In Depth with Jim Bakker Part 2: The Downfall to Restoration

In Depth with Jim Bakker Part 2: The Downfall to Restoration

In part 2 of this exclusive interview, Jim Bakker shares new details about his downfall and time in prison as well as eventual restoration. He states, "Great Hands Picked Me Up in My Cell." Listen to hear more about this time in his life and what the future holds for Bakker.

35 Minutes • 5 days ago

Episode Notes

In-Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Jim Bakker

 

In part 2 of this exclusive interview, Jim Bakker shares new details about his downfall and time in prison as well as eventual restoration. He states, "Great Hands Picked Me Up in My Cell."

Listen to hear more about this time in his life and what the future holds for Bakker.

Introduction

Stephen Strang: I am going in-depth today with Jim Bakker. In fact, this is part 2. He is such an amazing man with such an amazing history that we couldn’t cover all of it in 30 minutes. Of course, we’re sharing this with the viewers of the Jim Bakker show as kind of a premium gift. It gives me the opportunity to interview a real celebrity. In our early podcast, we talked about Oral Roberts, and, of course, Billy Graham went to heaven. There are a lot of great men of God who have gone on before you, but in my opinion, Jim, you are in that league, you are historic. We talked about in our previous podcast how you started in Michigan, how you went to Bible school and felt the call of God. You got involved with Pat Robertson. It’s just amazing. You helped The 700 Club get started. You helped TBN get started. Then, you built this huge ministry in Charlotte which was not only the largest parachurch ministry of any kind at the time in the nation, whether it was Campus Crusade or The 700 Club or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. It was also the No. 1 tourist attraction in the state of North Carolina. My family, we went there on vacation. It was so nice because I could just let me son run around Heritage USA. To me it was like heaven on earth. It was just so tragic to watch what happened. Let’s go in-depth a little bit. Why do you think it happened the way it did?

·         Listen to part 1 one Stephen’s interview with Jim Bakker

 

Jim Bakker: I never really dealt with the pain. You mentioned Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. They are two of my mentors. They showed me love of God. Billy Graham came to prison to see me, and that’s jumping a little bit ahead of our story, I guess. Billy Graham was amazing to me. Oral Roberts, honestly, I could do a whole show with you just on Oral Roberts and the stuff he taught me. One thing that I’ll never forget. He said Jim, I never have any money when I start building a building. You can see that I have projects around here, and there are holes in the ground. Oral Roberts says, when God speaks to you and tells you to build something, did a hole as an act of faith. Build the foundation. Get started. This place here is all a miracle. It’s the Oral Roberts foundation of what he taught me. The Graham family, when I stepped out of prison with no place to go … I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have anything. Ruth Graham invited me this first Sunday I was out of prison to go to church with her. And then to come to their house and have dinner with them … they are the most real Christians and they are real people. I’m so tired of people saying, oh, they’re all phonies out there. They’re not.

·         Read the Strang Report: Jim Bakker Shares New Details of Time in Prison: ‘Great Hands Picked Me Up in my Cell’

Stephen Strang: I had the privilege of knowing Oral Roberts, too.

Jim Bakker: Did you ever hear him talk about other than Jesus, God or the Bible.

Stephen Strang: Never. He was a great man.

Jim Bakker: Whether I was in an airplane with him or walking somewhere, I never heard him talk about anything else. It was always God, God, God. I’ll tell you what, if he’s a phony then he was just crazy. But he can’t be. He loved God so much that it just came out all the time, that’s what he talked about.

Stephen Strang: I’ll tell you something that I don’t think I’ve ever told publicly. He had a controversy of where he said that God was take him home if he didn’t raise a certain amount of money, which I believe led to your problems. And, I’ll explain why. He had built this great building, and he was building a medical school. He was having trouble bringing in all the money because that’s very expensive. He was trying to appeal to partners to help him. He said something that … I’m probably not saying it right because the press probably influenced all of us in how we saw it … but, he said if he didn’t raise the money, he felt that the Lord was going to take him home. I heard him say that at Charismatic Bible Ministries in the summer. Jack Hayford heard him, all of these other people there, it was no big deal. Then he said it on his TV show and the secular people said that God was going to kill him. He didn’t say that at all. What he was saying was … a lot of us believe as Christians that if there’s a funeral, and maybe somebody dies at 55 or 60 or a younger age, he must have finished the work that God had for him and the Lord took him. But the media had a feeding frenzy. That happened in January. In March and April, your story popped up. The national media had been covering that. So, when your story came up, which would have probably been contained in the Charlotte area, there was a feeding frenzy. They just went crazy. One thing happened … they get all of these stories and things just start spinning out of control. Then, you turned the whole thing over to another ministry. Why do you think all of that happened?

Read About Jim Bakker at Charisma

·          ‘God and Donald Trump’ Impresses Avid Trump Supporter Jim Bakker

·          Jim Bakker: Back from the Brink

·          Jim Bakker: At My Lowest Moment, Billy Graham Visited Me in Prison

 

Jim Bakker: I still don’t know why. I know that it all worked together for good because I studied in the prison. I studied Revelation one word at a time. It has changed my life. It changed my theology a lot. And, all things work together for good. I believe that. I have to.

Stephen Strang: You lost everything. I’ve built a much smaller organization than you. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose it all. You lost it all. You lost your personal wealth, you lost your family, you lost your home, you lost your first wife; and, you went to prison. I can’t imagine. How did it feel?

Jim Bakker: It’s so deep that I’m not sure that I’ve even dealt with it yet. People need to understand. When God has called you to do something … Oral Roberts is a man of God. He was going to finish what God had called him to do.

Stephen Strang: And the money finally did come in.

Jim Bakker: People make fun of that, and that’s why I don’t do interviews any more. They make fun of what is holy and special. God is an amazing God. I don’t want to phony it up. When I went to prison, and boy this is such a big story, the book I Was Wrong was actually 700 pages long … it was originally 1,400 pages. With my co-writer, we wrote that whole book and I told him, I said I am going to tell you everything. I’m going to tell you the truth. I’m going to tell you everything just as it was. I am going to name names and I’m not going to leave anything out. Then, we’ll edit it. The pure message is in the manuscript that I wrote. By the time we editing it, I didn’t want to hurt anybody, so I had to edit out things that would hurt people. The original book did not have the downfall, the affair that I had for 10 minutes. I didn’t write that in the original book. The publishers forced me to reveal the big secret. That book is as much the truth as we could tell without hurting anyone.

The Jim Bakker Show

·         God Allowed Me to Go to Prison’

·         The Message That Brought Jim Bakker to His Knees in Prison

Stephen Strang: How many years were you sentenced to prison?

Jim Bakker: For 45 years. I would still be in prison now. Alan Dershowitz read about me in New Yorker magazine that I didn’t get a fair trial. He offered to represent me at no cost. When he did that, he represented me, and I did not pay him a penny. He got my case thrown out. Not only did he get my case thrown out, but he got the judge thrown out, thrown off the case. The judge was prejudiced, and he proved that point. Then I went to the parole board, and I gave them the facts and they reviewed them, and they said Jim, we believe you’re not guilty. So, they said we’re going to grant you parole now.

Stephen Strang: Then when you left, you had nothing. You mentioned earlier about Billy Graham. Didn’t they reach out to you after you got out of prison?

Jim Bakker: Absolutely. At one of my lowest moments in prison, Billy Graham came up to the prison. You have to have clearance before go into the prison and Billy Graham went up to the prison and said I want to see Jim Bakker. I was cleaning toilets. That was my job. I was sick with the flu. The guards came and said Jim you need to go to the warden’s office, and I didn’t know why. They led me across the grounds. I talked to the guard, and he said you’ve got a visitor, Bakker. Do you want your visit? It’s not visiting day, and I don’t know of anyone coming to see me. And he said, didn’t they tell you? Billy Graham is here to see you. I was a mess.

For the rest of the interview with Jim Bakker, please visit cpnshows.com.

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

In-Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Jim Bakker

 

In part 2 of this exclusive interview, Jim Bakker shares new details about his downfall and time in prison as well as eventual restoration. He states, "Great Hands Picked Me Up in My Cell."

Listen to hear more about this time in his life and what the future holds for Bakker.

Introduction

Stephen Strang: I am going in-depth today with Jim Bakker. In fact, this is part 2. He is such an amazing man with such an amazing history that we couldn’t cover all of it in 30 minutes. Of course, we’re sharing this with the viewers of the Jim Bakker show as kind of a premium gift. It gives me the opportunity to interview a real celebrity. In our early podcast, we talked about Oral Roberts, and, of course, Billy Graham went to heaven. There are a lot of great men of God who have gone on before you, but in my opinion, Jim, you are in that league, you are historic. We talked about in our previous podcast how you started in Michigan, how you went to Bible school and felt the call of God. You got involved with Pat Robertson. It’s just amazing. You helped The 700 Club get started. You helped TBN get started. Then, you built this huge ministry in Charlotte which was not only the largest parachurch ministry of any kind at the time in the nation, whether it was Campus Crusade or The 700 Club or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. It was also the No. 1 tourist attraction in the state of North Carolina. My family, we went there on vacation. It was so nice because I could just let me son run around Heritage USA. To me it was like heaven on earth. It was just so tragic to watch what happened. Let’s go in-depth a little bit. Why do you think it happened the way it did?

·         Listen to part 1 one Stephen’s interview with Jim Bakker

 

Jim Bakker: I never really dealt with the pain. You mentioned Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. They are two of my mentors. They showed me love of God. Billy Graham came to prison to see me, and that’s jumping a little bit ahead of our story, I guess. Billy Graham was amazing to me. Oral Roberts, honestly, I could do a whole show with you just on Oral Roberts and the stuff he taught me. One thing that I’ll never forget. He said Jim, I never have any money when I start building a building. You can see that I have projects around here, and there are holes in the ground. Oral Roberts says, when God speaks to you and tells you to build something, did a hole as an act of faith. Build the foundation. Get started. This place here is all a miracle. It’s the Oral Roberts foundation of what he taught me. The Graham family, when I stepped out of prison with no place to go … I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have anything. Ruth Graham invited me this first Sunday I was out of prison to go to church with her. And then to come to their house and have dinner with them … they are the most real Christians and they are real people. I’m so tired of people saying, oh, they’re all phonies out there. They’re not.

·         Read the Strang Report: Jim Bakker Shares New Details of Time in Prison: ‘Great Hands Picked Me Up in my Cell’

Stephen Strang: I had the privilege of knowing Oral Roberts, too.

Jim Bakker: Did you ever hear him talk about other than Jesus, God or the Bible.

Stephen Strang: Never. He was a great man.

Jim Bakker: Whether I was in an airplane with him or walking somewhere, I never heard him talk about anything else. It was always God, God, God. I’ll tell you what, if he’s a phony then he was just crazy. But he can’t be. He loved God so much that it just came out all the time, that’s what he talked about.

Stephen Strang: I’ll tell you something that I don’t think I’ve ever told publicly. He had a controversy of where he said that God was take him home if he didn’t raise a certain amount of money, which I believe led to your problems. And, I’ll explain why. He had built this great building, and he was building a medical school. He was having trouble bringing in all the money because that’s very expensive. He was trying to appeal to partners to help him. He said something that … I’m probably not saying it right because the press probably influenced all of us in how we saw it … but, he said if he didn’t raise the money, he felt that the Lord was going to take him home. I heard him say that at Charismatic Bible Ministries in the summer. Jack Hayford heard him, all of these other people there, it was no big deal. Then he said it on his TV show and the secular people said that God was going to kill him. He didn’t say that at all. What he was saying was … a lot of us believe as Christians that if there’s a funeral, and maybe somebody dies at 55 or 60 or a younger age, he must have finished the work that God had for him and the Lord took him. But the media had a feeding frenzy. That happened in January. In March and April, your story popped up. The national media had been covering that. So, when your story came up, which would have probably been contained in the Charlotte area, there was a feeding frenzy. They just went crazy. One thing happened … they get all of these stories and things just start spinning out of control. Then, you turned the whole thing over to another ministry. Why do you think all of that happened?

Read About Jim Bakker at Charisma

·          ‘God and Donald Trump’ Impresses Avid Trump Supporter Jim Bakker

·          Jim Bakker: Back from the Brink

·          Jim Bakker: At My Lowest Moment, Billy Graham Visited Me in Prison

 

Jim Bakker: I still don’t know why. I know that it all worked together for good because I studied in the prison. I studied Revelation one word at a time. It has changed my life. It changed my theology a lot. And, all things work together for good. I believe that. I have to.

Stephen Strang: You lost everything. I’ve built a much smaller organization than you. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose it all. You lost it all. You lost your personal wealth, you lost your family, you lost your home, you lost your first wife; and, you went to prison. I can’t imagine. How did it feel?

Jim Bakker: It’s so deep that I’m not sure that I’ve even dealt with it yet. People need to understand. When God has called you to do something … Oral Roberts is a man of God. He was going to finish what God had called him to do.

Stephen Strang: And the money finally did come in.

Jim Bakker: People make fun of that, and that’s why I don’t do interviews any more. They make fun of what is holy and special. God is an amazing God. I don’t want to phony it up. When I went to prison, and boy this is such a big story, the book I Was Wrong was actually 700 pages long … it was originally 1,400 pages. With my co-writer, we wrote that whole book and I told him, I said I am going to tell you everything. I’m going to tell you the truth. I’m going to tell you everything just as it was. I am going to name names and I’m not going to leave anything out. Then, we’ll edit it. The pure message is in the manuscript that I wrote. By the time we editing it, I didn’t want to hurt anybody, so I had to edit out things that would hurt people. The original book did not have the downfall, the affair that I had for 10 minutes. I didn’t write that in the original book. The publishers forced me to reveal the big secret. That book is as much the truth as we could tell without hurting anyone.

The Jim Bakker Show

·         God Allowed Me to Go to Prison’

·         The Message That Brought Jim Bakker to His Knees in Prison

Stephen Strang: How many years were you sentenced to prison?

Jim Bakker: For 45 years. I would still be in prison now. Alan Dershowitz read about me in New Yorker magazine that I didn’t get a fair trial. He offered to represent me at no cost. When he did that, he represented me, and I did not pay him a penny. He got my case thrown out. Not only did he get my case thrown out, but he got the judge thrown out, thrown off the case. The judge was prejudiced, and he proved that point. Then I went to the parole board, and I gave them the facts and they reviewed them, and they said Jim, we believe you’re not guilty. So, they said we’re going to grant you parole now.

Stephen Strang: Then when you left, you had nothing. You mentioned earlier about Billy Graham. Didn’t they reach out to you after you got out of prison?

Jim Bakker: Absolutely. At one of my lowest moments in prison, Billy Graham came up to the prison. You have to have clearance before go into the prison and Billy Graham went up to the prison and said I want to see Jim Bakker. I was cleaning toilets. That was my job. I was sick with the flu. The guards came and said Jim you need to go to the warden’s office, and I didn’t know why. They led me across the grounds. I talked to the guard, and he said you’ve got a visitor, Bakker. Do you want your visit? It’s not visiting day, and I don’t know of anyone coming to see me. And he said, didn’t they tell you? Billy Graham is here to see you. I was a mess.

For the rest of the interview with Jim Bakker, please visit cpnshows.com.

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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In Depth with Jim Bakker Part 2: The Downfall to Restoration