Evangelist's Faithful Gather and Pray for Him

From Associated Press

Jim Bakker's congregation prayed Sunday for the evangelist who was brought down by adultery, while the woman in the affair was admonished by her adviser to wear quieter clothes and "shut up."

Paul Roper, the self-appointed Pentecostal watchdog who negotiated a $265,000 settlement with Bakker's PTL ministry, criticized 27-year-old Jessica Hahn for "walking around in skintight jeans in her backyard saying cute little throwaway remarks to the press."

"I have told her in writing and on the telephone to either shut up and say nothing" or else tell her whole story to a church tribunal, Roper was quoted as saying in Sunday's editions of Newsday, the Long Island newspaper.

Roper said he believes that the Assemblies of God, the denomination to which he and Bakker belong, would convene such a hearing.

'Staying on the Boat'

In Fort Mill, S.C., the Rev. Richard Dortch told 2,300 people who filled Bakker's Heritage Village Church that "we're on the road to victory."

"I'm staying on the boat . . . because we're going to the other side," said Dortch, who offered a prayer for Bakker and his wife Tammy Faye.

Hahn has mostly stayed inside her West Babylon, N.Y., apartment since she was identified as the woman whose encounter with Bakker led to his resignation from the PTL ministry. She has refused most requests for interviews, but has stepped outside occasionally to be photographed.

"I believe her story. But I'm violently opposed to trying anybody without hearing all the versions," said Roper, an Anaheim businessman.

Resignations Offered

Bakker and Dortch both offered their resignations to the denomination March 19. Bakker asked the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a Baptist, to step in as chairman of the PTL board to prevent what Bakker called a hostile takeover.

Dortch, who is now president of PTL, has been asked to meet with the North Carolina District Council of the Assemblies of God this week to discuss his resignation, which was not immediately accepted.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World