Jim Bakker, an American televangelist formerly hosted The PTL Club (1974- 1989) along with his former wife (late) Tammy Faye, until scandals of funds misuse and rape allegation brought his TV program down & led him to prison.
Having formerly served as Assemblies of God minister, Bakker has been in numerous controversies, be it fraud claims or product promotions in the name of second coming or remarks on Obama and Trump. After his release from prison, the Muskegon, Michigan- born evangelist returned to televangelism and currently hosts The Jim Bakker Show & has an association with Charismatic Christian Center (2003- Present).
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Jim Bakker has a net worth of $500000 thousand as of December 2022. The main source of his Bakker's income is an evangelism career; he worked formerly as a host for The PTL Club (also known as The Jim and Tammy Show) and is now hosting The Jim Bakker Show at Studio City Café in Branson, Missouri, since 2003.
As reported, the 78-year-old evangelist, while working for The PTL Club, earned a salary of $265,000 along with bonuses of $810,000 in 1986, while his then-wife Tammy got hands in $90,000 in salary and $270,000 in bonuses.
Even though Bakker's current earning detail is yet to be out, he surely makes hundreds of thousand dollars. On average, an evangelist in the United States earns $86,647 per year.
During his career peak at The PTL Club, Jim along with his ex-wife Tammy Faye made $1 million a week through viewers' contributions, for Heritage USA theme park expansion and The PTL Club's mission. They collected the funds of $120 million annually in the 1970s through the ministry.
At the moment, the American evangelist's The Jim Bakker Show features the Second Coming of Christ along with a promotion of emergency survival products.
Moreover, he is the author of many books including the famous ones: I Was Wrong (1996) and Time Has Come (2014).
Here is the list of his books:
In 1979, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alleged Jim for the misuse of the PTL ministry funds. As per the report in 1982, he used $350,000 to pay for the expansion of Heritage USA, a $12 million Christian theme park in Fort Mill, South Carolina; but, the funds were actually raised for overseas funding in charities.
Moreover, in 1985, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) reported that Jim Bakker used $1.3 million of the PTL ministry for his personal use and lavish expenses. Between 1983 to fall 1986, Bakker had ownership of $900,000 worth car collections including Rolls-Royces and Mercedeses.
Jim Bakker, on March 19, 1987, resigned from the PTL Ministry leading the downfall of the PTL Club TV program, after sexual misconduct claims on the American evangelist added fuel in his controversial topics.
As per claims by Jessica Hahn, a former PTL Church secretary, Bakker along with his PTL Club co-host John Wesley Fletcher intoxicated her and raped her, and even more, paid $279,000 to cover-up the issue.
In 2011, reports revealed that he owed $6 million to IRS.
Did you know? After Jim resigned, Southern Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell headed the PTL organization, he barred Bakker to return to PTL and even more, raised $20 million to keep PTL solvent and to expand Waterslide in USA Heritage. However, Falwell along with other PTL board resigned in October 1987, stating a leading bankruptcy of the organization.
In 1988, Jim Bakker was convicted on 24 counts, including 8 counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and 1 count of conspiracy and was found guilty in all counts in 1989.
According to the prosecution at Bakker's fraud trial, Bakker took $1,000 from each of 160,000 PTL Lifetime Partners, whom he promised a free room for a lifetime- for 3 nights annually, in the 500-room Heritage Grand Hotel, defrauding $158 million. Moreover, he raised twice the money needed for the hotel's construction and operating expenses and pocketed a chunk of $3.4 million for self.
The American evangelist was sentenced to 45 years in prison and imposed in a fine of $500,000. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld his conviction and set a new hearing in February 1991, that void 45-year sentence and $500,000 fine.
On November 16, 1992, a new-hearing reduced his serving years to 8 years and was paroled in July 1994, after 5 years in prison.
After his release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Jim Bakker again continued his evangelism career and began hosting The Jim Bakker Show at Studio City Café, a restaurant-turned-TV studio in Branson, Missouri in 2003.
Since 2008, the TV ministry moved to Blue Eye, where Jim and his second wife Lori Beth Graham runs the televangelism program along with the production support of Rick Joyner, the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries.
As reported, MorningStar bought the 52 acres of the old PTL property in 2004 for $1.6 million.
According to their show's website jimbakkershow.com, Jerry Crawford, a developer and lawyer gave further assistance for the establishment of the firm, as he invested $25 million for the TV ministry. He reportedly paid $17 million to buy the 800-acre property and construct Morningside’s main building.
Along with a focus on the end time and the Second Coming of Christ, Jim Bakker's show The Jim Bakker Show also promotes the sales of the bucket of freeze-dried food including $175 Pantry bucket, for the preparation for the end of days.
Moreover, the show also sells books, water bottles, apparel and jewelry, ranging from $5- $200.
Back in 2007, Jim Bakker made remarks on then-President Barack Obama stating the Hurricane Matthew as the punishment to Obama’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and told Hurricane Harvey as the judgment of God.
Moreover, Jim stated that he already dreamed of the September 11 attacks and Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (on February 14, 2018); he even supported Trump's plan to arm teachers.
Regarding Donald Trump's impeachment, the American evangelist predicted that it would be the beginning of the Second American Civil War.
Jim Bakker was born James Orsen Bakker on January 2, 1940, in Muskegon, Michigan, the USA, to Raleigh Bakker and Furnia Lynette "Furn" Irwin.
While attending North Central University, Bakker met his first-future wife Tammy Faye LaValley in 1960. Later, he and Tammy left college to become evangelists and later married on April 1, 1961.
The duo later began to work at Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1973, alongside Crouch couple: Paul and Jan.
Together, they welcomed 2 children: Tammy Sue "Sissy" Bakker Chapman (born on March 2, 1970) and Jamie Charles "Jay" Bakker (December 18, 1975).
After 31 years of marriage, Jim and Tammy divorced on March 13, 1992.
Following his divorce, Bakker again married on September 4, 1998, and currently lives with his second wife Lori Beth Graham, a former televangelist. The duo adopted 5 children in 2002.