Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles focused on Rev. Ricky Branham as his ministry goes nationwide on television.

He is a man of many talents. A minister. A school nurse and coach. A loving husband and father. A strong and vibrant leader within his own community.

Part of Rev. Ricky Branham’s ministry is serving as senior pastor at Ripley Chapel. It is a position he holds most dear today even as his ministry is now available on a national level.

“I was always an interdenominational evangelist,” Branham explained. “I would go all over to preach. One of the churches I preached at was Ripley Chapel. They asked me if I would fill in long-term for them while they found a pastor. I’ve been doing it for 13 years.

“It is nice to have a home church,” he explained, “where my family can grow.”

Branham’s wife, Victoria, is the perfect support for him. She is the operations manager at Pepperidge Farm in Willard and mother to Ricky, Riley and Vera. She also has a devotion to God that matches that of  her husband.

As a father, he said he feels like he leads by example as he and Victoria raise their children.

“I believe kids learn the most by watching their parents and those that they are around,” he added. “At the school or anywhere, I always try to be a positive influence to kids by encouraging them and supporting them in any way I can.”

With so many irons in the fire, Branham is able to keep his priorities focused.

“The neat thing about my days is that I can completely dictate my schedule of when I go, where I go,” Branham pointed out. “So, I’ve always said that God will be first. But, it’s important that my family comes before the church.

“I always put God first in everything,” he said. “But my family has to be next. It’s a huge priority, especially my kids. I want to make sure as they quickly grow up that I am there for everything.”

His contract with Oral Roberts and GEB fits right into his commitment as a husband and father.

“It’s nice because I can do everything here in Willard,” Branham pointed out. “We tape at Celeryville. Some of our local churches are also allowing me to tape.

We send the program to California for closed-captioning. From California they send it to Tulsa, Oklahoma to Oral Roberts where it’s distributed for broadcast.

“The main goal  is  to reach as many people as I can for Jesus Christ,” he pointed out. “To spread the Word of God so people can grow deeper with Him.

Branham is also in the process of writing a book. It is part of his doctorate and will be used as his dissertation.

“I’m currently writing a family devotional,” he said.

If you ask Branham if he is happy, his big smile just gets bigger.

“I am,” he said. “Right now, I have the best of both worlds. I get to serve God, be with my family, be with the school and coach kids.”

Branham said he has found a whole new meaning to life as he coaches youngsters.

“It’s a passion and desire of mine,” he pointed out. “I love to coach basketball and to help teach kids about the game.”

“I still feel like part of my calling is to help kids through coaching,” he explained. “I feel that’s part of my ministry, too. Like school nursing. It’s part of my ministry to love these kids.”

A big focus right now, however, is on the opportunities that might come his way, according to Branham. It is not about his fame and fortune but his calling to serve God in any way he can and to reach hearts for Jesus Christ.

“When you make it onto national broadcasting, it’s like a family,” he explained. “They do take care of you and take you in. Then when they start having different conferences, they invite you to be a guest speaker or be on programs.”

The network that Branham is on also has programs from Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and Joseph Prince, some of the top names in television evangelism. He said he was absolutely intimidated by those names.

“I feel humbled to be on the network with them,” Branham noted. “The spot that GEB gave me was Joel Osteen’s spot. The reason they gave me his spot was because he had two spots on that Saturday. So, they gave me one of his spots. It’s humbling.”

The programming goes by potential audience, Branham explained. His program has a potential audience of 36 million viewers.

As the cameras roll and Branham shares his message across the United States, he said he has something to share.

“I have been far from perfect,” he pointed out, “but God’s been good to me.”

It was God who stepped in when that 15 year old was so horribly injured in that car crash. Would Branham’s life still gone down the same path had he not been faced with his own mortality?

“That accident is what opened my eyes up to realize you’ve got one chance in life,” he said. “You’ve got one chance to do the right thing. Your life can be taken away so quickly. So you need to serve God while you can. That just never left me.

“Now, I am privileged to be able to spread the word of God,” Branham said. “Not just on a local level but throughout the United States and eventually the world.”

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