Prominent televangelist Jim Bakker suffered a stroke and, according to his wife, has taken a ‘sabbatical’ from his eponymous TV show.
Lori Bakker confirmed that her 80-year-old husband has suffered from a health anxiety, but is now recovering at their home in Branson, Missouri.
The Jim Bakker Show, the couple’s Christian program, continues while Bakker is away.
“In Jim’s words, this was the most brutal attack he’s ever experienced,” Lori wrote in a Facebook post.
Famous televangelist Jim Bakker (pictured) has had a stroke but is recovering with his family in Branson, Missouri
Working non-stop on various projects and building the Morningside Church community has taken a ‘huge toll’ on Bakker’s health.
“Jim is taking a sabbatical from the show, led by medical professionals and our board of directors,” Lori wrote.
“Jim is coming back! He dreams and still hears of the Lord and he already has a powerful word to say when he returns to the sky. ‘
This is after Bakker was sued by the Missouri Attorney General for promoting a counterfeit coronavirus drug.
Lori Bakker (left) revealed her husband’s health scare in a Facebook post on the official The Jim Bakker Show page
It is not immediately clear when Bakker has had a stroke or when he will return.
Meanwhile, the show continues. Jim is a watchman on the wall, and we as a family are committed to wearing his cloak by bringing more prophets, news, updates, and more on The Jim Bakker Show in the coming weeks, ” added Lori.
Jay Bakker, the televangelist’s eldest son, also spoke out on Facebook, calling the stroke “minor.”
Jim Bakker’s eldest son, Jay Bakker, said his father’s stroke was “minor” and urged followers to show compassion
“I know some of you struggle to humanize my father, but he’s also a good grandfather and my father,” Jay wrote Friday.
“We have a complicated relationship like many people … His lift has affected both my and my work. He recently had a mild stroke, your thoughts are appreciated. ‘
Baker’s health problems come at a time when he is again bogged down by legal drama.
The most controversial pastors who came into contact with the law last occurred after claiming that ‘Silver Solution’ could cure COVID-19 on his TV show.
COVID-19 does not yet have an official cure or vaccine, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The show sold a bundle of Silver Solution products for over $ 125. To use, consumers were instructed to “apply liberally to skin if necessary to promote natural healing”
This prompted a rapid response from public health experts and officials, including New York Attorney General Letitia James and Head of the Health Care Bureau of New York Attorney General Lisa Landau.
Landau wrote to Bakker in a letter that the World Health Organization “noted that there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat this disease.
“Therefore, any claim on The Jim Bakker that the Silver Solution products are effective in combating and / or treating the new 2019 coronavirus is contrary to New York law.”
Bakker introduced Silver Solution, which he called a ‘miracle in a tube’, to the public in 2018 during part of his show.
He claimed that Silver Solution cures all venereal diseases, but this has not been formally proven.
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit in March against Bakker and his manufacturing company for hawking the item.
The trial stated that the defendants violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by falsely promising consumers that Silver Solution can cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate the corona virus and / or strengthen the immune systems of older consumers and help keep them healthy when that there is, in fact, no vaccine, pill, drink, or other product available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). ‘
During the February 12 episode of the show with guest ‘natural apathetic physician’ Sherill Sellman, Bakker argued that the Silver Solution sold on the show’s website would be effective against the corona virus.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (pictured) filed a lawsuit in March against Bakker and his manufacturing company
Bakker asks Sellman if the solution will work against the virus, to which she replies: ‘Let’s say it has not been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it rested on other strains of the coronavirus and was able to eliminate it within 12 o’clock ‘.
“Yes,” says Bakker.
Schmitt was not alone in taking legal action against the TV predecessor.
Also in March, U.S. regulators warned Bakker and six others to stop selling items using what the government called false claims that they could treat the corona virus or prevent people from catching it.
Joint letters from the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission warned the companies that their COVID-19 treatment products were fraudulent, “pose significant risks to patient health, and violate federal law.”
In May, Bakker hired former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to legally represent him and asked to dismiss the lawsuit because it was an assault on religious freedom.
“Jim Bakker is being unfairly attacked by those who want to crush his ministry and take his Christian television show off the air,” Nixon said in a statement.
The Jim Bakker Show video recording clearly shows that the claims are false. Bakker claimed or did not claim that Silver Solution was a cure for COVID-19. ‘
Nixon said Schmitt’s trial violated Bakker’s constitutional right to free speech, the Missouri Constitution and the state’s restoration of religious freedom law. He said silver products are often sold in stores and online.
“Targeting a Christian pastor who has used and offered the product for the past ten years is not supported by the facts or the law,” said Nixon.
Bakker (right), pictured with Lori Bakker (left), was previously convicted of fraud and sentenced to 45 years’ imprisonment
Bakker and his first wife, Tammy Faye, co-hosted PTL, which stood for ‘Praise the Lord’, but later people came to associate the acronym with ‘Pass the Loot’ because the two were notorious for a lavish lifestyle that air conditioners for their dogs.
During the peak of their popularity in the 1970s and 80s, Bakker and Tammy Faye ran Heritage USA, a Christian theme park covering 2,300 acres in Fort Mill, South Carolina, which also included their show.
The two divorced in 1992, after it became apparent in 1987 that Bakker had paid money to cover up a 15-minute affair with a church secretary, Jessica Hahn.
Bakker was later in federal prison for nearly five years for a conviction for fraud related to PTL. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison for taking $ 158 million from his congregation.
Now Bakker and his current wife, Lori, are recording The Jim Bakker Show from another Christian compound deep in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.