Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pentecostals Speak with “other tongues” (2)

Pastor Lula Lee Pearce Jones ca1938-40
Lacoochee, Florida

Here's the Beauty which Daddy saw through the Church Window
(She was 15 years old)

Louis Alton Brannen
(Recently Converted Saw-Mill Worker ca1938/39)
1 Corinthians 14:21 says, 21In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.”

          In 1946 - At the age of eight years, while Dad was pastor of the Church of God at Morristown, Tennessee, I received the “baptism in the Holy Ghost” or Holy Spirit in the "old time way" with the initial evidence of speaking in other (un-known) tongues. The old time way was that after a person was saved from sin, he/she was encouraged to seek to be sanctified and to “pray through” to the experience of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance.  John Calvin had preached the experience of “salvation by grace” through faith.  John Wesley had preached the doctrine of a “second definite work of grace” in a person’s heart which was called “sanctification”.  Since the late 1800's and the renewed out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, we were encouraged to have the “fullness” of the Spirit in our hearts and lives by seeking for the same experience that fell on the 120 believers in the upper room in Acts 2:4.   I’ll never forget the time and the great feelings of exuberant joy which came over me that night in the altar. I remember praying and hearing others praying for me as I knelt at the bench in front of the pulpit which was called the altar.  Those praying for me were saying things like, “Hold on, son. Hold on.” “Turn loose, son.  Turn loose.” “Don’t turn loose.” “Give up.”  “Don’t give up!”  “Keep on praying.”  I  understood their intent.  They were suggesting that I surrender everything to Jesus, and that I should allow God to have His way in my heart and life. 
Maybe you have heard someone else testify to an experience like this before and think that I'm being a Magpie or a parrot – but this is actually how it happened with me. In those days most everyone seeking an experience with the Lord was prayed for (out loud and fervently) by the faithful. This was all done by the most devoted believers, all speaking their words of encouragement at the same time. The encouragers were also patting the seekers on the back enthusiastically.  Some called it "slapping them on the back".  Plus, the musical instruments were playing and the people were singing in the background, something like, “Oh Lord, Send The Power Just Now” or "Send Down The Rain, Lord" or "Jesus, On the Main Line (Tell Him What You Want)". Confusing? No! Not to me. I knew exactly what they meant. So I did exactly what they were suggesting: I held on in prayer until I could not hold on any longer and then I turned loose. I "let go" and gave everything I had (or would ever have) to God until tears of joy mingled with my tears of repentance. I kept on praying and giving everything to God until total deliverance from sin came! I was overcome then with the joy of salvation.
          "Ah...just an emotional experience," someone said. "He'll be the same tomorrow that he was yesterday," said another. God was so good to me that he gave me an “out of the body” experience similar to the passage of scripture from the hand of the Apostle Paul that says, “Whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell.” (2 Corinthians 12:2)  No - I'm not claiming any of Paul's excellence - but I am claiming that the same Lord that transformed him also transformed me. Anyway, as I prayed that night at the altar, the last thing I remembered before being filled with the Spirit was praying and leaning forward and slightly to the right while earnestly asking God to fill me with His Spirit. The next thing I remembered I was standing at the back door of the church with both hands raised while tears of joy were flowing down my cheeks and I heard myself speaking in a language I had not learned! I do not know how I moved from the front of the church to the back of the church. My soul was singing praises to the Lord Jesus Christ who had forgiven me of my sins. I was elated.  After only a few moments I closed my eyes again and next thing I knew was when I opened my eyes and stepped over someone who was lying prostrate in the floor. I was speaking in tongues. I know that I walked (or ran) to the front of the church while under the Spirit’s influence…but I was not aware of what was happening until I was already back down front. I cannot explain why, or how, this happened – except that I knew I had been filled with the Holy Ghost.

William Edward Jones, ca1945
(My Maternal Grand-father)


Ginny said...

What a wonderful testimony, Fred, and really good pictures. Phil's mom spoke in tongues, but I don't think everyone is meant to, we each have different gifts.

jack69 said...

Yes, to folks who were not raised around that kind of carryings-on it seems strange. But that is the way I was raised. My dad also being a COG preacher, we have witnessed the same actions. You were a more dedicated person than I.

Oh I am so glad you put the pictures on. Sherry mentioned it and I said, I bet you his mama was a beauty, and she was.

Sure woulda been good iffen you coulda took after her!!! LOL
Good entry, brings back my childhood.
Hope you are out of the mulligrubs! Methiks I am. hahahahaha!
Love to all, 'specially' my girl Frances. I treated her nice in the book!

Betsy Adams said...

How interesting, Fred... I never received the gift of speaking in tongues---but I do feel God's presence inside of me CONSTANTLY in many many ways...

Praise God for you and your life. Thanks for sharing.

George said...

What a marvelous experience. I don't believe I have ever spoken in tongues, but I have been very aware of the Lord's presence with me at critical times in my life. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Jo said...

What a glorious testimony, Fred. I gave my life to the Lord at 16 in a very conventional Dutch Reformed Church at the time. Yet from about 21 for the next fifteen years, I had quite a tumultuous relationship with Him. Then in my early forties I turned around (Praise God) and personally made a concerted effort to be faithful to the hilt. I had been church organist to two different churches since my teens and for a further twelve years I continued in this church "job" However, even though I started to wonder and ask about the infilling of the Holy Spirit, both ministers, one Methodist and the other Anglican, told me not to bother with things meant for the clergy (!). Then in 2006, I was invited to a charismatic church by my older daughter-in-law. A week later at a service, I was baptized (with said DIL!) in the Holy Spirit. But although the pastor tried to lead us in learning "new tongues" I didn't manage it spontaneously. I later joined the church band (which my then-still- future DIL -she and my younger son later married - lead) as electric pianist. Before weekly practice and Sunday service the band members prayed in an ante room and it was HERE that I really grew close to the Lord through His Holy Spirit. I have since learned to pray in tongues privately and am quite used to the "carryings-on" in church when the congregation speaks in tongues and find myself speaking quite naturally, although much quieter! Thanks for sharing this post, Fred. Bless you and dearest Frances.

Favorite One said...

I'm so glad you're blogging these experiences. So important to pass the history down.

I received the baptism in the Holy Ghost when I was 12 - your daddy, my Gepa was preaching a revival for you at Waynesboro COG.

Thank you for passing this rich heritage to your children and grandchildren!

And, I love the pics. Especially the one of Muddy at age 15 - Donice looks so much like her and you look so much like Gepa. :-)

Joyful said...

Thanks for sharing your testimony Fred! I hope it speaks to the younger generation as they surf the internet as what you are describing is familiar process to me when I was filled with the Holy Spirit. It doesn't seem to be done that way anymore in many places around here. God bless!

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