A pioneer in televangelism, Jim Bakker helped create “The 700 Club,” which is now hosted by Pat Robertson, and, in 1974, “The PTL Club.” Along with his popular PTL Television Network (short for Praise the Lord), Bakker and his late wife and co-host Tammy Faye Bakker built a resort town and theme park called Heritage USA outside of Charlotte, N.C. But Bakker was brought down by a series of scandals, namely using ministry funds to cover up an extramarital affair and committing fraud by selling more Heritage USA memberships than the resort could accommodate. He resigned from the network in 1987 and in 1989 he was found guilty of fraud charges. He was released from prison after serving four years.
In 2003, Bakker launched a new ministry and community called Morningside outside of Branson, Missouri, with his second wife and co-host, Lori Bakker. He has also created a new PTL Network, which now stands for Prophets Talking Loud. Bakker’s new ministry has focused on the “prepper” movement, putting an emphasis on the sale of survival food, equipment and health products. Intertwined with his survivalist sales pitches are a series of extremely vague and often provably false doomsday prophesies. These predictions often focus on supposedly imminent threats from the government or acts of judgment from God.