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Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker tapes on auction block

An Atlanta investment banker is auctioning more than 15,000 taped episodes of 'The PTL Club' after getting them from a cable content provider.

March 01, 2009|Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An Atlanta investment banker is auctioning off more than 15,000 videotaped episodes of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Christian talk show.

"The PTL Club," which aired from 1974 to 1987, featured Jim Bakker offering upbeat sermons from a couch and Tammy Faye, wearing her trademark heavy mascara, singing about Jesus. Most episodes were taped at their empire -- which included a hotel, campground and theme park -- just south of Charlotte.

PTL, which stood for "Praise the Lord," came crashing down in 1987 when Jim Bakker went to prison for fraud after a sex scandal. The couple divorced and Tammy Faye remarried, taking the last name of Messner. She died in 2007 from colon cancer.

The 15,069 hourlong tapes went to a Charlotte church, then a cable content provider, said Ben Dyer, president of Gospel Properties.

The cable provider defaulted on a loan from Dyer's company and he got the tapes, which he plans to auction in San Francisco on March 27.

A spokeswoman for Jim Bakker, who now lives in Branson, Mo., said the televangelist had been told the tapes had been appraised at around $8 million.

The tapes provide enough content to create a channel exclusively showing "The PTL Club," said Dean Becker, vice chairman of Ocean Tomo, the Chicago-based merchant bank handling the auction.

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