side 1: Revival Rally; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: A Timely Question, a Timely Answer; Clift Brannon; n.d.
T6 - Side 1: Who Is the Holy Spirit?--Prophecies, Promises, Provision, Purpose; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Who Is the Holy Spirit?--The Filling of the Spirit!; Clift Brannon; n.d.
T7 - Side 1: Who Is the Holy Spirit?--The Seven-Fold Work of the Holy Spirit; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Who Is Jesus?--He's Coming Again; Clift Brannon; n.d.
T8 - Side 1: Who Is Jesus?--The One Who Is Coming Again After Death; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Who Is Jesus?--The One Who Taught Us to Weep!; Clift Brannon; n.d.
T9 - Side 1: Who Is Jesus?--The One Who Taught Me to Pray; Clift Brannon; n.d. Side 2: Who Is Jesus?--The One You Can Touch; Clift Brannon; n.d.
The following item has been given to the BGC LIBRARY.
Soul Winner's New American Standard New Testament (Philadelphia: National Bible Press, 1972).
Brannon, Clifton W. The Sin Unto Death (Longview, Texas: Whosoever Heareth, Inc., n.d.).
Brannon, Clifton W. and L. Kenneth Balthrop. The Law of the Spirit (St. Louis, Missouri: B and B Publishers, 1976).
The following items are located in the OS FILE. Request by the boldfaced folder title and OS# at the beginning of each entry below.
LEGAL DOCUMENTS: WHOSOEVER HEARETH, INC.; 1944-1974; N.D. (OS 17). Letter from the Treasury Department; December 11, 1944. Duplicated in reverse. From folder 1-5.
CLIPPINGS: WHOSOEVER HEARETH, INC.; 1943-1945 (OS 17). Clipping from The Winder News; October 21, 1943. From folder 1-2.
|1||1||Soul Winner's New American Standard New Testament, 1975|
|1||2||Clippings: Whosoever Heareth, Inc.; 1943-1945|
|OS 17||Clippings: Whosoever Heareth, Inc.; 1943-1945|
|1||3||Correspondence; 1944-1975, n.d.|
|1||4||Financial Records: Whosoever Heareth, Inc.; 1954-1972|
|1||5||Legal Documents: Whosoever Heareth, Inc.; 1944-1974, n.d.|
|OS 17||Legal Documents: Whosoever Heareth, Inc.; 1944-1974, n.d.|
|1||6||Pamphlets, Miscellaneous: Clift Brannon Evangelistic Association; 1964, n.d.|
|1||7||Notebook: Personal Workers, Soul Winner's New Testament; n.d.|
|1||8||Notebook: Soul Winner's New Testament; 1958-1959|