Jim Bakker is a TV evangelist who rose to fame in the mid-1970s to 1980s for co-hosting the TV Program ‘The Praise the Lord (PTL) Club’ alongside Tammy Bakker. The show saw massive growth in popularity and led to the pair starting their own satellite network. However, a sexual assault controversy and financial fraud conviction saw his quick downfall. Still, he did not forego his love for TV and, after his release from prison, has continued hosting an evangelical program. If you want to know how Jim Bakker earned his money and what his net worth is at present, we have you covered.
How Did Jim Bakker Earn His Money?
Jim Bakker became a household name in Christian television when he started co-hosting ‘The PTL Club’ along with his then-wife Tammy Bakker. Although the show was initially televised only in North Carolina, the pair soon expanded by purchasing airtime throughout the US. Over time, the show gained a significant following, and the couple turned it into a full-time satellite network. Being a religious show, people following it donated generously, and soon the Bakkers were able to afford a life of luxury and abundance. Reports claim that the Bakker empire was worth up to several million dollars during the height of their success.
Surprisingly, in 1987, a report by a local newspaper brought to light an alleged sexual assault claim against Jim Bakker. The claim further led to the whole PTL organization being scrutinized, and there were investigations into possible financial fraud. Ultimately, the Bakker empire crashed as Jim was arrested and convicted of conspiracy and multiple wire and mail fraud counts. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison in 1989 (later reduced to eight years). While still in prison, Tammy decided to divorce her then-husband and officially left Jim in 1992.
Once granted parole and released from prison in 1994, Jim Bakker married for a second time and decided to return to his TV career. He and his second wife, Lori, started ‘The Jim Bakker Show’ in 2003 and have since gained quite a bit of popularity. Through the show, he also advertises and sells numerous products, including freeze-dried food. Additionally, Jim spreads his belief about an oncoming rapture hoping to presumably increase demand for his freeze-dried products. Further, based on his rapture theory, Jim also tries to sell “apocalypse-friendly” cabins and water bottles which cost up to $150 each. Additionally, he even runs his own ministry, Morningside.
In 2020, Jim found himself embroiled in another controversy when his ministry was accused of selling fake Covid cures. Reports stated that Jim was selling a concoction called Silver Solution, which had no added health benefits. Thus, he was promptly served with a lawsuit, and his ministry had to refund every buyer. The ministry had to pay a total of $156,000 to settle the lawsuit. Following the controversy, Jim mentioned that he was blocked by credit card companies and appealed to viewers to send in their contributions through cash or check.
Jim Bakker’s Net Worth
Taking into account all of Jim’s avenues for earning money, the recent controversy as well as the lawsuit, Jim Bakker has an approximate net worth of around $500,000.