Jim Bakker slipped out of most people’s collective consciousness after he fell from grace following a sex scandal and his 1989 fraud conviction. But the disgraced televangelist is back, focusing on the apocalypse and urging people to buy both real estate and eye-poppingly expensive “extreme survival warfare” water bottles from him to prepare.
Bakker, who served five years in prison for 24 counts of wire and mail fraud and conspiracy, is selling cabins in Missouri’s Ozark mountains, telling followers the area (which he calls Morningside) will be “the safest place to live” when the Apocalypse hits. Prices for the cabins weren’t disclosed, but you can rent one for as little as $85 per night right now.
“Where are you going to go when the world’s on fire? Where are you going to go? This place is for God’s people. … We need some farmers to move here,” Bakker said on a recent episode of The Jim Bakker Show, whose website carries the tagline “Prophecy and End Time News.”
In that same episode, Bakker claimed government research (which he didn’t specify) found the area was “the safest place to live in troubled times.”
Bakker, of course, is one of the iconic figures of the 1980s. The former leader of “The PTL Club,” he and then-wife Tammy Faye were among the most prominent televangelists of the time. That empire began to crumble when former church secretary Jessica Hahn came forward with allegations of a sexual affair with Bakker.
The baby-faced Bakker so many people were familiar with at that time is now gone. Today, he’s 78 years old, balding and sports a closely trimmed white beard. He has remarried (and his wife co-hosts the new show with him.)
Beyond his real estate efforts, Bakker is also selling 28 ounce “warfare” water bottles, which he says filter out contaminants. Viewers can buy a half-dozen for $150. Don’t want that? You could opt for the “tasty pantry deluxe bucket” for $175, a prepper’s food service delight, with a claimed 374 servings of fettuccine alfredo, mac and cheese and more, boasting a 30-year shelf life. (Want 10,472 servings? That’ll be $3,700.)
“This is the best food offer in the world,” he claimed.
The Daily Mail visited Morningside in August 2017, describing the community as “similar to a theme park, featuring a brightly painted indoor town square dominated by a 15-foot tall Jesus statue.”