This is one of the biggest multi-millionaire pastor scandals that has ever rocked Christianity. Many young adults don’t know who he is and that is because he was incarcerated almost 3 decades before most young adults were born. Let’s go back into history and discuss why Jim Bakker was indicted in 1988 of 24 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy; and sentenced to 45 years in prison for which he only served 5.
1. He siphoned money from about 160,000 followers of his ministry, Praise The Lord(PTL) raking in over $150 million from selling “lifetime Partnerships.” Each buyer paid $1,000 for a free room in 500-room Heritage Grand Hotel for three nights a year for life – Jim was unable to fulfill this as there were not enough rooms to accommodate the over 66,000 lifetime partnerships he sold. Heritage Grand Hotel was closed down in 1989 after he was jailed. He also sold about 74,000 partnerships in a a future hotel, “Towers Hotel”, that was never completed and never launched. All this while, enjoying tax-exempt benefits of a religion-based business.
2. His former church secretary, Jessica Hahn, reported that in December of 1980, when she was only 21 years old, Jim Bakker raped her, taking her virginity at a hotel room in Florida. She added that he also paid her a whooping sum of $265,000 cash to reward and silence her. Years later, Jessica says “I used to listen to him all the time. Way, way long ago. And it was some of the best preaching I’ve ever heard… But now … it’s all sell, sell, sell.”
3. According to public records, Jim Bakker still owes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over $6 million as of January 2018 such massive debt while spending lavishly on vacations, mansions, luxury cars and lavish clothing.
Today, Jim is a free man, re-married to Lori Bakker. He has successfully rebuilt his TV Show at a new religious resort now called Morningside in Branson, Missouri. According to his website, Jim Bakker pioneered Christian TV. “In 2016, the man who walked with Presidents was restored with a phone call from President Donald Trump to thank him for his hard work during the campaign. Jim and Lori Bakker were also welcomed by diplomats, members of Congress, prophets, government leaders and the amazing workers of Washington DC for the 2017 Inauguration where they joined hundreds of Christian leaders in prayer for our President and country. “