Jim Bakker

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James Orsen "Jim" Bakker (born January 2, 1940, pronounced "Baker") is an American televangelist, a former Assemblies of God minister, and a former host (with his then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker) of The PTL Club, a popular evangelical Christian television program.

A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce and effectively ended his time in the larger public eye.


Early life

Bakker was born in Muskegon, Michigan, the son of Raleigh Bakker and Furnia Lynette "Furn" Irwin.[1][2] Bakker attended North Central University, a Bible college affiliated with the Assemblies of God, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where in 1960 he met fellow student Tammy Faye LaValley.[3] He worked in a restaurant inside a department store in Minneapolis, and she had a job in a boutique for a time.

On April 1, 1961, Bakker and Tammy Faye were married. They left the Bible college to become evangelists. They had two children, Tammy Sue "Sissy" Bakker Chapman (born March 2, 1970) and Jamie Charles "Jay" Bakker (born December 18, 1975).


In 1966, the Bakkers began working at Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, which at the time barely reached an audience of thousands. The Bakkers greatly contributed to the growth of the network, and their success with a variety show format (including interviews and puppets) helped make The 700 Club one of the longest-running and most successful televangelism programs.[4]:6 The "Jim and Tammy Show" was broadcast for a few years from their Portsmouth, Virginia, studio. It was aimed at young children, whom they entertained with such films as "Davey and Goliath", a claymation Bible-story series. The Bakkers then left for California in the early 1970s.

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