PTL, John Wigger
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The Rise and Fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Evangelical Empire

Author: John Wigger

Narrator: L.J. Ganser

Unabridged: 17 hr 13 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 12/07/2021


In 1974, Jim and Tammy Bakker launched their television show, the PTL Club, from a former furniture store in Charlotte, North Carolina, with half a dozen friends. By 1987, they stood at the center of a ministry empire that included their own satellite network, a 2300-acre theme park visited by six million people a year, and millions of adoring fans. When it all fell apart, after revelations of a sex scandal and massive financial mismanagement, America watched more than two years of federal investigation and trial as Jim was eventually convicted for fraud and conspiracy. He would go on to serve five years in federal prison. PTL is more than just the spectacular story of the rise and fall of the Bakkers. John Wigger traces their lives from humble beginnings to wealth, fame, and eventual disgrace. PTL is the story of a group of people committed to religious innovation, who pushed the boundaries of evangelical religion's engagement with American culture. Drawing on trial transcripts, videotapes, newspaper articles, and interviews with key insiders, dissidents, and lawyers, Wigger reveals the power of religion to redirect American culture.