With Believer’s Heaven, byNWR completes the trilogy of religious pictures made by preacher Estus Pirkle and filmmaker Ron Ormond (The Burning Hell and If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? can be found elsewhere on the site).

Estus was an avid photographer, and he documented both his productions and his trips to the Holy Land in countless slides. Here are a smattering of those images, picked by Pirkle expert and documentarian Brian Rosenquist.

–Jimmy McDonough

The Pictures

Estus Pirkle, wife Ann, and their children Dianne And Greg, on the steps of the Ziggurat of Ur, in Dhi Qar Province, Iraq. 1976
Estus and Ann on the road to Jerusalem. 1971.
Estus atop a camel in Jerusalem. 1971.
Ann and Greg Pirkle at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. 1973
Pastor Jimmy Robbins, in costume as the Rich Man, prepares to shoot a scene for the film The Burning Hell in Petra, Jordan. 1974
Estus examines costumes before shooting a scene for The Burning Hell in Petra, Jordan. 1974
Sandy Green, wife of Pastor Tim Green, and several other women in costume, prepare to shoot a scene for The Burning Hell in Petra, Jordan. 1974
Estus looks on as Ron Ormond directs his son, Greg Pirkle, and Pastor Jimmy Robbins, on location in Megiddo, Israel, for a scene in the film The Burning Hell. Estus told the group that the Jezreel Valley below them is the location where Armageddon will someday be fought. 1974
Estus standing above the entrance to the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany, (now Al-Eizariya) in Palestine. 1974
Estus greets a local in Basrah, Iraq. 1976
Estus and Greg Pirkle at the Great Mosque of Samarra, in Iraq. 1976
Estus points out the ruins of ancient Nimrud to Ann and Dianne. 1976
Estus above the ancient Assyrian city Nimrud in Northern Iraq. 1976. (In 2015, ISIL bulldozed and destroyed some of this site.)
Estus’ Holy Land tour group, having just returned to Israel from Iraq, stops to take a photo. Pastor Carl Lackey stands in the foreground, with Evangelist Bobby Brindle (“The Dwarf Evangelist,” “World’s Smallest Preacher”) next to him. On the right, Dianne and Ann Pirkle stand next to Mary Lynn Crider. Estus stands in the background with his bible open. 1976
Tim Ormond enjoying the view from the ruins of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. 1976
Actors, including Pastor F.E. Moffitt, prepare to shoot a scene for The Believer’s Heaven in Patmos, Greece. Mary Lynn Crider does some last-minute hair styling on one of them. 1976
Estus with Pastor Don Green, father of Pastor Tim Green, outside the Pool of Siloam, in the ancient City of David, in Jerusalem, Israel. 1976
En route to Haifa, Israel, from Hebron, Palestine, Estus has time to smell the flowers. 1976
Becky and Jimmy Luther, with an unidentified accompanist, singing a hymn at the Port of Haifa, in Israel. 1976
Estus’ Holy Land tour group on Mt. Carmel, overlooking Haifa, Israel. Evangelist Bobby Brindle stands in the foreground. Greg Pirkle stands next to Tommy Crider in the background. 1976
Tim Ormond preparing to shoot a scene for The Believer’s Heaven, atop Mt. Sinai. Pastor Don Green plays Enoch. 1976
Estus atop the ruins of a Roman aqueduct in Caesarea, Israel. 1976

Special thanks to Dianne Gilham.

Brian Rosenquist is a filmmaker, animator, stereoscopic 3D photographer, writer, and special FX artist. He is currently working on the definitive documentary feature on the films of Ron Ormond and Estus Pirkle. Brian is also the Director of Photography/Editor on 2D/3D performance footage shot exclusively for He has somehow managed to juggle all of this while also holding down a day job with Color By Deluxe for more than eleven years. Brian loves Godzilla, Little Richard, and Elvira equally.