JIM BAKKER’s health is failing – and friends fear the man who was once the most powerful TV evangelist in America is suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Insiders say the 73-year-old former Assemblies of God minister has dropped 40 pounds, spends much of his time staring into space, and keeps asking for his now-deceased ex-wife, Tammy Faye.
In the 1980s, Bakker was caught up in a scandalous affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn and later spent nearly five years in prison after bilking millions from investors and church followers. Now remarried, he runs his Morningside ministry from Blue Eye, Mo., and appears on the daily “Jim Bakker Show.”
“His TV ministries are thriving and Jim seems to be in complete control,” an insider told The ENQUIRER. “But in reality he’s becoming more addled and confused by the day.”
“Jim asks for Tammy at least a dozen times a day and has to be reminded that she died and he has a new wife.”
Bakker married Tammy Faye in 1961 and they had two children. They divorced in 1992, and she tragically died of cancer in 2007. Meanwhile, Bakker wed Lori Beth Graham in 1998. She helped him launch the “Jim Bakker Show” five years later.
“Jim is the ultimate showman and can still preach up a storm when he has to,” added the insider.
“But people would be shocked if they saw the real, behind-the-scenes Jim.
“He keeps asking when Tammy will be home. All Lori can do is remind him that Tammy’s in heaven and that she’s his wife now.”