BOB GRAY & ESTUS PIRKLE

n the 1970s, Baptist Fundamentalist brainwashing came in many forms, including the movies of Pastor Estus Pirkle of Mississippi. Pirkle wrote, starred in, and produced movies like The Burning Hell and If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?

Pirkle’s movies prepared the Lord’s foot-soldiers for all the persecution the world could offer. His friend Bob Gray, longtime pastor of Jacksonville’s Trinity Baptist Church, which covered for Gray’s sexual abuse of children for half a century, appears in many of Pirkle’s films.

Tim Gilmore’s presentation “Bob Gray, Estus Pirkle and Ron Ormond: The Fundamentalist Christploitation Films of the 1970s” will explore the strange and surprising connections between the aims and methods of Southern fundamentalism and grindhouse cinema. Gilmore’s recent book Devil in the Baptist Church: Bob Gray’s Unholy Trinity also addresses the connections between Gray, Pirkle, and Ormond.