How Jim Cole-Rous found the Lord!

How Jim Cole-Rous found the Lord under the Ministry of William Branham in South Africa in 1951

My dad, Dr. Marcus Cole Rous, was Professor of Surgery at Cape Town University Medical School and was well-known in South Africa. The only time I remember seeing my father in church was at a wedding of one of his colleagues. God just didn't figure in his lifestyle. My mother died 2 years after their divorce, when I was only 3½ years old, and I grew up with step mothers.

There was a time when I became concerned about spiritual things, as a lad of 12, and I went to the Housemaster/priest at the Boarding School I was at, and said, "I have been trying to find God." He suggested I be confirmed, and after that was over I was back in his office telling him, "It didn't take!" He said, "You're too serious. You need to sow your wild oats, and go out and enjoy life."

I thought, ‘Well, if that's what he feels I ought to do, I'd better get on with it.' I did that for the next 3 years. My own sister said that if I had not changed, I'd have been in the gutter within four years. Riches, wealth, and social position are empty prizes, and I wandered around without any meaning or purpose in life.

Just after my 15th birthday, I met a girl who was interested in Party life and Roller skating, the two activities that I was into, and we began going out together, but she kept telling me not to drink so much and to cut down on my smoking. One day I invited her out to a dance, and as it was a Thursday night I thought she would go. However she declined, saying that her grandmother was in town and she had to go to a meeting with her. Of course I wanted to know what it was all about, and she explained that her grandmother was attending a series of special meetings where an American evangelist, William Branham, was speaking and praying for people to be healed. She began to tell me that miracles were actually taking place.

I was extremely dubious about it and the next day she began to tell of people walking who had been lame and blind eyes being opened. I got so curious that I asked to go with them on Saturday afternoon. The meeting was held in a huge metal Airplane hanger at the airport in Cape Town with about 5,000 people present, but the acoustics were so bad I could not really understand what was being preached. However when they began to call the sick up for prayer, I noticed a man I knew, in a wheel chair, and I knew he was not going to walk, because he lived on the road I took every day to the railroad station, and I had seen him picked up from his wheel chair and carried into the house many times.

When William Branham spoke to him, he told him the power of God was on him and to get up and walk. He did! He began to run up and down the aisle, and I was stunned. Next day I asked the girlfriend if I could go to another of those meetings with them. She said the meetings were over, but F. F. Bosworth would be speaking Sunday night at a church not too far away. He preached a very simple salvation message. He invited any who wished to find Jesus as their Savior to raise their hand. I felt my nose begin to itch just then, but I sat on both my hands. I was not about to make a fool of myself. He closed the meeting, with a warning that if you did not yield to Christ, you could step out onto the street and never reach the other side, and where will you spend eternity?

I left as soon as the meeting closed. As I stepped into the road, I suddenly drew back in a hurry and looked both ways twice before risking a crossing. The rest of the week was torture; I was under conviction and knew I needed to give my heart to Jesus. The following Sunday evening I went on my own to church. The pastor preached a simple message on being born again, but I could not wait for him to finish. I stepped out into the aisle and walked to the front, and at the age of 15 I knelt with penitential tears at the front of that church and said, "Jesus, come into my heart and take the wreck of my young life and make it anew." And, oh, I thank God for that night, because when I got up from my knees I had the assurance of sins forgiven. I was shown the promise of God in the Bible, and oh, my heart was thrilled. For the first time I found a reason and a purpose for living.

I became very involved in sharing Jesus with everyone I could and joined in public street meetings, much to my father's embarrassment. That was a good training ground, and I did so for years. I have enjoyed 50 years of full time ministry in 14 countries, and never have I regretted that decision I made 57 years ago.

By Jim Cole-Rous
April 2008