Jim Bakker Biography
Jim Bakker (James Orsen Bakker) is an American televangelist, convicted felon and former host of The PTL Club, an evangelical Christian television program born on 2nd January 1940 in Muskegon, Michigan. He is the founder of Morningside Church in Blue Eye, Missouri and the host of ‘ The Jim Bakker Show’ where he sells buckets of food to his audience in preparation for the end of days.
Jim Bakker Age
Jim was born on 2nd January 1940 in Muskegon, Michigan (84 years old as of 2023)
Jim Bakker Family
James was born to Raleigh Bakker and Furnia Lynette “Furn” Irwin.
Jim Bakker Tammy Faye
Jim married Tammy Faye on 1st April 1961. The two first met in 1960 at North Central University (a Bible college affiliated with the Assemblies of God in Minneapolis) where they were both students.
Jim worked at a restaurant in the Young-Quinlan department store in Minneapolis while Tammy worked at a boutique.
When they married they left college to become evangelists. They hosted ‘The PTL Club’ an evangelical Christian television program.
Jim Bakker Wife
Baker married Lori Beth Graham, a former televangelist on 4th September 1998, just fifty days after they met. They met while Lori had gone to speak and minister at the Los Angeles International Church.
According to her bio on ‘The Jim Bakker Show’ Lori was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. “A life of partying and drugs that had begun during her early teen years had culminated into five abortions by the age of 22.”
She writes that by the 1985 she had undergone a ten-year abusive marriage and at the age of the marriage she joined the Phoenix First Assembly of God.
Lori received her ministerial credentials in 1991. She volunteered with a number of community organizations like the inner-city bus ministry, nursing home ministry, youth ministry, prison ministry, and a ministry called Fashion Share during her time with Phoenix First Assembly.
Lori is also an author of “More Than I Could Ever Ask,” which follows her romance with Bakker. In October 2018 she debuted her show “Life with Lori” on the PTL Television Network.
Jim Bakker Children
Jim Baker has seven children. Two are from his first marriage to Tammy Fake: Tammy Sue “Sissy” Bakker Chapman (born March 2, 1970) and Jamie Charles “Jay” Bakker (born December 18, 1975).
In 2002 together with his second wife Lori Graham they adopted five children.
Jim Bakker Son
Jim has a son Jay Bakker from his first marriage to Tammy Faye. Moreover, he is an American pastor, author and speaker. Additionally, he is a co-founder of Revolution Church.
He preached at Revolution’s Atlanta location before pastoring the New York City branch of Revolution Church before relocating to Minneapolis in 2013 where he began pastoring another iteration of Revolution Church there.
Jim Bakker Net worth
Bakker has an estimated net worth of $500 thousand as of 2023
Jim Bakker Show
In January 2003 Jim befan broadcasting his show ‘The Jim Bakker Show’ at Studio City Café in Branson, Missouri with his second wife Lori. The show is carried on the Angel One, CTN, Daystar, GEB America, Impact Network, WGN, WHT, TCT Network, The Word Network, Hope TV (Canada) networks.
Most of the audience receives the program on DirecTV and Dish Network. On the program he sells buckets of freeze-dried food to his audience in preparation for the end of days.
Jim Bakker Food Buckets
On the ‘Jim Bakker Show’ the stage is often adorned with buckets of food – including “Tasty Pantry Deluxe Bucket” (with buttermilk pancakes, black bean burgers and much more) and “Fiesta Pail” (with 100 Mexican food favorites like refried beans and taco-flavored vegetarian meat substitute) which are produced by Augason Farms in Salt Lake City. During his segues from prophet to pitchman he often lifts one of the buckets on-air
The show doesn’t technically sell the food and most of its other merchandise as it is registered as a nonprofit but instead it agrees to send the products for specific donations.
Jim Bakker Food Bucket Song
Jim Bakker Ministries
In 1961 after Bakker married Tammy Faye they both left college to become evangelists. They began working at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network in 1966. They contributed to the network’s growth, and their success with a variety show format (including interviews and puppets). In 1966 he became the founder and host of ‘THE 700 Club’, the first Christian talk show.
Jim together with his family later joined Paul and Jan Crouch in California to pioneer a new television ministry. He was the first President and a founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network.
In 1974 he relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina where he established- The PTL Club, The Inspirational Network, and a state of a christian amusement park – Heritage USA. He resigned as President of PTL in 1987 after rap allegations.
In 1979 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began investigating Bakker and his PTL ministry for allegedly misusing funds raised on the air.
In 1982 the FCC report was finalized and found that Bakker had raised $350,000 that he told viewers would go towards funding overseas missions but were actually used to pay for part of Heritage USA. The report also found that Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker used PTL funds for personal expenses.
The FCC commissioners allowed Bakker to sell the only TV station that he owned to bypass any future FCC oversight.
They forwarded their report to the Justice Department who failed to press charges citing insufficient evidence. Bakker used the investigation to raise more funds from his audience, branding the investigation a “witch-hunt”, and asking viewers to “give the Devil a black eye.”
In 1985 a confidential Internal Revenue Service report found that $1.3 million in ministry funds were used for the Bakker’s personal benefit from 1980 to 1983. The report recommended that PTL be stripped of its tax-exempt status but no action was taken.
On 19th March 1987 it was disclosed that Bakker payed off $279,000 to Jessica Hahn for her silence after he allegedly drugged and raped her when she was the church secretary and was 21 years. Bakker resigned from PTL following the scandal.
The Charlotte Observer reported The PTL Club’s fundraising activities between 1984 and 1987 which eventually led to criminal charges against Bakker.
Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 “lifetime memberships”, entitling buyers to an annual three-night stay at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA, during that period.
In 1989 Bakker was tried in federal court on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. The prosecution said Bakker had diverted millions of dollars to pay for his and Tammy’s grandiose lifestyle.
The government also said that he had bilked nearly 160,000 PTL Lifetime Partners. Each of whom paid $1,000 for a free room in the 500-room Heritage Grand Hotel for three nights a year for life – a promise Bakker didn’t have enough rooms to keep.
He was convicted on all charges and was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison and imposed a $500,000 fine.
His conviction on the fraud and conspiracy charges were upheld by the United States Court of Appeals. Foe the Fourth Circuit but canceled the 45-year sentence and $500,000 fine. And ordered a new sentencing hearing in February 1991.
On 16th November 1992 a sentence-reduction hearing for Bakker was held and was reduced to eight years. In July 1994 he was paroled after serving almost five years of his sentence.
His son, Jay, spearheaded a letter-writing campaign to the parole board advocating leniency. Alan Dershowitz, celebrity lawyer, acted as his parole attorney. On 1st December 1994 Bakker was released from Federal Bureau of Prisons.
- 2014: Time Has Come: How to Prepare Now for Epic Events Ahead.
- 2000: The Refuge: The Joy of Christian Community in a Torn-Apart World
- 1998: Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse
- 1996: I Was Wrong
- 1980: Eight Keys to Success
Jim Bakker Amusement Park
In 1978 Bakker built an amusement park ‘Heritage USA’ in Fort Mill, South Carolina (south of Charlotte). They also built a satellite system to distribute their network 24 hours a day nationwide by the early 1980s. The park was the third-most-successful theme park in the U.S. at the time.
The viewers contribution were estimated to exceed $1 million a week, with proceeds to expand the theme park and The PTL Club’s mission. In September 1989 Hurricane Hugo caused severe damage to many of the buildings. The park was closed shortly after the storm.
Jim Bakker House
Jim sells cabins in Missouri’s Ozark mountains which he told his followers will be the “the safest place to live” when the Apocalypse hits.
During an episode on The Jim Bakker show he said: “Where are you going to go when the world’s on fire? Where are you going to go? This place is for God’s people. … We need some farmers to move here.” He also claimed that a government research, although he didn’t mention which, had found the place as the safest to live in troubled times.
Jim Bakker Water Bottle
Bakker sells 28 ounce “warfare” water bottles, which he says filter out contaminants. The buyers can buy a half-dozen for $150.
A documentary on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, hosts of the popular Charlotte-based religious talk show “PTL (Praise the Lord) Club” in the 1970s and ‘80s will air on Unfaithfully Yours.
The documentary re-examines what happened at their TV show and at their Christian theme park Heritage USA. It also examines people who knew them well and with the former assistant U.S. attorney who helped send Jim to prison.
Other people examined includes Grammy winner BeBe Winans, who talks about how he and his sister CeCe got their start on “PTL”; Broadway star Kristen Chenoweth, who is creating a musical based on Tammy Faye; and singer Pat Boone.