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  Upshaw, William D.
NameWilliam D. Upshaw
Atlanta, Georgia , United States
Born October 15, 1866
DiedNovember 21, 1952 (86 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedChronicler
Mar 23, 2019 10:03pm
InfoUPSHAW, William David - reform politician from Georgia.

Born near Newnan, Coweta County GA 10/15/1866. His father, Isaac D. Upshaw, was a Confederate veteran, school reform advocate, shopkeeper, and farmer. The family moved to Cobb County in Upshaw's youth.

Attended the country schools, the public schools of Atlanta, Ga.; engaged in agricultural and mercantile pursuits.

Suffered a spinal injury in 1884 which left him in a body cast at first; over the years, he was able to graduate to a large brace, then later to a wheelchair, and finally to crutches.

While bedridden following his accident, Upshaw organized a literary club and wrote articles for Atlanta newspapers and magazines. Wrote the book Echoes from a Recluse while bedridden; the book was reprinted 10 times.

In 1890, Upshaw was able to use a steel jacket for mobility; a member of his literary club helped make an apparatus to enable him to travel in carriages to speak.

Enrolled in Mercer University (Macon GA) 1895.

Founded The Golden Age, magazine at Atlanta, Ga., 1906

Vice President of the Georgia Anti-Saloon League 1906; helped Georgia to become the first dry state in the South in 1907. ASL and WCTU lecturer.

U.S. Representative (D-GA) 1919-1927. During his time in Congress, Upshaw held revivals in Washington and placed a special emphasis upon the personal integrity of members of Congress. Only member of Georgia's delegation to vote for the 19th amendment (female suffrage). Defeated for renomination by a Klansman in 1926.

Following his defeat in 1926, Upshaw became identified with the Prohibition Party.

Vice chairman of the Scandinavian Commercial Commission

Candidate for US President (Prohibition Party) 1932; waged a vigorous campaign in 20 states.

Unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator in 1942; resumed his former pursuits as a lecturer, evangelist, and writer

Relocated to California 1949; vice president of the Linda Vista Baptist Bible College and Seminary and member of the faculty, San Diego CA; at the age of seventy-two was ordained a minister of the Baptist Church

Miraculously healed on 5/2/1951:

At a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which he served twice as vice-president, he became acquainted with a man named Dr. Roy Davis who told him about a young minister he had ordained many years before at the Baptist church in his home town of New Albany, Indiana. That young man was now crossing the country praying for people, and his ministry was unlike that of others. He suggested that the Congressman seek him out. His name was William Branham.

On the evening of May 2, 1951, Brother William Branham had finished preaching his message and was preparing to call a prayer line to the pulpit. The sanctuary of Calvary Temple in Los Angeles CA had been packed every night of the campaign, but of the hundreds that had come seeking healing, only a handful each night would have their prayer card number called to pass before him in the discernment line. Suddenly, even before the line could form, a vision broke before him and he related to the audience what he was seeing:

"A young man falling from a hay stack and braking his back. A doctor with a white mustache and glasses that sit low on his nose, working on the young man, but to no avail. The youngster grows to become a famous person who writes books. People are applauding him."

When the vision left him, Brother Branham once again turned to the ushers and began to call for the prayer line to be formed. Brother Ern Baxter, the manager of the campaign, stepped to his side and told him that the man from the vision was in the building and had identified himself to an usher. His name was William D. Upshaw, and he wanted to speak to Branham. A microphone was handed down to where the invalid statesman sat in his wheelchair. "My son," he asked, "how did you know that I fell and hurt myself when I was a boy?"
"I can't tell you, sir," was the reply. "I can only say what I see."

"God bless you, my boy," the elderly man responded.

For the next few moments, the audience sat riveted as people passed before the humble man of God and were told of their ailments. "Others were being healed all around me," the congressman wrote later in his testimony. "Then, Brother Branham lifted his hands, saying, 'Lay your hands over on each other.' A great volume of of prayer ascended throughout the audience of more than 3000. Angels were hovering near!"

Exhausted, Brother Branham was carried from the platform, but before he could exit the building, once again, by vision, he saw William Upshaw, and this time he was walking down the street without the aid of his crutches! A moment later, Brother LeRoy Kopp, pastor of Calvary Temple, rushed to the pulpit and announced, "Brother Branham says, 'The congressman is healed.'"

Instantly, a man that had not walked for sixty-six years stood to his feet and started toward the pulpit.

William Upshaw retained the full use of his legs for the remainder of his life, and he traveled across the country testifying of his healing.

In a message entitled "Who Hath Believed Our Report?", preached on July 19, 1951, referring to Congressman Upshaw's healing, Brother Branham said: "I feel that he was the one that the Angel of the Lord was referring to when He met me and said, `You'll pray for great men, statesmen, kings of the earth.'"

Died in Glendale CA 11/21/1952, shortly after a speaking tour to 22 states and seven foreign nations; interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale.


In 1884, at age 18, the carefree days and farm-boy routines ended abruptly for William when he fell on the crosspiece of a hay wagon and fractured his spine, paralyzing the lower half of his body. He was confined to his bed for the next seven years, a helpless cripple.

Shortly before his accident, he had given his heart to the Lord Jesus, and now he turned to the only One he knew who could sweeten the cup of bitterness that had been thrust upon him. He testified throughout his life that "The Lord Jesus who had given me a new heart in Him, walked with me through the valley, and made that vale of tears for seven years a mountain height of joy and victory."

Between the years of 1933 and 1952, William Upshaw traveled across the United States as president of the National Christian Citizenship Foundation, preaching against liquor and Communism. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1938 at the age of seventy-two. Four years later he once again tossed his hat into the Georgia political arena as a senatorial candidate and, once again, he was defeated.

Congressman William Upshaw prayed for healing all his life. Even in 1951, at eighty-four years of age, he was still seeking that "appropriating faith" that he believed would deliver him from the crutches that had been his companions for more than half of a century. It was a time when the ministry of the healing revivalists was at the peak of its popularity, and the Congressman had sought the prayers of the most well-known ministers of the day, including William Freeman, Oral Roberts, and Wilbur Ogilvie. But, as he later testified, "I just could not take hold and walk out."

*Other Excerpts Above From The Tract: "I'm Standing On The Promises," Written by Congressman Upshaw in 1952.

National Prohibitionist, 10/2004


Title Purchase Contributor

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Importance? 9.00000 Average

Wife Margaret E. Beverly Upshaw May 05, 1909-May 21, 1942

  02/12/1946 GA District 5 - Special Election Lost 1.93% (-34.24%)
  09/09/1942 GA US Senate - D Primary Lost 19.40% (-61.21%)
  01/04/1933 US President Lost 0.00% (-88.89%)
  11/08/1932 US President National Vote Lost 0.21% (-57.22%)
  07/07/1932 US President - PRB Convention Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  09/12/1928 GA District 5 - D Primary Lost 39.79% (-20.42%)
  11/04/1924 GA District 5 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  07/09/1924 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.06% (-45.67%)
  11/07/1922 GA District 5 Won 95.04% (+90.08%)
  11/02/1920 GA District 5 Won 70.09% (+40.18%)
  11/05/1918 GA - District 05 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
GA US President - Nov 06, 1928 R Herbert Hoover