James Matthew Branum was born on June 5, 1976 in Chickasha, Oklahoma to James R. and Martha L. McCullough (Branum). He is the oldest of 6: John L. Branum, Daniel M. Branum, David I. Branum, Ben I. Branum and LIVINGCHILD.
As a kid, James went by his middle name “Matthew,” since his father and grandfather (both living at the time shared the same first name).
Matthew’ first home was Anadarko where his father was working as city manager, and his mom was completing her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education at USAO in Chickasha.
Around age 2, the family moved to Yukon where his dad worked as city manager and his mom raised him (and her second child, John born in 1979) and also worked part-time doing clothing alterations for the Clothes Horse store at Crossroads Mall and baking pies for a local restaurant in Yukon.
(TELL STORY OF FBI and MAFIA DAYS HERE)
(TELL STORY OF SPEECH ISSUES, PRE-SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN)
The family moved again, this to Newcastle, a growing suburb on the southwest side of Oklahoma City. Compared to their previous home in Yukon, Matthew remembers feeling awed by the size of the more than one acre lot, covered with beautiful blackjack oaks (as well as a few others— a few Post Oaks and an Osage Orange tree), but the adjustment in schools was harder, as he switched kindergarten’s 3/4 of the way through the school year.
About a year after moving, the third Branum boy came into the world, Daniel Mark Branum, born in 1983.
TELL MORE ABOUT GRADE SCHOOL AND HIGH YEARS
TELL ABOUT CHURCH AND RELIGION
As Matthew entered into young adulthood, he started going back James more and more, but family and friends from the old days still call him Matthew to this day.
He moved to Weatherford, Oklahoma (living at 216 N. Parker Hall) to attended SWOSU. He started off as a music education major (with a focus on trumpet) and played in the SWOSU marching, jazz and symphonic bands during his freshman years, but over time his interests broadened and his majors (from Music education to Social Science education and then to Political science ) also changed. He was very active with the student newspaper (serving as both a section editor and an editorial columnist) and with the College Republicans (serving as chapter President and state Secretary).
TELL ABOUT RELIGIOUS CHANGES DURING THIS TIME AND PREACHING EXPERIENCES
In 1997, James had religious awakening which caused him to rethink his life priorities, so he made the decision to move to Austin, Texas to attend the Institute for Christian Studies (today known as Austin Graduate School of Theology).
TELL MORE ABOUT AUSTIN HERE
He graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Bible with a Christian Ministry emphasis in 2000.(2)
SUMMER OF 2001
FALL OF 2001 – San Marcos, pedicab, working for newspaper, moving back to Oklahoma
From 2002-2005, James completed his Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law.(2)
TELL ABOUT EARLY DAYS AS AN ATTORNEY AND ACTIVIST
TELL ABOUT RECONNECTING WITH BECKY
TELL ABOUT 2012-2016
In May 2016, James completed his Certificate in Theological Studies from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.(3)
- 1. Marriage license #ML-2011-5433 from Oklahoma County, Oklahoma showing license issued on December 23 and married performed on December 31, 2011,with recording on county rolls on January 6, 2012, online at: http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=oklahoma&number=ML-2011-5433&cmid=2815010
- 2. Curriculum Vitae of James M. Branum, cir. 2014, http://www.jmbranum.com/cv/cv.pdf
- 3.AMBS Window, Summer 2016 online at https://issuu.com/ambsreport/docs/ambswindow-summer2016-web