On the night of January 24, 1950, one of the most perplexing photographs of all time was taken in the Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas. As William Branham, an influential Bible minister credited with founding the Latter Rain Movement within American Pentecostal churches, stood at the podium, a halo of fire appeared above his head.
This picture was the only one that turned out on the entire film taken by two Douglas Studios photographers, James Ayers and Ted Kipperman. Ayers took the photo to Rev. Branham, who said that he was not greatly surprised. He testified that just before the picture was taken he heard the Pillar of Fire descend into the building with a sound of rushing wind. (Throughout his life, Branham insisted that his evangelistic healing ministry was the result of his conversations with angels; he once said a cluster of seven angels met him on Sunset Mountain in Arizona to commission the opening of the Seals, which he believed was in fulfilment of a vision he had told his church several months earlier.) His believers said this pillar of fire had been with Brother Branham since the time of his birth. During his ministry it was photographed several times.
George J. Lacy, Investigator of Questioned Documents, and often hired by the FBI in that capacity, subjected the negative to every scientific test available. At a news conference, he stated, “To my knowledge, this is the first time in all the world’s history that a supernatural being has been photographed and scientifically vindicated.” Mr. Lacy added, “Rev. Branham, you will die like all other mortals, but as long as there is a Christian civilization, your picture will live on.” The original of this photograph is kept in the archives of the Religious Department of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
See another photo of Pillar of Fire here.