The Fall of Jim Bakker

Published: 1987
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart says that fellow evangelist Jim Bakker must repent for his adulterous affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn during a news conference at the Sports Arena 3/27/1987. He also said that he was not angry with Bakker for claiming he tried to take over Bakker's PTL ministry.

Ken Herrera: In 1987, one television evangelist claimed that God was going to take him off of the Earth, while another evangelist was taken off of the air …

Dennis Daly: "They called it the PTL Club, and for millions, especially the elderly *11:37 and Chadians, it was a kind of club -- something they could share in and invest in -- and the reason they gave their money and their time was that they trusted Jim Bakker and his longsuffering wife, Tammy.

"But the contributions started drying up in 1987, and the blind faith dwindled as word of sexual forays and fiscal improprieties by the Reverend Mr. Bakker surfaced. With PTL headed for bankruptcy, Jim and Tammy gave the direction of their beleaguered ministry to one of the best-known fundamentalist churchman in the nation, the Reverend Jerry Falwell …

"Falwell spoke frankly of Bakker’s straying from the straight-and-narrow. He said they lacked repentance, and he pulled the plug …

Reverend Jerry Falwell: "'From this point, no further remuneration, salaries, bonuses, would be paid.'"

Dennis Daly: "The charges of misconduct against Jim Bakker began to mount. Another nationally known evangelist, the Reverend John Ankerberg, went on TV with charges of same-sex relations and wife-swapping … "

Reverend John Ankerberg: "'And many of the rumors that I just believed were rumors before, I know believe are true because of the testimony that’s been given to me.'"

Dennis Daly: "Tammy remained tearful and blamed the media for her and her husband’s problems … "

Tammy Faye: "'The media is sick and needs help badly.'"

Dennis Daly: "But the patient on the critical list may be televangelism in general … "

Unknown Speaker: "'The overall media ministry of Christ in America has not been as open and as accountable as we should be. We're getting our hands smacked now, and we deserve it.'"

Dennis Daly: "But the PTL ministry continued to be ailing. Only Oral Roberts got better … "


Reverend Oral Roberts: "'I'm grateful that I'm alive.'"


Unknown Speaker: "'You're alive, hallelujah!'"

Dennis Daly: "I'm Dennis Daly."