The time soon arrived to begin the Northwest meetings. We still had the task of pastoring at Ashland. Fortunately the Lorne Fox Evangelistic party came to our church at that time and the meeting proved to be one of the most outstanding Ashland had ever experienced. What little time was available, we used in completing arrangements for the Branham campaigns, which were to begin first in Vancouver, B.C., and then to go south to the States. The three pastors of the main churches of the city, sponsoring the meeting were Rev. Walter McAllister, Rev. W. J. Ern Baxter, and Rev. Clarence Hall. Much of the success of this meeting was due to the fine work of preparation made by this local committee. Rev. Baxter, who was later to become a member of the Branham party, described the meeting in the following words:
"Scenes of indescribable glory were witnessed during the all-too-brief, four-day, city-wide campaign with Rev. William Branham. As in other cities, so in Vancouver, the largest available auditoriums were inadequate to accommodate the teeming multitudes that waited on the ministry of our brother. Surrounding towns and villages seemed to literally empty into Vancouver, until the whole city was conscious of the spiritual impact of thousands of praying, believing people. Ministerial delegations from various cities attended with a view to securing the ministry of Brother Branham for similar meetings in their various fields of labor. Thousands were unable to gain access to the meetings, and this in spite of a transportation strike involving all streetcars and buses.
Despite the transportation tie-up, the large auditorium seating several thousands was filled every night - indeed on the last day the doors were closed at five o'clock. It was evident that few men ever were able to do as much good in four days as Brother Branham did in Vancouver. Many ministers attended and returned to their churches enthusiastic and inspired over the remarkable demonstration of the power of God which they had witnessed.
The next meeting was in Portland, Oregon, and began on Armistice Day. Services were held in various auditoriums, but no building was found that was able to take care of the crowds. For the last three nights the Municipal Auditorium was engaged, but on the final night even this spacious place was crowded out. Hundreds of ministers attended, and religious services in Full Gospel circles practically ceased except at the auditorium where the services were going on. The account of the dramatic challenge of the demon-possessed man which took place in this meeting appears in the first chapter of this site.
From Portland we went to Salem. The large armory was packed out and so were all its separate lower rooms which were fitted with loud speakers. Rev. Walter Fredrick, chairman of the local committee, had this to say:
"From Salem, Oregon, we too wish to sound out a note of praise to God for the mighty visitation from God during the Branham meetings. People came from the States and Canada. Never in the city's history has such a crowd thronged a place for religious meetings. Salem was stirred and made God-conscious. Many were the miracles of healing, and as is the case with nearly all of the Branham meetings, testimonies of eliverance continued to come in long after God's servant had left the city."
From Salem, Brother Branham went to our own City of Ashland where the local armory seating 1200 was jammed out. The following week the party drove over to Boise where a powerful three day campaign filled the largest auditorium in the city. In the 14 days of services, with only a comparative small amount of newspaper advertising, some 70,000 people had heard the gospel of healing and at least 1000 of these were ministers.
In these meetings we might mention that Brother Branham's strength was far below par. He attempted to commute to Phoenix, Arizona, on Sundays and hold afternoon services in the Shrine Auditorium. Sometimes he had to be up all night. Once his plane circled for hours seeking to land, while a thick fog shrouded the field in almost impenetrable density. The results of these meetings were all the more remarkable when we consider how the evangelist was ministering beyond his strength and under such strenuous physical handicaps. In the future we were careful to see that he should not get involved in more services than could be properly handled. But even then it was apparent to us that Brother Branham had gone beyond his strength and really needed a long rest.