James Orsen Bakker, popularly known as Jim Bakker is an American televangelist and entrepreneur. He is also a convicted fraudster. He hosted evangelical television programs, The PTL Club between 1974 and 1987d. He was then convicted and imprisoned for accounting fraud felony charges. He later returned to televangelism with the show, The Jim Bakker Show. As an author, he has written several books.
The state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker in 2020 for selling fake coronavirus cures.
What is Jim Bakker Famous For?
- Popular televangelist from The Jim Bakker Show.
Where was Jim Bakker Born?
Jim Bakker was born on 2 January 1940. His birth name is James Orsen Bakker. His birth place is in Muskegon, Michigan in the United States. He holds an American nationality. He was born to a father, Raleigh Bakker, and a mother, Furnia Lynette “Furn” Irwin.
He attended North Central University. He worked in the Young-Quinlan department store in Minneapolis. He had married fellow student, Tammy Faye LaValley in April 1961. He along with his wife left college to become evangelists.
Jim Bakker Career Timeline
- The Bakkers started working at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network in 1966.
- The Bakkers contributed to the network’s growth.
- The children show The Jim and Tammy Show was broadcasted for several years from their Portsmouth, Virginia studio.
- The Bakkers hosted the first version of The 700 Club.
- The Bakkers left Robertson’s ministry in 1972.
- The Bakkers joined Paul and Jan Crouch to help co-found the Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1073.
- The Bakkers moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
- The Bakkers first put The PTL Club on the air in 1976.
- Bakker founded the PTL Satellite Network in 1974. The PTL Club aired on their network.
- The Bakkers hosted The PTL Club from 1974 to 1987.
- Bakker built a headquarters for their ministry in the Carolinas. It was named Heritage Village.
- The Bakkers expanded the ministry and founded a theme park in Fort Mill, South Carolina. It was named Heritage USA.
- The Bakker achieved success with the Heritage USA as well as The PTL Club.
- Bakker’s successful life was vandalized by two incidents. The church secretary Jessica Hahn accused Bakker of sexual misconduct.
- Hahn accused Bakker and former PTL Club co-host John Wesley Fletcher had drugged and raped her. The Bakker had paid $279,000 to silence the issue.
- Bakker’s payoff to Hahn was disclosed in March 1987. Bakker resigned from PTL. He admitted having a sexual encounter with Hahn but denied raping her.
- Following the scandal, the TV program, The PTL Club ended.
- Investigation about the rape allegations led to the investigation of illegal misuse of ministry funds by Bakker. A confidential 1985 Internal Revenue Service report found that $1.3 million in ministry funds were used for Bakkers’ personal benefit from 1980 to 1983. Bakker and his PTL ministry had already come under investigation by the FCC in 1979.
- He was dismissed as an Assemblies of God minister on 6 May 1987.
- He was ultimately convicted of accounting fraud in 1989. He was found guilty of 8 counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison and was imposed a $500,000 fine.
- He was held at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
- The United States Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit upheld Bakker’s conviction on the fraud and conspiracy charges. A new sentencing hearing date was scheduled for February 1991.
- His sentence was reduced to eight years in November 1992.
- He was transferred to a minimum-security federal prison in Jesup, Georgia in August 1993.
- Bakker was released on parole in December 1994. He had served almost 5 years of his sentence. He owed $6 million to the Internal Revenue Service.
- He had already divorced his first wife, Tammy in 1992.
- He then started a new tv show, The Jim Bakker Show with his second wife, Lori (married in 1998) in 2003.
- The show promotes emergency survival products.
- His show is carried on CTN, Daystar, Folk TV, Grace Network (Canada), GEB America, Hope TV (Canada), Impact Network, WGN, WHT, TCT Network, The World Network, UpliftTV, and ZLiving networks.
- Jerry Crawford invested $25 million in a new ministry, named Morningside, for Bakker in Blue Eye, Missouri.
- The Jim Bakker Show moved to Morningside in 2008.
- He has authored several books. He released I Was Wrong in 1996.
- He released Time Has Come: How to Prepare Now for Epic Events Ahead in 2013.
- In March 2020, the state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Bakker and Morningside Church Productions for selling fake coronavirus cures.
Who is Jim Bakker Married to?
Jim Bakker is a married man. He is married to former televangelist Lori Beth Graham. The couple got married on 4 September 1998. They had met only 50 days prior. The couple adopted 5 children.
Bakker was previously married to Tamara “Tammy” Faye LaValley. They first met in 1960 while attending North Central University. They got married on 1 April 1961. The couple shares 2 children together, Tammy Sue “Sissy” Bakker Chapman, and Jamie Charles “Jay” Bakker. The couple divorced in March 1992.
How tall is Jim Bakker?
Jim Bakke stands at a height of 1.7 m tall. He has a body weight of 68 kg. He has an average body build.
What is Jim Bakker Net Worth?
Jim Bakker earns from his televangelism career. He promotes and sells emergency survival supplies. He served prison for accounting fraud charges. His net worth is estimated below $1 million.