Thursday, January 31, 2008


A few days ago I had the privilege of meeting with our friend Corky Alexander. He is one of the truly authentic Bishops in our church who is also a talented musician, song-writer, and teacher with natural inclinations and holy giftings to minister to people's needs. We had a great lunch together at the Cracker Barrell. Thanks Corky, for all that you do for God and the Kingdom of God.

Friends are so important in our lives. I have a verse from the Bible posted in my office here at GQ from Proverbs 27:10 which is about this subject of friends. It reads in part, "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not...". That's really a tall order for my father had many many friends. Also I have been blessed with lots of friends. Some are friends that I don't see for months at a time or even send an e-mail to. But when we see each other it's as if no time has passed and we talk and carry on just as if we had never been apart. There are others who are only temporary friends. We may meet several times for weeks or months - then we move apart and make other friends. Then there are those who are friends, close and personal friends, that disappoint us in a time of crisis and who shun us because of the nature of the crisis. There are old friends, new friends, professional friends, and a few choice friends that, no matter what, they are there for us. These are good friends that stick with us through thick and through thin. Those are of eternal value. The Bible talks about a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. That means that my natural flesh and blood brothers (Wil and Lowell) can also be my friends. In fact it is very natural for us humans to bond with and be friends to our siblings. I think that when the Bible speaks of a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother" we cannot really appreciate this truth if we don't know what it means to have a brother who is a friend. Read about the friendship of David and Saul's son Jonathan. In 1st Samuel chapter 20 King Saul recognized that his son had a strong bond of friendship with David. He was not pleased with that friendship but Jonathan loved David anyway and protected his life from the wrath of his father. What a wonderful thing it is to have friends. In John's Gospel, Jesus called his disciples his friends and almost in the same breath told them all of his inner heart. There is more here than meets the eye. Maybe this calls for further reflection.

Hmmm. I didn't mean to sermonize here when I started out. Oh well...may someone who reads be blessed today knowing that Jesus is always your friend and will be for eternity.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Report on My Brother

Lowell came through his surgery fine! I took him to the hospital and was there when the doctor came out with a very up-beat report. The operation and recovery sessions all went well and he was able to go home last night. I spoke with Janis this morning and he has been up and had breakfast and is doing good.

Monday, January 7, 2008

2007 Is History - 2008 is Here

There is an old saying that I've heard that says, "Whatever you do on New Year's Day is what you will do the rest of the year." Therefore, I always try to do something I enjoy, like being outside in the forest, being with good friends, having a good meal, singing "Southern Gospel", and relaxing. Eighteen friends and I did just that on January 1, 2008. God is Good!

It's hard to believe, isn't it? So much has happened over the past few weeks and I never did really like reading history - that is - until I have grown older. Now, of late, it seems more and more important to me. Could that be because I'm almost a part of it? Most likely.

On Christmas Eve morning Frances' Mother closed her eyes here and opened them in that eternal realm where Jesus is. What a grand way for this grand lady of 97 years to cross over the divide from humanity to the supernatural. I was highly privileged to have been asked by the family to have a part in the funeral which took place on Wednesday night after Christmas and then had the privilege of reading a poem written by Tabitha Jaycox (One of Sister Hildreth's grand-daughter's) at her burial on Thursday morning. Now each Christmas will be special because it will bring back a flood of pleasant memories of this dear saint of God whom we all love so much. Quite frankly, I was concerned much about Frances' health during this time but want to thank those of you who prayed for the family - for Frances seems stronger to me now than she did in the immediate weeks before her Mom's death.

On Saturday before Christmas we had Mom over to our house to celebrate the Fred Brannen Christmas along with all three daughter's and their spouses and all of their children and spouses and their children and their spouses - for a total of 30! Yes, we have great grand-children even tho we are so very very young!!! We had a grand time of celebration with gifts for everyone. It was great to hear Mom repeat "Little Annie and Willie's Prayer". I've never heard her do it more eloquently and with such dramatic emphasis that it held even the little ones spellbound to the very end. Then watching the little ones take gifts outside and enjoy playing and laughing together "put the icing on the cake" as some of us old-timers say.

Now I'm back in the office again and working feverishly to stay informed about the horrible atrocities being committed against each other by tribal factions in Kenya. This is post-election violence. I'm sure all of you are hearing some reports through the normal news. I've been in phone contact with our regional superintendent (Jurgen Rudolph) our overseer of Kenya (Moses Njoroge) our Bible School director (Gordon Bloodworth) our missionary from Kentucky (Aaron Doan) ad our orphanage director in Kibera, Kenya (Jim Womble) and his assistant (Francis Wamweya). All are continuing to ask for prayer - but today all are safe and no Church of God member has been hurt physically that we know of. Two members have had their homes burned. About two hours ago the Internet News ( had reported that the opposition leader had called off a march he had planned for tomorrow. At our School in Eldoret we have been providing for 100 + refugees. In a church about 30 miles away we have 1200 to 1500 who sought protection there. So - as you can see - my days are busy now. Just pray with us for God to bring revival and other good out of this. He is able.


About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton