PTL Club

Jim Bakker PTL Club

The PTL Club (Praise the Lord) was a Christian television program created and ran from 1974 to 1989 by people who probably started out with good intentions, but let greed and power go to their heads.  The show featured a talk show format and was hosted by Jim and Tammy Faye Baker.  Jim's involvement in the ministry dated back to his days with Pat Robertson, and his first show was a kids show launched in 1965.  The PTL show first started locally in 1974, but soon found an audience on other stations in different parts of the USA.  Things took off for the Baker's, and the money started rolling in.  The couple lived opulent life styles, and eventually it caught up with them.  A federal grand jury indicted Baker for stealing millions of dollars from the church for personal use.  During the unraveling, it was also discovered that Jim was having affairs.  One of the most notable trysts was with former church secretary Jessica Hahn, who would eventually take her 15 minutes of stardom and turn herself into a B-list actress (you might remember her from the Wild Thing music video by Sam Kennison).  When it was all said and done, Baker was sentenced to 18 years in prison.  He was released after serving 5 years.