By 1986, PTL employed 2,500 people worldwide and earned $ 129 million in annual revenue, according to John Wieger‘s The Rise and Fall of the Evangelical Empire of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. Their Christian-themed Heritage USA resort was the third most visited attraction in the U.S. that year, after only Disneyland and Disney World, and the PTL network reached 14 million homes. The Bakers reportedly owned several residences, two Rolls-Royces, a 55-foot floating house and a private jet.
On March 19, 1987, Jim left the PTL after being church secretary Jessica Hahn claimed that the pastor had committed sexual assault in December 1980. Jim insisted the meeting was by mutual consent and he was never charged with a crime, but he admitted to paying Khan $ 265,000 from church funds to remain silent. An investigation by the finance ministry found that Jim also sold a so-called “lifetime membership” to their Heritage Grand Hotel – more people than there were rooms – for $ 1,000 per person. Moreover, PTL could not take into account $ 92 million in revenue.
Already while working on the creation of a new television ministry in Orlando, Florida, Tammy Faye told reporters before Jim’s trial on fraud charges: “If our case is considered in truth, we will win. I ask God to tell everyone the truth … I pray for all people who lie. ”
“Not only is Jim being judged, people,” she said on her show, “but the church we know is being judged. Everything related to Christian television is being judged when Jim enters this courtroom.”
In 1989, Jim, who pleaded not guilty, was convicted of 24 counts of fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud and sentenced to 45 years in prison. He served five years, his sentence was reduced on appeal, and after his release he wrote an autobiography. I was Wrongin which he revealed that when he was 11 years old, he was subjected to adaptation by a male member of his family’s church, leaving him very embarrassed by his sexuality. In 1998 he married Lori Beth Grahamthey have five children together and he heads the Morningside ministry in Blue Ike, Missouri.
Eyes of Theme Faye Actors vs. Real Characters
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