In the 1970s and 1980s, perhaps no one was more popular on Christian television than Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.
Founders of the PTL club, and later the Heritage USA Christian theme park, the Bakkers also espoused a Theology of prosperity. God wanted you to do well financially, they told us.
But in the 1980s it came out that the Bakers were prospering a little bit too much off of the donations their viewers had set in. And after Jim Bakker was accused of sexually assaulting Church secretary Jessica Hahn, prosecutors moved to charge him with fraud.
Bakker was convicted, and in 1989 was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
But powerful allies, including famed defense attorney Alan dershowitz, came to Bakker’s Aid, and he was eventually paroled in 1994.
But not before Tammy Faye divorced him.
2 years after his release from prison, Bakker wrote a book based on things he says he learned about the Bible while in prison. The book was called I was wrong.
So here now, from 1996, my conversation with the Reverend Jim Bakker:
Jim Bakker is 81 now. He is still seen by millions on TV on The Jim Bakker Show with second wife Lori Bakker. Tammy Faye also remarried — she died in 2007 at age 65.