Jim Bakker’s prayers are answered less often now. A far cry from a world of theme parks and network-level TV production values, the minister, who never fully got up after falling from grace, today resides 30 miles from Branson, Missouri, hosting low-rent religious shows in a hotel theater, in which he hawks freeze-dried food and survival gear at trumped-up prices to Christians awaiting the apocalypse. At 74, he’s a preacher for preppers. The programs, as amateurish as they are disturbing, are recorded and shown on religious cable stations. They play like infomercials for the end of the world.
His son, Jay Bakker, who’s become a far more progressive holy man after surviving myriad addictions, is the latest guest on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. It’s a fascinating conversation about an American family like few others. Just one interesting tidbit: The elder Bakker was the original host of The 700 Club and was elbowed aside by station owner Pat Robertson, who had never been a minister but wanted the spotlight for himself. Listen here.