Jim Bakker Net Worth: James Orsen Bakker, an American televangelist, admitted scammer was born on January 2, 1940. Between 1974 to 1987, Bakker cohosted The PTL Club with his then-wife Tammy Faye on the PTL Satellite Network, a cable television service. In Fort Mill, South Carolina, he also created Heritage USA, a Christian theme park that no longer operates.
Bakker left the PTL ministry in the late 1980s due to a cover-up involving hush money given to church secretary Jessica Hahn for alleged rape. Later, accounting fraud disclosures resulted in felony charges, conviction, incarceration, and divorce. Later, Bakker remarried and started doing televangelism again, starting Morningside Church in Blue Eye, Missouri, and restarting the PTL ministry.
He presently broadcasts The Jim Bakker Show, which highlights the Second Coming of Christ and the end times while highlighting emergency survival gear. Bakker is the author of numerous books, such as I Was Wrong and Time Has Come: How to Get Ready Now for Epic Events Ahead.
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Jim Bakker’s Net Worth
American televangelist, clergyman, and television celebrity Jim Bakker has a $500k net worth. The PTL Club, a Christian television program that Jim Bakker and his former wife Tammy Faye Bakker hosted, is well-known.
At the top of their game, Jim and Tammy Faye gave their ministry $1 million weekly in audience donations. The money would be used to further the goals of both the PTL and its theme park. Jim and Tammy Faye began leading an opulent lifestyle that included houses, expensive jewelry, vehicles, and private jets.
A later IRS report would reveal that Jim and Tammy’s personal use of ministry monies totaled $1.3 million between the years 1980 and 1983 alone. In today’s money, that amounts to about $4 million. Bakker stole further millions in the late 1980s to support his lavish lifestyle; it was later revealed.
He was later accused of using ministry funds to settle with Jessica Hahn, a woman he is said to have raped. Bakker was ultimately indicted on 15 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy when the PTL Club’s fundraising eventually raised suspicions. He was given a 45-year sentence in federal prison and a fine of $500k after being found guilty on all counts.
Jim Bakker Early Life and Career Beginnings
Raleigh and Furnia Bakker gave birth to Jim Bakker in Muskegon, Michigan, in 1940. He attended North Central University, a private Christian university associated with the Assemblies of God, in Minneapolis as a young adult. He met Tammy Faye LaValley, a fellow student, and eventual wife, there. They got married in 1961 and quit school to become itinerant evangelists.
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Bakker and his wife began employment in Portsmouth, Virginia, at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network in 1966. Together, they contributed considerably to the struggling network’s expansion by hosting the kids’ variety show “Come On Over.” Due to his success, Bakker was chosen to headline “The 700 Club,” a brand-new primetime talk show. Bakker and his wife joined with Paul & Jan Crouch to cofound California’s Trinity Broadcasting Network after quitting the network in 1972. The cooperation was, however, terminated after eight months due to a disagreement between Bakker and Crouch.
PTL Criminal Investigations and Charges
Bakker and PTL suffered a severe setback in 1979 when the FCC started looking into their use of money raised through radio advertising. It was discovered in 1982 that Bakker had gathered about $350,000 intended to support international missions but had been utilized to help his amusement park.
The FCC and later the IRS also discovered that the Bakkers’ expenses were paid with PTL monies. Bakker attempted to take advantage of the circumstance by claiming he was being unfairly persecuted and using the uproar to further his cause.
The revelation that Bakker and former “PTL Club” cohost John Wesley Fletcher had drugged and sexually assaulted church secretary Jessica Hahn and paid her approximately $300,000 in PTL monies as hush money in 1987 sparked an even bigger scandal. Bakker then decided to step down from his position as a minister and appointed Rev.
Jerry Falwell is his replacement. Bakker was charged with eight charges of mail fraud, one act of conspiracy, and fifteen counts of wire fraud following a 16-month federal grand jury investigation. He received a $500,000 fine in addition to a 45-year prison term.
Even though the Fourth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals ultimately affirmed the convictions, it threw out the 45-year sentence and fine and mandated a new hearing in 1991. Bakker’s sentence was consequently lowered to eight years. Though he was given parole in 1994 while still owing $6 million to the IRS, he only spent a little under five years.
How Was Jim Bakker Career as Author?
Bakker has written numerous novels. In 1976, “Move That Mountain,” his debut book was released. “Eight Keys to Success” followed this in 1980. Bakker wrote “I Was Wrong” and “Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse” after being released from prison. Later books include “Time Has Come: How to Prepare Now for Epic Events Ahead” and “The Refuge: The Joy of Christian Community in a Torn-Apart World.”
Jim Bakker’s Personal Life
Bakker had two kids with Tammy Faye: Tammy Sue and Jamie Charles. Following Bakker’s conviction, the pair were divorced in 1992. Bakker wed Lori Beth Graham, a former televangelist, 50 days after they first met in 1998. In 2002, they adopted five kids.