Former TV evangelist Jim Bakker’s inaugural book-signing appearance got off to a rocky start when the first person in line demanded to know what he had done with the millions he had collected from PTL followers.
“The public has a right to know!” shouted Marilyn Barnhardt. “What about all those people who gave you money? What do you have to say to them?” Bakker looked nervously to the next person in line as Barnhardt continued shouting questions until a bookstore representative told her to move on.
Bakker soon began trading hugs, kisses and the phrase “God bless you” with some of the 200 people who waited for his signature on “I Was Wrong,” an autobiography selling for $24.99.
It was Bakker’s first appearance in Charlotte since he was convicted there in 1989 of bilking 116,000 followers out of $158 million and diverting $3.7 million in ministry money to buy expensive homes, jewelry and vacations.