Fallen PTL pastor Jim Bakker is back after a sex and financial scandal 30 years ago. Here’s his new message
Televangelist Jim Bakker suggests that if you want to survive the end of days, the best thing you could do is buy one of his cabins in Missouri's Ozark Mountains. And while you're at it, be sure to pick up six 28-ounce "Extreme Survival Warfare" water bottles for $150.
Bakker, 78, made comments promoting his Morningside church community alongside his co-host and wife, Lori, on an episode of "The Jim Bakker Show," which aired Tuesday. The show is filmed there, near Branson.
Bakker was known for hosting the evangelical Christian TV program "The PTL Club" in the '70s and '80s — up until 1987, when his empire came crashing down amid a sex scandal and charges of fraud.
Jessica Hahn told The Charlotte Observer last December that Bakker had manipulated her into having sex in a hotel room in 1980, back when she was a church secretary. At the time, Bakker was married to Tammy Faye.
He was convicted in 1989 on 24 counts of wire and mail fraud and conspiracy, and served five years in federal prison. Tammy Faye filed for divorce while he was in prison.
She died in 2007 and was buried in Kansas.
"Where are you going to go when the world's on fire? Where are you going to go? This place is for God's people. ... We need some farmers to move here," Bakker said on Tuesday's show.
The screen cuts to images of the pastor's end-of-the-world cabin homes in Blue Eye, Missouri.
Later in the show, Bakker says the Ozarks is "the safest place to live" versus living in large cities elsewhere in the country, like Chicago and New York, The Christian Post reported.
"Do you know the people from the government, from NASA, the research from so many of them, they have said in their research that the safest place to live in troubled times is right here. That's why God brought us here," Bakker said.
The Friendly Atheist blog says it's unclear what specific research Bakker is citing.
"Bakker is just trying to sell property using the same fictional scare tactics he uses to sell buckets of disgusting glop," the blogger, Hemant Mehta, wrote Thursday.
Right Wing Watch also pointed to Bakker's comments this week, adding that Bakker "bizarrely" brags about the appeal of living near Branson in preparation for End Times while at the same time complimenting the city's "number-one Christian theater," Sight & Sound Theatres.
Along with advertising the cabins and survival equipment, The Christian Post reported, Bakker's Morningside community has also been making plans to add an amphitheater and a chapel.
The full episode from Tuesday is available to view on the show's website.