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Larry King Live

Jim and Tammy Faye Return to TV

Aired May 29, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jim and Tammy Faye together again on TV. With Jim, his new wife, Lori Bakker, who is part of his New Covenant Fellowship. And with Tammy Faye, her husband, Roe Messner. Plus the Bakker's two children, Tammy Sue Chapman, and her brother, Jay Bakker. He preaches through a ministry called Revolution down in Atlanta.

And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

This kicks off our anniversary week here on CNN. It's our 15th year on this network, and the network is celebrating its 20th year of bringing news around the world. And no people made more news in the last couple of decades or as much news as did the Bakkers, and we have a historic night here to kick it off, is that they're back together again for the first time in a long time.

Jim Bakker, Tammy Faye; their new spouses, Lori and Roe. The children will be here later.

How long has it been, Jim, since you and Tammy Faye were on television together?

JIM BAKKER: Fifteen years.

KING: Were you going into prison then?

JIM BAKKER: No, the last show we did was Ted Koppel with the whole family, and this is...

KING: But that was before prison, right?

JIM BAKKER: Before prison.

KING: Do you remember that night well, Tammy?

TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: Of course, I remember that night well.

KING: Was -- is this a rough night for you?

T. MESSNER: Well, it's an interesting night for me. It's a very interesting night for me.

What else can I say?

KING: Interesting?

T. MESSNER: Yes, interesting.

KING: For you, Jim? What does it feel like? I mean, you know each other. You have children. Obviously, you're all friendly, you're all here together.

T. MESSNER: Yes, we all like each other.

JIM BAKKER: Well, it brings back so many memories of the past, of the prison years and all. You know, I try not to look back, because looking forward is so much better than looking backward.

KING: All we are, though, is a history of our experiences?

JIM BAKKER: Yes. Thank God for those (UNINTELLIGIBLE), prison and all. I learned so much. And I want to use that, though, to go forward now.

KING: What was it like to be the wife of someone in prison?

T. MESSNER: It was very sad, especially since I felt he didn't deserve to be there. And it made me -- you know, we are -- it is Memorial Day. And we are -- I would like to say thank you to the men who fought and died for this country, and the women.

But you know, I was very saddened by what our country allowed to happen to this very good man.

KING: And he remained to you a good man even through divorce?

T. MESSNER: Oh, yes, yes, always.

KING: And you toward her feel the same way?

JIM BAKKER: Yes, we -- we were in a situation that was unbelievable. I was in prison for 45 years. It meant that at my age I would have never gotten out of prison before I died.

And so I don't blame Tammy Faye for going on with her life. And you know, I...

KING: it was logical for her to divorce you just to have a life?

JIM BAKKER: After two years, about 100 percent, close to it, divorce that go to prison.

KING: Did you discuss it with Jim first or did...


KING: You didn't surprise him?

T. MESSNER: No. No, I did not surprise him. We discussed it. And what -- what we went through in our life was such -- it was like a horrible electrical shock that went through our life, and very few people could have survived what we survived. And I'm just grateful to God that we're still alive and that Jim's happy and I'm happy.

KING: All right. How do you think -- the spouses can help here in a couple of minutes -- that you were able to do it, Jim? What kept you going? Whether right or wrong, whether you did wrong or did right, what kept you going?

Nelson Mandela says that he didn't look at prison as a down. He took it as an up. He learned from it.

JIM BAKKER: The first months were so devastating. When you suddenly find yourself in prison facing 45 years, and my theology didn't allow for that at that time, and so it was like God had walked away from me. And I know millions of people have gone through experiences, saying, Why God?

And -- but as I studied the word of God and I had time to really get into the Bible, it was my faith in God, and God renewed my faith. My faith began to actually grow in prison after five years. It was the greatest training and seminary and intimate relationship with God that I could have ever had.

KING: Are you saying, in a sense, in retrospect it was good you did this?

JIM BAKKER: Absolutely. Absolutely.

KING: Good that you were in prison?

JIM BAKKER: Absolutely. I learned so much. And now working in the inner cities all over the world, I understand the people. And when I say I've been in prison, it's like it's better than being ordained, you know...


JIM BAKKER: ... because, you know, they respond to me, because they know I've been there.

KING: Are you a better preacher now?

JIM BAKKER: I feel like I'm more caring. I feel like people can look in my eyes and know, when they're telling me they hurt, they know I understand.

KING: You can help a lot of people, because a lot of it's in the news now, the Giuliani story and the Clinton story. You were able to forgive and overcome the worst thing a wife can hear. How were you able to do that?

T. MESSNER: The same thing that Jim just said, through God.

KING: And forgiveness, right?


KING: But where do you get that? T. MESSNER: I think forgiveness is a choice, Larry. And we -- our whole life is choices, is made up of choices.

KING: So you could have chosen to be bitter.

T. MESSNER: I could have chosen to be bitter and hated him or I could have chosen to forget. And it was very hard for me to forgive Jim, it was very hard. But once the divorce was final, I was able to forgive him and understand what happened and go on.

KING: And how did you feel about the forgiveness?

JIM BAKKER: The Bible is so clear. And this is what I studied in prison, is I began to study the words of Jesus Christ. He said if we don't forgive from our hearts everyone we'll not be forgiven.

Christ said, "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." I needed mercy. I needed forgiveness. So I wanted to give out to others what I needed.

KING: But did you respect a lot Tammy for forgiving you? Did you feel -- did you feel terrific that she was able to forgive this?

JIM BAKKER: Well, you know, whether she forgave me or not, you know, I had to forgive her, I had to forgive everyone. I mean, everyone who goes through a divorce, it's painful.

KING: You had to forgive yourself, too, right?

JIM BAKKER: And I took all the blame finally because I realized all the mistakes that I had made. I realized I had -- I had the affair, I'm the one who screwed up, and I left her out there by herself to literally face dying without a husband.

KING: And you're so friendly now -- how do you explain that, because I want to get the spouses in here?

T. MESSNER: I like this man. This man is a really nice man. And we've been friends, we were married for 30 years and we have wonderful memories together and we have two awesome kids together.

KING: We'll meet them.

T. MESSNER: And I -- I like him.

KING: Let's see what Roe and -- and Lori feel...



KING: ... about all this.

Who knows? In a half hour they get back together.

(LAUGHTER) Roe will go out here, out of here with Lori and it will be a whole different world.


JIM BAKKER: You're terrible!

KING: I'm only kidding, Jim.

We'll be right back. Don't go away.


JIM BAKKER: I'm going to write a book called "The Day the Dream Died," and the Lord rebuked me and said: Jim, your dream is not dead.

T. MESSNER: That's right.

JIM BAKKER: You may feel dead, and I'm going to give you resurrection power. I'm going to heal you and I'm going to restore you, and the dream will not die.

T. MESSNER: You know, Jim, one day I was feeling so terribly discouraged and just about ready to give up. And the Lord spoke to me, and there were so many people around who -- just the continuing. And I kept thinking, we bottomed out, we bottomed out, and then another deeper bottom would come to our lives.


T. MESSNER: And I said, Lord, when are these men going to stop hurting us so desperately? And the Lord spoke to me and said: Tammy, as long as those stars still shine in the sky, I'm still God and I still rule.

JIM BAKKER: Amen. Amen.

T. MESSNER: Praise the Lord. So there is hope.



KING: Their new spouses are here. Let's talk to Roe first. You knew the Bakkers, right, Roe?


KING: And you were friends?


KING: So how did you and Tammy begin a romance?

R. MESSNER: Well, that is interesting.

KING: I'll bet.

R. MESSNER: You know, everybody likes to have their little theories how it all happened. And all the years that I worked at PTL building, the buildings down there, Tammy and I never had a conversation together, not one time.

T. MESSNER: And Jim can testify to that. Testify brother.

KING: It ain't court, he don't have to -- OK.

R. MESSNER: I was only out of the house a couple of times, but Tammy and I never had a conversation at one time. And, you know, the stories have always flew around that we had this thing going all the time, but that's not true at all.

KING: You didn't see her until after Jim went to prison?

R. MESSNER: Right.

KING: And how did the first date come -- how did it even come about?

R. MESSNER: I was building a church in Jacksonville, Florida, and I was down there visiting that job, and I actually called Shirley, the lady that lived with Tammy, and said that I was going to be down in Jacksonville and, you know, let's go out for supper. And so, Tammy and Shirley and I went to the Outback for supper.

KING: The Outback, how romantic.

R. MESSNER: And that's kind of where the spark started.

KING: It did?


KING: Were you surprised it hadn't started before? Well, you didn't even know her, right?

R. MESSNER: I didn't really know Tammy.

KING: Did it start for you at the Outback? Truth.

T. MESSNER: The Outback.


T. MESSNER: Well...

KING: There is no, madam, what will be the wine of preference tonight at the Outback?

T. MESSNER: I had always liked Roe, I thought Roe was a really neat man, and I began to love Roe as I began to know Roe. He -- that's when the spark happened to me when we really started getting to know one another. KING: And Jim was in prison at this time?

T. MESSNER: Yes, and I was already divorced.

KING: Were you shocked, Jim, when you heard that Roe and Tammy were together?



KING: But just because you knew they didn't know each other?

T. MESSNER: This is sort of useless though.

KING: No, I mean, this is fascinating.

But Lori is the newcomer here.

JIM BAKKER: It's over, it's in the past.

KING: No, but I mean you were surprised?

JIM BAKKER: I don't live there anymore, so I haven't even thought about the answers to this.

KING: But were you surprised?

JIM BAKKER: Yes, yes, of course.

KING: And then accepted it?

JIM BAKKER: Yes, absolutely.

KING: And, Laurie, how did you meet Jim?

LORI BAKKER, JIM BAKKER'S WIFE: We met at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, as he always says, in the alley in the ghetto.

KING: And you were there why?

L. BAKKER: I was there to minister to the women there, the hurting and the broken women there, and actually his son and -- who is his wife now, but was his girlfriend at the time, and a girl who is like my daughter, the three of them actually introduced us.

KING: Did you like him right away?

L. BAKKER: I did, you know, I -- it was -- for me he was always just Jay's dad, and Tammy Faye was always just Jay's mom. I mean, I never thought of them any different than...

KING: You knew Tammy Faye too?

L. BAKKER: Well, I didn't know her at the time personally...

KING: You knew about her of course?

L. BAKKER: But of course I knew about her, but to me...

JIM BAKKER: The whole world knew about her.

KING: Well put.

L. BAKKER: ... they were just the, you know, parents of Jamie -- of Jay.

KING: And when -- so how did you begin -- how did the feelings start for Jim?

JIM BAKKER: The minute I saw her.

KING: Your's was instant?

JIM BAKKER: I fell in love the minute I saw her in the alley behind the church. My son introduced -- Jamie knew her four years before. He had helped -- she had actually helped Jamie when he went to masters commission in Phoenix, Arizona. And so, when I met Lori, I fell -- it took her longer I think.

KING: So this is interesting. Roe falls right away at the Outback, he says, Holy Moses, I'm in love with her. Right? You see her in the alley, you fall in love right away. You, not so quick.


L. BAKKER: No, it took about 24 hours.


KING: Now, you had also had your problems, right, that you have overcome?

L. BAKKER: Yes, I did.

KING: You told us about that before. You had drug problems, right?

L. BAKKER: Yes, yes, I was in a marriage for 10 years that was abusive, full of, you know, physical abuse, emotional abuse, so women out there who have been through that know what I'm talking about. And had also been through the whole quote, unquote "sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll" scene for many years, and from the ages of 17-21 went through five abortions and at the age of 22 had to have a radical hysterectomy as a result of a last abortion. So I went through a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, a lot of hell.

KING: You can have no children, right?

L. BAKKER: Correct, correct. And so, I was really a broken, hurting woman until I asked Jesus into my life.

KING: And how -- Roe, are you a believer? R. MESSNER: Yes.

KING: All right, you also had problems, you went to prison. You had a major cancer didn't you?

R. MESSNER: Right.

KING: Are you recovered?

R. MESSNER: I have prostate cancer and I have chosen not to have treatment.

KING: Why?

R. MESSNER: Well, I -- the cures can be worse than the problem.

KING: So is it so far contained? I mean, are you doing watchful waiting?

R. MESSNER: Yes, it is contained within the prostate. I'm doing watchful waiting and my PSA is 12.4 and...

KING: That's not good, Roe.

R. MESSNER: ... that's a little high.

KING: Are you worried?


KING: Do you want him to have surgery, or is...


KING: So this is now a conflict?

T. MESSNER: It's not a conflict.

R. MESSNER: No, no, it's no conflict, Larry.

T. MESSNER: We agreed to disagree on it, because I figured it's his body and he -- I have to respect his -- what he wants to do with his own body.

KING: Do you pray for him?

JIM BAKKER: Absolutely.

KING: You are all friends?

JIM BAKKER: In fact, I prayed for Roe -- I had to, you know, really forgive Roe for marrying my wife at that point in prison. I mean, you have to forgive...

KING: Yes, you were in prison, you're going to be able to take... JIM BAKKER: I was in prison and God was dealing with me to forgive everybody. And then he said I don't have to just -- you can't just forgive, you've got to pray for God to bless your enemies. That's what Christ teaches.

KING: Don't make it easy, though.

JIM BAKKER: Yes, and then I had to come to the point where I had to literally tell God -- because Roe is one of the greatest builders in the world. And I had to say to God, if, God, you want me to ever build something again that I would build it with Roe Messner, and I had come to that point where I could say, God, your will be done, not my will be done.

KING: We'll take some phone calls as well for the group. And at the bottom of the hour when the spouses leave, the children will join us. It's an hour with the Bakkers and their extended families.


Tomorrow night, Marie Osmond will be with us. Wednesday night, Mike Wallace. And Thursday and Friday night, two two-hour shows celebrating 20 years of CNN.

We'll be right back.


KING: Boy, Tammy Faye, you've had to put up with some tough things, illness, prison, ups and down, what keeps you going?

T. MESSNER: The joy of the Lord. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is my strength. And when we lose our joy, Larry, we lose our strength.

KING: Do you ever feel the Lord has done you wrong?

T. MESSNER: Well, I have been disappointed in God sometimes, but I've never ever not felt his presence. I've been disappointed, but I trust God with me. That's a real secret. You can trust God. I feel I love the Lord with all of my heart, and he will not put more on me than I can bear. And so I always say, Lord, I trust you with me. So I figure, anything that happens in my life, I must be able to bear it or he wouldn't allow it to happen.

KING: And what's the affect of that kind of thinking on you, Roe? What does that do for you?

R. MESSNER: I feel the same way Tammy does.

KING: Oh, you have the same belief she does?

R. MESSNER: Yes, exactly.

KING: So even though you may have a disagreement as to whether one has surgery, that does not affect... T. MESSNER: No.

KING: ... your love for each other...

T. MESSNER: Not at all.

KING: ... or belief in the Lord.


KING: Do you two do the same thing?

JIM BAKKER: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

KING: Can you explain this, let's say, to someone who questions it? Where can -- what can the Lord do to help someone forgive someone? What can the Lord do if someone is sick or someone's -- what can the Lord do?

JIM BAKKER: When you put your total faith in God, no matter what happens, to a person who's a true believer, if you die, you know you're going to heaven to be with God.

KING: So you're not afraid of death at all.

JIM BAKKER: So you know, and you're not afraid of death.

T. MESSNER: You can't lose.

JIM BAKKER: So you can't lose serving God, and that all things work together for good. As I see with Lori's testimony, you say what good could come out of all these abortions and all what she's been through? But she has been a part of a new Bible for women, a mentoring Bible. She's asked to speak all over the world now. She has seminars for women who've been through abortion that are scarred.

And so because of her problem that she's been through, she's able to help other people, like myself.

L. BAKKER: And that's the key. That's the key. And being healed yourself is getting out of you and everything being about you and going out and helping other people.

T. MESSNER: That's right. That's right.

L. BAKKER: That's the key to healing.

KING: And that removes things like, there's no jealousy in this room now, right?

T. MESSNER: No, no.

KING: You don't feel any feelings?

L. BAKKER: No, no, no, no.

KING: Would you say you're all friends?

T. MESSNER: I would say we're friends, yes?

R. MESSNER: Definitely.

KING: How do you explain that? I mean, with all...

JIM BAKKER: It's God. You have -- only God can help people truly forgive and go on. In the book of Colossians, it talks about that because of what Christ did, we are pure. We are without judgment on ourselves. And only through him can we do something like this.

KING: You think God's going to help your illness?

R. MESSNER: Definitely, already has.

T. MESSNER: We really believe God to keep that contained within the prostate. You know, I believe God's able to do that, Larry. I -- as you know, I went through colon surgery. And once the cancer was gone, I trusted God. I did not go through the chemotherapy and the other things. I really trusted God.

KING: You didn't blame him for the cancer?

T. MESSNER: Absolutely not. No, it opened so many doors for me.

KING: You never got angry at God, Jim?

JIM BAKKER: When I first went to prison, I was even questioning where, God, where are you?


KING: Because you were a wreck that day.

JIM BAKKER: But -- yes, but as I went through the months of studying the word of God, I realized that prison was God's favor, that God is saying, I want you to come to sight. Everybody in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, has either been in a pit or a prison or a back side of the desert.


JIM BAKKER: They've all been through bad things. So bad things happen to people. They happen to all the great men of God.

KING: I'm amazed. We'll be back with more of Mr. and Mrs. Messner and Mr. and Mrs. Bakker.

This is LARRY KING LIVE. Their children are going to be here later, too. Don't go away.


JIM BAKKER: No, come on. Please don't do this to me.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Step back, please. Move back.



KING: We're back.

Do you miss, Tammy and Jim, do you miss the glory days? Do you miss the television and the money...

T. MESSNER: I don't...

KING: ... and, frankly, the accolades?

T. MESSNER: I do not miss the money, but I miss television because I feel still it's the greatest way in the world to reach the people.

KING: So you miss people?

T. MESSNER: And I miss reaching the people.

KING: Jim?

JIM BAKKER: No, I don't miss it at all.

KING: You don't miss it at all?

JIM BAKKER: I'm so busy that I don't have time to really miss it right now.

KING: How about...

JIM BAKKER: And I'm so busy...

KING: How about the big life?

JIM BAKKER: ... doing new things.

KING: You two had a pretty good life?

T. MESSNER: I don't miss that at all.

JIM BAKKER: It wasn't that way at all, Larry. It was -- we were just so busy that life was just happening.

KING: You never reaped the benefits of...

JIM BAKKER: Well, sure, we had nice houses and nice cars. But you don't live there. You have nice houses and nice cars. You don't sit around thinking, boy, I've got a nice house and a nice car. I was busy working, same as you work every night on this show. That's where you're driven. You're -- you know, that's what I mean.

KING: But if I lost my house and my car, I think I would miss it. T. MESSNER: Not as much...

KING: I'd miss...

T. MESSNER: Maybe not as much as you think.

KING: Not as much...

T. MESSNER: Maybe not as much as you think.

KING: Maybe not as much.

JIM BAKKER: I tell you, I have a wife that loves me. And we are so happy. And we are -- we have not even had a honeymoon yet, but we travel all over the world. And the people in the inner city have just begin us such love...

T. MESSNER: Yes, that's what it's about.

JIM BAKKER: ... that when you're healed by this love, you know, we're just reaching out to people, and they're reaching back.

KING: You had a lot of money once, too, didn't you, Rose? Do you miss it?

R. MESSNER: Happiness is not money. Happiness is down here. And money makes things easy, makes it convenient. But it doesn't bring happiness.

T. MESSNER: (OFF-MIKE) easier, yes.

JIM BAKKER: David Brokaw (ph) told me something the other day on the phone.

KING: He represents you.

JIM BAKKER: A great man. And he said a billionaire friend of his said, if you think money brings happiness, it means you've never had any.

KING: Now you -- you, I guess, of all the people here, Lori...

T. MESSNER: That's good.

KING: ... you have never had money, right?

L. BAKKER: Not in comparison, let's just say that.

KING: So do you ever wonder about the way that they lived?

L. BAKKER: No, I don't. No.

KING: Ever desire to live that way?

L. BAKKER: I can't...

KING: Would you want to have a lot of money?

L. BAKKER: No, not really. I mean, I...

JIM BAKKER: She'd like to have a house, probably.

L. BAKKER: Maybe just a small little house of our own that nobody else lives with us. But, no, because I think it's exactly -- you know, I'd like to say I'm a wise woman and, you know, thanks to God, but I've just learned so much from so many people. I've -- just what Roe was just saying. Happiness isn't -- it's not what money can buy you, it's -- it's -- deep inside of here is where you have to find it.

KING: We're going to spend some more moments with the spouses as well as the Bakkers, and then we're going to meet the Bakker's children.

We'll be right back. Don't go away.


T. MESSNER: That is where Jim and I have been, the sorrow and the grief and the hurt, when we had absolutely nothing left, reputation destroyed, everything gone. By God, oh, my.

JIM BAKKER: Tammy bought me a little pin. It was supposed to flip on a shirt or something, but I have it on my lamp. It says, don't worry, be happy. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

T. MESSNER: I shall not want. You know, Jim, I never realized what that song was before the Lord was my shepherd. I shall not want. But we have lived that.

JIM BAKKER: That's right.



KING: This is our anniversary week, and we're beginning it with the Bakkers and with the Messners, as well. How do all four of you manage to get along? Do you ever, for example...

T. MESSNER: We were at Jamie's wedding. We had a wonderful time together.

KING: You don't go to dinner together, though.

T. MESSNER: Oh, no, we don't go -- no, we don't do that.

KING: You all live in North Carolina, though, right?

T. MESSNER: We all live -- we live 15 minutes from each other.

JIM BAKKER: Yes. T. MESSNER: And what's so wonderful is they can have grandpa and they can have grandma, and they can have papa and they can have -- what do they call you, Lori?


L. BAKKER: Mama.

T. MESSNER: Mama. Isn't that neat?

KING: It is neat.

T. MESSNER: I think it's wonderful.

KING: And it's a lesson for people that maybe, you know, you can...

JIM BAKKER: We have...

T. MESSNER: I like this old guy.

JIM BAKKER: We have two of the greatest grandsons the world has ever known.

T. MESSNER: Yes, Grandpa.

JIM BAKKER: No, no, they are. They are...

T. MESSNER: They're really darling.

KING: You have grandchildren -- you have children and of your own.

R. MESSNER: I have 11 grandkids and four of my own kids.

KING: OK, so when you sit here -- I'm talking about the way we're raised -- you don't feel at all funny about sitting with your wife and her ex-husband.

R. MESSNER: Not at all.

KING: No, there's no...


KING: ... dampening of any feelings, no questioning?

T. MESSNER: This is one tough man here. He's a neat, wonderful man.

KING: And the same with you, Lori?

L. BAKKER: No, I don't.

KING: You don't feel any jealousy toward the fact that these two's names are linked together? L. BAKKER: No, that was part of the whole deal going into it.

JIM BAKKER: Before I even met her -- we were on the Newport Pier walking. And I sat her down. Before I even went any farther, I said, hey, I'm falling in love. And, you know, if you're going to sign on for this cruise, there's going to be some rough water. And "The Enquirer" -- we were in Hawaii doing a speaking engagement, and "The Enquirer" found us on a beach. I mean, nobody else was there, out on the rocky beach. And here comes "The Enquirer." And that was her first experience. And, believe me, I don't think she knew for sure this was the trip she signed up for.

T. MESSNER: Well, you know, Roe signed up for the same trip.

R. MESSNER: Yes, I did.

T. MESSNER: You know, and he had a pastor tell him, don't you marry her because she'll never be a Messner. She'll always be a Bakker. And Roe always puts up with them calling me Tammy Bakker.

KING: And you're able to just -- that rolls off you?


T. MESSNER: Sometimes.

JIM BAKKER: That's one of the reasons...

R. MESSNER: Well, every once in a while I crack up.

JIM BAKKER: One of the reasons we agreed to do this show is that we want to tell people, you know, let's not look back anymore. We made a mess of our lives, and God has put us back together again. And I'm remarried and Tammy Faye's remarried. And we want to establish that fact...

KING: And you're doing a great job of it.

JIM BAKKER: ... And we want to tell people we can't undo the past...


JIM BAKKER: ... but we can do tomorrow. And...

T. MESSNER: You know, Humpty-Dumpty fell off the wall...

JIM BAKKER: And also...

T. MESSNER: ... Humpty-Dumpty Had a great fall...

JIM BAKKER: ... because...

T. MESSNER: All the horses...

JIM BAKKER: ... we want to say congratulations on 15 years. We are so honored...

T. MESSNER: Yes, congratulations.

JIM BAKKER: ... to be here.

L. BAKKER: Congratulations.

JIM BAKKER: And we have a gift for your wife. And this -- Lori Beth, one of the greatest things -- she tells me beside her marriage...

KING: Look, it's got her name on it.

JIM BAKKER: Yes. Lori has been a part of this...

KING: Shaun King Bible.

JIM BAKKER: This is a new -- this is a Woman of Destiny Bible. They've asked Lori to do -- she's done two parts of this Bible -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and Lori I now jokingly say. But this is a Bible for women to mentor women. And we want...

T. MESSNER: I want one, too.

JIM BAKKER: We want your wife to have one, too.

L. BAKKER: I'll get you one.

JIM BAKKER: Lori wrote in there as something to say thank you on this 15th anniversary.

KING: Thank you. And what did you bring me?

T. MESSNER: He brought you me, Larry.

KING: We will, in a moment, meet the kids. I hope that your health is being taken care of. I mean, I'm sure you're watching this. This is not the easiest of times. You seem to have an amazing attitude.

R. MESSNER: Well, Larry, in life, attitude is everything. You choose to be positive or negative, and I've always chosen to be positive.

KING: Give him a lot of credit for that?

T. MESSNER: I do give him a lot of credit for that. And at times when I've wanted to have pity parties, he's gotten me right out of it real quick.

KING: Pity parties?

T. MESSNER: Pity parties. Yes, he says you're allowed five minutes, and then no more. We're moving on.

KING: And, Lori, you're involved with Jim and his ministry, right?

L. BAKKER: Oh, yes, absolutely.

KING: So the two of you are all -- you're inseparable in a sense.

L. BAKKER: Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

JIM BAKKER: She's getting more invitations to speak now than I am.

KING: Thank you, Lori, thank you.

The Bakkers will stay and Mrs. -- Jim Bakker will stay, Tammy Faye Messner will stay, and they'll be joined by their children, Tammy Sue and Jay, right after this.


KING: It's a historic night. They're here together, and they are, of course, Jim and Tammy Faye. Jim Bakker, who ministers through the New Covenant Fellowship, and Tammy Faye Messner, who's still preaching and singing -- and, by the way, is the focus of a major documentary called "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." We've met their spouses. We are now joined by Tammy Sue Bakker Chapman, Jim and Tammy Faye's daughter. She works with her father in his ministry, and she is the mother of two children. And Jay Bakker, Jim and Tammy Faye's son, he has his own ministry in Atlanta.

Tammy, you're 30, right?


KING: How old are you, Jay?


KING: So you're the elder?

CHAPMAN: I'm the elder, yes.

KING: What was it like when all this happened to your dad? How old were you?

CHAPMAN: I was 16, so I had been raised -- my whole life was television from day one, before I was even born, and was the ministry, and was PTL, Heritage USA. And so it was -- it was very, very devastating to say the least for me.

KING: Have you four been on together?


KING: Never been on together?


KING: Devastating?


KING: Did you -- were you angry at father or mother?

CHAPMAN: No, I wasn't angry.

KING: Hurt?

T. MESSNER: She ran away.

CHAPMAN: No, but -- no, it wasn't really anger or hurt. It was more of just being confused at losing everything overnight, literally overnight.

KING: Did you forgive your father as well?

CHAPMAN: I didn't have anything to forgive him.

KING: You never felt you had to forgive him for anything?

CHAPMAN: No, no.

KING: Were you too young, Jay, or did it hit you hard?

JAY BAKKER: No, it hit me really hard, like a ton of bricks.

KING: You were how old?

JAY BAKKER: I was 11 when it happened.

KING: And what happened to you? Friends at school?

JAY BAKKER: Twenty-four hours, my school had changed because my school was at Heritage USA. So my school had changed. I had bodyguards -- they were gone. I watched my parents' best friends -- I -- some of their best friends who have not talked to them to this day all disappeared. Hundreds of people disappeared. And it was quite a shock. I mean, I was in amazement. For the first time in my life, I was not surrounded by people being positive. I was barely surrounded by people at all. And it was a very negative feeling.

KING: And how did that effect play on you?

JAY BAKKER: It caused me to just somehow want to change my whole persona and become someone else.

KING: And tune out?

JAY BAKKER: And tune out, yes.

KING: Did you get rebellious?

JAY BAKKER: I did. I drank...

KING: I noticed you're tattooed.

JAY BAKKER: Well, these tattoos aren't really rebellion. These tattoos are all tattoos I've had since I have been a pastor.

KING: So they're pastoral tattoos?

JAY BAKKER: They're pastoral tattoos, yes.

KING: They're new-aged tattoos.


CHAPMAN: That's right.

KING: And I notice you have the -- what is that on your lip?

JAY BAKKER: That's a lip ring, piercing.

KING: Lip ring, you have an eyebrow ring. All this is new or did this happen when you were 11?

JAY BAKKER: Oh, no. I just went all downhill -- cigarettes, tattoos, biking bars...

KING: Did you go wrong, though? I mean, did you have a tough time?

JAY BAKKER: I had a tough time. I think I had the normal tough time that any teenager would have with drinking and drugs, but I also had the affect of my father being in prison. And that was hardest thing, and watching my parents going through a divorce and everyone knowing about it and talking about it in school. So that was really, really devastating -- and the rejection of the church was very devastating.

KING: Were you married at the time, Tammy, when they were divorced?

CHAPMAN: No. We got -- well, when they were divorced, yes.

KING: When they were divorced, you had since gotten married.

Did that marriage help you a lot to handle all this, your father in jail and everything?

CHAPMAN: Oh, yes, yes. And friends, marriage and friends, and family.

KING: What does your husband do?

CHAPMAN: What does he do now?

KING: Yes.

CHAPMAN: He works in communications.

KING: I see. It's a good marriage?

CHAPMAN: Yes, 14 years actually May 21st, this past Sunday.

KING: So you got married very young?

CHAPMAN: Yes, 17. Got married young.

KING: What was it like for you with your dad in jail?

CHAPMAN: Well, it was -- it was very hard. We lived in a home out in the country with my children. And he was there for the birth of my first son, James, but the second, my second son, Jonathan, my family was not able to be there.

We're very -- we had been, you know, a very close-knit family, and so he wasn't there for that. And there was -- it was a lonely time. It was a lonely time.

KING: Did the divorce affect you, upset you?

CHAPMAN: Oh, yes. I mean, it -- it -- divorce, it affects, no matter if you're 5 years old or 30 or 25, you know, divorce affects you.

KING: It affected more by the fact that it's in all the papers? As Jay mentioned. I mean, people get divorced, they don't read about it.

CHAPMAN: No, they don't. Losing Heritage and the divorce and our lives in general, you know, being out there to where when you go to the grocery store you're checking out, and there's the rag magazines, there's everything, so you live in it. And then you're -- you might be having a great day. You go to the grocery store, you go to check out, and it's there in the face again.

JIM BAKKER: Tell him about paging.

CHAPMAN: Or when you're flipping television, you know, shows and they're making fun or saying something -- it never goes away.

KING: What does he mean by paging? What did you mean, Jim?

CHAPMAN: Oh, that -- we don't need to tell him -- we don't have to tell him that.

KING: What was it?

JIM BAKKER: In the -- in the market...

CHAPMAN: Well, I'll tell it. I'll tell it.


We don't have to tell it but I'll tell it. KING: Daughter rules.

JIM BAKKER: She won't talk about the past. She doesn't...

CHAPMAN: Well, the past is in the past. But...

KING: Well, we all -- we learn from it.

CHAPMAN: We do learn from it, and that's what I thank God the most is I thank God for Him allowing me to go through the pain and the adversity that I went through in my life because I learned lessons, great lessons that I wouldn't be the person that I am today...

KING: What's the paging?

CHAPMAN: ... if I hadn't learned from that.

Well, when we first lost Heritage, I was in -- never moved from Charlotte -- I've always state in Charlotte -- and went into a few of the store. One of the first -- first one was in a grocery store, and they called my name over the loudspeaker. And they had guys, a couple of the guys that were bagging were following me through the grocery store, and they were yelling out, you know, your dad's a fag, and yelling out all these horrible things to the point where I did not go -- it happened in a couple of different stores. And I didn't go into a market or a store for about six months after.

KING: And at 11, Jay, boy, your friends -- friends that weren't friends anymore, right?

JAY BAKKER: Yes, and parents who wouldn't let their kids hang out with me anymore. And for some reason, it felt like the parents always needed to express to me why they didn't like my mom and dad anymore. And that was very hard to go over to someone's house, and I became a professional defender of my mom and dad because of that.


KING: At that age?

JAY BAKKER: At that age. And I spent most of my life, even some to this day, defending my parents.

KING: Were you not angry at your dad?

JAY BAKKER: No, I wasn't, not at all.

KING: Did you feel that people had been hurt because of them?

JAY BAKKER: I feel that people were hurt because they put unrealistic expectations on them. I think the biggest trouble with Christianity today and the church today is that we make our pastors into superhumans and like they're not real people, and that's just not realistic.

Jesus didn't have -- I mean, Jesus was a friend of sinners. His best friend was Mary Magdalene, a prostitute. Peter, who was -- he said was the rock, his foundation, denied him three times. And somehow we've gotten something ridiculous where we think people are perfect.

So I was more let down with religious tradition, and you know...

KING: But never angry at them?

JAY BAKKER: No, I was -- I was -- I was a little confused when the divorce happened, you know? I was upset with mom.

KING: You thought she was wrong?

JAY BAKKER: Well, we were best friends. Me and mom are best friends, and we had each other, and me and mom went through it together. So we kind of had -- you know, it was our first argument. So, that was the only time that was a really hard time.

KING: do you like roe?

JAY BAKKER: Yes. Oh, I love roe. Me and Roe get along really great and...

KING: But you just felt that she shouldn't have left your father?

JAY BAKKER: Yes. At the time I did.

KING: And you, Tammy?

CHAPMAN: As far as?

KING: Leaving your father?

T. MESSNER: Your mother.


KING: Were you mad at your mother?

CHAPMAN: No, I -- I mean, it was -- you know, it's -- it was just a rough time. You know? But I wasn't angry at either one of my parents.

KING: How do you like Lori?

CHAPMAN: I love Lori. Love Roe. Love my mom, love my dad. We have a great thing going with the family members.

KING: Do you like Lori?

JAY BAKKER: Love Lori. I've known Lori forever.

KING: Oh yes, that's right. She met through you. She was -- what was the biggest -- did you hit low skids?

JAY BAKKER: Yes. I'd say the lowest was when I started to get acid flashbacks. I thought I was going crazy.

KING: How old?

JAY BAKKER: About 15 -- about 16.

KING: Your father was in jail?


KING: He had no knowledge of this.

JAY BAKKER: I -- we actually flew out to tell him. I thought I was going crazy.

JIM BAKKER: Yes, it was unbelievable to be in prison and not be able to...

KING: You can't help him.

JIM BAKKER: To try to raise a son from inside the prison walls is a very difficult thing. But I want to say to the world my son at 16 was the one who tried the most to get me out of prison. He wrote every -- the president, the senators. He called president -- he called the White House. He called ever every major Christian leader in the world.

And he's writing a book right now that's going to be a little bit stronger than my book. But he really went through hell to get me out of prison.

T. MESSNER: Larry, I would like to say something. When we lost Heritage USA, I didn't care about me and I didn't care about Jim. But I asked God what's going to happen to my children. And I felt in my heart, God promised me, I'm going to take care of your children, and the most wonderful thing in my whole life today is that my children are serving the Lord.

KING: Did you know that Jay was in trouble?

T. MESSNER: Oh, of course, yes. Oh, we were together all of the time, and all I could do was pray for him, because I would say, God, I trust you to take care of my child.

KING: And you didn't have a problem, Tammy?


KING: No drugs or anything.


KING: We'll be back with more of this incredible tale and the optimism it brings. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We will include a phone call. I should tell you that Jay Bakker has a book coming the first of the year called "Son of a Preacher Man." It's the story...


Self-evident. Daughter of a show business star. Son of a show business star.


Jim Bakker has a new book out called "The Refuge." Lori's writing a book, too, right?

JIM BAKKER: Yes. Her book will be out the first of the year of her life story.

KING: And you, you, Tammy Sue, nothing, no book, nothing?

JIM BAKKER: New record coming.

CHAPMAN: I sing.

T. MESSNER: She's an awesome singer.

JIM BAKKER: CD. She's one of the greatest singers in the world.

T. MESSNER: She really is.

CHAPMAN: Oh, don't now.

T. MESSNER: She really is.


KING: Gospel or country?

CHAPMAN: Christian music.

JAY BAKKER: We've got a lot of people really interested in her right now.

KING: Yes?


KING: Let's take a call. Naples, Florida, hello.

Naples, Florida, are you there? Hello?

They're not there. They said they were there, but they weren't there.

So you're a singer now?

CHAPMAN: Yes. KING: OK. All of this has done what for this group, do you think

CHAPMAN: It's made us stronger.

T. MESSNER: It's the truth, all of it.

CHAPMAN: It made us stronger.

KING: All of you feel closer to God?


CHAPMAN: Closer, deeper -- closer to God than I've ever been.


KING: There is no bitterness here, no anger?

CHAPMAN: None, none.

T. MESSNER: None, no, no.

KING: Don't you feel anger at Jerry Falwell?

J. BAKKER: You know, it's not anger at Jerry Falwell. I had to forgive him. It is what some of those type of pastors represent of what they're preaching that I feel needs to stop. But you know what? Paul -- when Paul was in prison he was talking about how there were preachers there in the prison who were preaching just to make him mad, but he goes, I thank God anyway that the gospel is being preached.


J. BAKKER: And that's how I feel about it. There's -- you know, thank God it's being preached.

KING: I think I hit the wrong button. Naples, hello.


KING: Hi. What's the question?

CALLER: Well, I was going to ask him about Jerry Falwell and I was going to mention to them that we just praise and thank God for them that -- well, they have been such a blessing to the people.

T. MESSNER: Thank you.

KING: All right, what about your feelings toward Mr. Falwell, Jim? He seemed to turn on you.

JIM BAKKER: I went through a total forgiveness, and Jamie actually brought Jerry Falwell to the last prison to meet with me and -- for reconciliation.

KING: When you were out of prison.


JIM BAKKER: No, when...

CHAPMAN: No, in prison.

JIM BAKKER: The last prison I was in. Jerry Falwell came to that prison with Jamie child.

KING: And?

JIM BAKKER: And Jamie was -- didn't want him to come, because he was afraid -- he said, these people are going to kill you, they'll do you in. And Jamie went and met with him and then flew to the prison, and my son brought Jerry Falwell -- my son has taught me so much about grace and forgiveness that when I was living on the farm not forgiving myself, Jamie would call me on the phone and say, Dad, look what the Bible says, we're saved by grace, not works, and it was awesome.

KING: You forgive Jerry?


KING: You do?

T. MESSNER: If I saw Jerry I would just -- you're going to laugh -- but I would burst out crying, and the only question I would ever ask Jerry is just why? Why? Because we loved Jerry. We trusted Jerry, and that's what hurt me as...

KING: Tammy Sue, do you have any feelings one way or the other?

CHAPMAN: I have forgiven him.

KING: So you have no bitterness, no one here has bitterness toward anyone?

T. MESSNER: No, no.


J. BAKKER: Well, I mean, we are humans. I sometimes -- you know, I have to -- forgiving is daily to me.

T. MESSNER: It is, and it's an ongoing thing, that's right.

J. BAKKER: There is times where I've been in Bible study and Jerry Falwell has come up and I've torn him apart and then had to go back to my Bible study and apologize. I mean, I'm a human being, but I choose not to carry, and I forgive daily.

T. MESSNER: Well, and there are times when I see Jerry on TV and I quickly flip the other channel. But I really do say, God, I have given Jerry Falwell to you and I have forgiven him.

KING: Some final thoughts from each of our guests.

Marie Osmond tomorrow night.

T. MESSNER: Sweet lady.

KING: Mike Wallace on Wednesday.

Don't go away.


KING: Jay just said it's so weird having you all together. I guess it is weird.


J. BAKKER: Weird. Only Larry King...


T. MESSNER: Especially back on TV.

CHAPMAN: We would only do this for you.


J. BAKKER: Well, I mean, it's...

CHAPMAN: Only for him.

J. BAKKER: It's been real healing for me even watching the green room, because I felt like I was back at PTL in the green room. And the sad thing is and people that will have -- came from the divorce is people always miss the chemistry that they have, because you have seen it here tonight.

KING: That they have.

Orlando, Florida, hello. One more call. Hello?

CALLER: Would Jim and Tammy consider doing a TV show together again?


KING: Tammy says yes, Jim says no.


KING: You would not work together again?

JIM BAKKER: We've got -- I've got so much going on I don't think it will ever happen.

KING: All right, some closing thoughts, Tammy, you want to be a singing star, you want a big record? CHAPMAN: Yes, yes, I do.

KING: You ready to be able to be in show business and raise children?

CHAPMAN: Yes, I am.

KING: Husband has no problem with that?

CHAPMAN: Not any problems, no.

KING: Your goal, Jay?

J. BAKKER: To let people see the unconditional love of Christ in the church, that people will see who Jesus really is and that will get rid of man's religion and tradition in the church.

KING: You minister to a lot of young people?

J. BAKKER: I minister to punk rock kids, Gothic kids, you know, the Columbine-type kids. Those are the kids I work with.

KING: What is your goal, Tammy Faye, now?

T. MESSNER: My heart is for young people and someday I would love to do a talk show for young people. I'd really like...

KING: You want to go back on TV?


KING: Nice goal. TV misses you.

T. MESSNER: Thank you, Larry.

KING: And Jim?

JIM BAKKER: Lori and I are going to tell the world that when the world falls apart, even if you feel like Humpty-Dumpty, you had a great fall, and all the king's horses and all the king's men...

T. MESSNER: Hey, you're stealing my line.

JIM BAKKER: ... can't put you back together again, that God puts you back.

T. MESSNER: Yes, he sure does. That's right.

JIM BAKKER: When it's impossible, God puts it back together.

T. MESSNER: Yes, he does.

KING: And are you going to minister in prisons?

JIM BAKKER: Yes, oh, yes.

KING: I know you work a lot in the poorer communities, right?

JIM BAKKER: Chuck Colson has asked me several times to come and I'm hoping to be a part of some of their special crusades in prison.

T. MESSNER: I would like to do that, too, I would like to minister in prisons.

KING: You work a lot in poorer communities, too?

JIM BAKKER: All over America.

KING: And both of you as you go on with your own lives have to be very proud of these two kids?

T. MESSNER: We are.

JIM BAKKER: I want to say hi to all the gang at Joe Johnson in the ghetto.

KING: Are they watching?


T. MESSNER: Hi, James and Jonathan, it's your grandma.

KING: They know who you are.


J. BAKKER: I'm not sure.

KING: Thanks a lot.

J. BAKKER: Thank you, it's a pleasure.

KING: Thank you.

T. MESSNER: Thanks, Larry.

KING: God bless, thanks.

JIM BAKKER: Thank you, Larry, God bless. And you're 15.

KING: Thank you.

JIM BAKKER: Fifteen more right ahead.


CHAPMAN: Yes, happy birthday.

KING: We're 15, the network is 20. Thursday and Friday night we'll be celebrating both, the 20 years of CNN will be the major emphasis, 15 years of this program as well. Tomorrow night we'll be here with Marie Osmond and Wednesday night in New York with Mike Wallace. Thursday and Friday with two two-hour shows from Atlanta reliving our history. And on Saturday night, the new king of Jordan.

We thank you all very much for joining us and we thank these people for joining us. What a show. Thanks very much.

Stay tuned for CNN NEWSSTAND, and good night.



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