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September 21, 2021

Tammy Faye & Jim Bakker's Life Traumatized Their Kids - inside Tough Relationship & Scandals

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Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner had a good run as televangelists before their great empire crumbled in 1987. Continue reading to find out more about the former couple and their epic fall from greatness.

Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner will remain one of the most famous televangelists in America. While they were married, the former couple gave holy teachings about Christianity, but their extravagant lifestyle appeared to be the polar opposite of their own teachings.

Sadly, their huge empire came crashing down after they were involved in a sex and financial scandal, which eventually left the public in shock and landed Jim in prison. Take a look into the lives of Tammy and Jim and the circumstances surrounding their great fall.

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THEIR EARLY LIFE/ RELATIONSHIP 

Tammy Sr. was born in 1942 in International Falls, Minnesota, to her Pentecostal preacher parents. On the other hand, Jim was born in 1940 and grew up in Muskegon, Michigan as a dreamer and self-described visionary.

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The pair encountered each other for the first time in 1960 while studying at the North Central Bible College in Minneapolis. They began a platonic relationship which eventually sprung into something deeper.

Jim invited Tammy Sr. to attend church with him on their first date, and after the event was over, the former professed his love for the latter. Jim revealed to Tammy Sr. that he had loved her from the very first day he saw her.

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Afterward, what began as a mere date night transitioned into an engagement night, as Jim popped the big question. Shortly after the engagement, the duo tied the knot, and a year later, they dropped out of Bible school to pursue their unified goal of starting a ministry. 

THEIR EMPIRE/ NETWORK 

Jim and Tammy Sr. began their journey from there, imparting lives and winning souls. While the latter sang and played the accordion during ministrations, Jim preached the word of God, and together, they covered huge crowds, ministering in various locations across the country. 

The former couple continued ministering, and in one of their teachings, they held a puppet show ministry for children. In 1965, the show ministry was broadcast on Pat Robinson's Christian Broadcasting Network and officially became a television show.

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Next, Jim and Tammy Sr. pressed harder, and in 1974, the former founded a network known as the Praise The Lord satellite network. Two years later, the satellite network also gave birth to the PTL (Praise The Lord) club.

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The program hosted renowned ministers, gospel recording artists, and the likes of Eldridge Cleaver and Ronald Reagan. The program aired for ten years before it was finally brought to a halt.

INSIDE JIM AND TAMMY SR'S PARENTHOOD 

During their relationship, Jim and Tammy Sr. made sure to enlarge their immediate family. In 1970, the former lovebirds welcomed their first child and daughter, Tammy Sue Bakker. Five years later, they celebrated the arrival of their second child and son, Jamie Charles Bakker.

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Jamie grew up to be like his father, getting involved in preaching the gospel; however, before that, he struggled with substance abuse. During a chat with Vanity Fair, Jamie revealed that he had experienced a traumatic upbringing. According to him, Tammy Sr. was different from the media's depiction of her. 

Jamie described his mother as a woman who always loved people, even when they were mean. Sadly, Tammy Sr. was seen in a different light, which caused a great amount of pain to Jamie. He later became the co-founder of the Revolution Church in the USA. 

THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE 

Jim and Tammy Sr. properly managed to raise their kids and run a satellite network simultaneously. Later on, however, the pair began to lack the funds to keep their enterprise running and turned to viewers for help. The couple requested viewers to pay monthly to become partners of the "PTL Club."

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The donations and payments poured in, and by the mid-1980s, the duo was living in affluence. They purchased a massive property in South Carolina, which they called Heritage USA.

Their empire grew even bigger, but Tammy Sr. suffered neglect, and the pair's marriage began to suffer. Their failing marriage was noticed during television appearances, while their extravagant lifestyle raised some questions from the public.

In 1987, the empire crumbled after Jim was accused of sexual assault by a 21-year-old church secretary, Jessica Haun. Haun claimed to have been raped by the televangelist in a hotel room in Florida.

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Not long after the revelation, Jim handed control of the PTL network to Jerry Falwell. Things got worse as Tammy Sr. and Jim were accused of fraud and a criminal investigation into the PTL's finances was launched in 1987.

The next year, Jim was arrested and indicted for fifteen counts of wire fraud, eight counts of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison, but the sentence was later reduced to eight years.

Three years after Jim's arrest, Tammy Sr. filed for divorce, and in a letter, she explained that things were not okay between her and Jim, and she was tired of pretending.

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LIFE AFTER DIVORCE 

One year later, Tammy Sr. walked down the aisle with property developer Roe Messner, but the pair never had kids. In 1996, the former was diagnosed with colon cancer, and she passed away after a long battle with it for 11 years. Until her death, Jim and Tammy Sr. still maintained a healthy friendship. 

She said she enjoyed being Jim's friend and loved being Roe's wife. On the other hand, Jim was released from prison in 1994 and in 1998, he tied the knot with his second wife, Lori.

He continued his Christian broadcasting with his show called "The Jim Bakker Show." At the time of Tammy Sr's death, Jim attributed his ex-wife's life to the saying, "If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade."

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ANOTHER TERRIBLE SCANDAL 

Last year, Missouri filed a lawsuit against Jim and his production company for advertising and selling silver solutions as a cure for COVID-19. Shortly after, the New York's Attorney General's Office sent a cease and desist letter to Jim, alleging that he defrauded the public.

Jim was given ten business days to comply or face legal action. On the other hand, Tammy Jr. is all about keeping her mother's legacy alive with a new film, "The Eyes Of Tammy Faye." The movie depicts the lives of Tammy Sr. and Jim as televangelists before their epic fall in 1987.

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