Jim Bakker’s theme park was like a Christian Disneyland. Here’s what happened to it.


The Rev. Sam Johnson, the Heritage Village church pastor who also resigned Thursday, agreed to host ‘The PTL Show’ Thursday. But the show did not go on — a ‘Camp Meeting’ rerun was put in its place.

Falwell’s farewell at a news conference Thursday was softly spoken but harsh and he vowed, ‘I personally intend as I leave today to never return’ to the ministry he took over from Bakker March 19.

He called Bakker ‘the greatest scab and cancer of Christianity in the past 2,000 years of church history,’ and said his offer to ensure a smooth transition did not extend to Bakker because ‘I have no intention of getting involved with that fellow.’

Bakker said he hopes ‘this is the beginning of the end of harsh words.’ He insisted again that Falwell stole the ministry and suggested that the PTL’s new leaders resigned because ‘they do not want to face a hearing and go to bankruptcy court and face Mr. (Melvin) Belli.’

My step-dad’s cousins live in Fort Mill, and as they tell the story, the corruption and incompetence in Heritage USA was just astounding. They drove us around the park in 2002, and I was shocked to see the brick peeling off the hotel—which means that the masons hadn’t bothered with the anchors usually used to fix a brick facade. A lesson for anyone who would cut costs at all costs, really.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.