Jim Bakker, a well-known televangelist who will soon be the focus of the biographical drama film The Eyes of Tammy Faye, has caused a lot of trouble over the years. Jim Bakker is known for getting in trouble with the law a lot.
Between the PTL Club scandal and his recent run-in with the law over false information about the coronavirus, he has a lot of bad press. Is Jim still alive, though? Read on to find out what we now know about his life.
Is Jim Bakker and His Ex-Wife Tammy Faye Still Alive?
In 1960, Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye LaValley met at Minneapolis’s North Central University. They liked each other right away, and by April 1961, they were married. They left college to become itinerant evangelists and traveled across the country until they got to North Carolina. It was there that they started their famous late-night talk show, The PTL Club.
After the Heritage USA religious theme park failed and Jim was accused of sexual misconduct and other scandals, he was fired as a minister for good in 1987. But this didn’t stop the controversies surrounding Jim and his family. In 1985, the IRS found out in a secret report that from 1980 to 1983, the Bakkers used $1.3 million in ministry funds for “personal gain.”
The PTL Club and Jim were eventually charged with crimes because they sold “lifetime memberships” to people for $1,000 each, promising them a three-night stay every year at Heritage USA’s luxury hotel, which was never built.
In 1988, Jim was charged with eight counts of fraud by mail, fifteen counts of fraud by wire, and one count of conspiracy. The judge found him guilty on all 24 counts, and he was given an initial prison sentence of 45 years.
But in 1991, there was a new sentencing hearing, and Jim’s sentence was cut to eight years and he was released after five years. When he got out of prison in 1994, he owed the IRS $4 million. Jim and Tammy Faye also got a divorce in 1992, and when he went back to TV in 2003, he remarried a woman named Lori. Jim’s company, Morningside Church Productions Inc., has put on The Jim Bakker Show every day since 2003.
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Jim Bakker is still alive and well, but The Jim Bakker Show Instagram said he had a stroke in May 2020, right after his most recent scandal. Jim’s most recent case was about false information about how to treat the coronavirus.
Eric Schmitt, the Republican attorney general of Missouri, sued Jim Bakker in March 2020.
During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, worried people were looking for anything that could help treat the deadly symptoms of the virus, even if it wasn’t a treatment. Forbes says that in March 2020, Eric Schmitt, Missouri’s Attorney General, sued Jim Bakker and The Jim Bakker Show to stop him from selling “Silver Solution” as a cure for the virus.
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Jim and a guest named Sherrill Sellman, who Bakker called a “Naturopathic Doctor,” were named in the lawsuit because they said Silver Solution was a cure for the coronavirus when it wasn’t. Jim offered to give people his “solution” if they gave between $80 and $125 to the church. In a settlement filed on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, he will have to pay $156,000 to make up for what he did.