NAMES IN THE NEWS : Tammy Bakker Opens Ministry

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Tammy Bakker hopes visitors to Disney World will join her new flock at an industrial complex nearby after going on the rides at the theme park.

The wife of imprisoned TV preacher Jim Bakker held her first service at the industrial site Sunday after winning a zoning battle with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Bakkers’ fall from grace and her husband’s fraud conviction for bilking followers of his PTL ministry made Mrs. Bakker pessimistic about the zoning fight.

“I was in shock when we finally won it,” she told about 60 worshipers Sunday. “I guess I’ve kind of gotten used to accepting defeat.”


The Orange County Commission had banned religious services at the industrial park where her ministry has its TV recording studios. ACLU attorneys argued that the ban was unconstitutional.

Mrs. Bakker said she may hold services on Friday evenings to attract visitors leaving Disney World.

Her husband is serving a 45-year term in federal prison.

The Bakkers set up an Orlando-based cable TV ministry before his conviction last year.