Are you aware that there are children living in the inner city of Los Angeles with rats and cockroaches, with no food or clothing? Most of us know that these conditions exist in third world countries but come on… in Los Angeles? America?!
The next time you start judging Jim Bakker of the former PTL program with Tammy Faye and prison time fame, remember what you are about to read. [Don’t buy everything the media feeds you, and, secondly, get the facts before you form an opinion.]
Sometime after Bakker was released from prison, he moved into the Dream Center in Los Angeles, and ministered to the inner city people. Every day at noon he taught a Bible study, and shared from his heart. He was a changed and humble man. He told of the times in prison when he was curled up in a fetal position wanting to die. After attending some of those meetings, without fail, I left in tears.
One day in the alley behind one of the buildings, he met his future wife Lori. She had already been involved with inner city children—her life paralleled some of the young lives she was now helping. Together, Jim and Lori joined forces, and adopted five hard- case children—rescuing them from a fate worse than death. Rickey, who was four years of age, and his sister, less than two years of age, were pulled out of their rat and roach infested place, and given clean clothes and a trip to McDonalds, and were never returned. This four-year-old, who was found with nothing but one pair of boxer trunks, was actually raising his little sister—stealing food to survive.
The mother of these children had nine children… all by different fathers. Lori was in close touch with the mother before she met Jim. She had promised the children that if she ever married, they would all come to live with her. When she told Jim about the children, he never hesitated. Every time Lori would phone and say she had a child to bring home, Jim welcomed them with open arms. Their complete story is nothing short of miraculous!
Recently I attended the week-long Grand Opening Celebration at Morningside in Blue Eye, Missouri (near Branson), where the Bakker children took part in several special events. The guest celebrities participating in the all-day program are too long to list. However, I will mention that the Platters of yesteryear called and graciously volunteered to come when they heard about the celebration. Oh, and major kudos to beautiful Lulu Roman (Hee Haw), who would have been unrecognizable without her introduction. She has shed 150 pounds! One of the highlights was when she sang “I Am an Orphan Girl“—she was singing truth, as she was an orphan who never knew her mother or father. She sang it to orphan girls from Moldova that were visiting via Philip Cameron Ministries. [Cameron has rescued many young girls from being sold for the sex trafficking trade after being released from orphanages in Romania and Moldova.]
Morningside is an outstanding place of vision. Builder Jerry Crawford and his wife Dee came alongside Bakker, and provided this place of refuge in the scenic and serene Ozark Mountains, spanning 560 acres. This has been their dream for 21 years.
Morningside’s unique planned community, with family homes, condos and log cabins, is nestled atop a mountainside where friends can gather for Gospel concerts, seminars, shopping, or having a bite to eat at the café–with The Jim Bakker TV Show as its centerpiece. The old-world themed setting is all within the comfort of the climate controlled three-story domed atrium. A tabernacle and youth retreat center has just been completed in time for students to arrive for the fall classes of Masters Commission.
May someone be encouraged today to rescue a child in need, and take them to the mountain top. [Read about Jim Bakker’s incredible movie-like life in his book I Was Wrong. I couldn’t put it down, and I’m familiar with the facts.]
April Shenandoah, Ambassador of Prayer, is a freelance journalist and author. Send comments to politicsandreligion.tv.