Jamie Charles "Jay" Bakker (born December 18, 1975) is an American pastor, author, and speaker. He is the son of televangelists Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker Messner.

Jay Bakker
Jay Bakker 2007.jpg
Bakker in 2007
Jamie Charles Bakker

(1975-12-18) December 18, 1975 (age 46)
  • Amanda Moses (divorced)[1]
Karin Aebersold
(m. 2013)
WebsiteRevolution Church

During his young adult years, Bakker became disillusioned with mainstream Christianity, becoming particularly critical of Christian fundamentalism and the Christian right.[2] He later adopted a much more liberal form of Christianity and became a co-founder of Revolution Church, which was created in 1994 in Phoenix, Arizona.[3] Bakker then preached at Revolution's Atlanta location before pastoring the New York City branch of Revolution Church, which held services at the bar and venue Pete's Candy Store, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn until Bakker relocated to Minneapolis in 2013 and began pastoring another iteration of Revolution Church there. Much of Bakker's story was retold in a documentary on Sundance Channel called One Punk Under God: The Prodigal Son of Jim and Tammy Faye. His story has also been chronicled in Time Magazine.[4]

Early lifeEdit

Bakker's parents, Tammy Faye Messner and Jim Bakker

Bakker was born December 18, 1975[5] in Charlotte, North Carolina to Christian televangelist pastors Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker (née LaValley).[5]

In 1988 when Bakker was 12 years old, his father Jim was indicted on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy[6] and spent six years in federal prison.[7]

The trauma of his father's imprisonment, combined with the subsequent ostracism by others in the Church and religious community, led Bakker to engage in a period of substance abuse and partying during his young adult years.[8]

Political and social viewsEdit

Bakker has advocated for an open, inclusive Christianity that embraces those with alternative lifestyles and encourages doubt and uncertainty. He has also endorsed gay marriage and has been an advocate for the church's acceptance of the LGBTQ community. He has also questioned traditional interpretations of the atonement and salvation.[9][10] When asked by Larry King if he was "part of the liberal sect of Christianity," he said that he was "more liberal than most".[11] He also decries the influence of politics in religion, saying that it prevents civil discussion of topics such as homosexuality and abortion.[12] Bakker's church used rainbow-colored communion bread to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in Minnesota.[13]

Appearances in mediaEdit

In 2001, Bakker wrote the book Son of a Preacher Man: My Search for Grace in the Shadows which is an autobiography that details his youth, relationship with his parents, the PTL scandals, his anguish at his father's imprisonment, and the founding of Revolution Church.[14]

In 2006, he was featured in the six-part documentary One Punk Under God on the Sundance Channel.[15][16]

He has appeared on Larry King Live and The Joy Behar Show (August 23, 2011) and has been featured in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Time, The Economist, FHM and New York Magazine.[citation needed]

In 2011, Bakker and co-author Martin Edlund wrote the book Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self, and Society. The book explores the radical, transformative, and inclusive nature of grace, challenges Christians to reassess their understanding of salvation, and encourages non-believers to see Jesus with fresh eyes.[17]

In an episode of American Scandals with Barbara Walters (aired on December 14, 2015, for Investigation Discovery), Bakker was interviewed by Walters about growing up amidst the intense criticism that followed the fall of his famous father.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jay Bakker (January 23, 2011). "Finding Jesus, in Drag". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "From Lost Soul to Punk Pastor". Archived from the original on 10 April 2013.
  3. ^ [1] Archived January 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "From Jim and Tammy Faye to Evangelical Punk Preaching: Q&A; with Jay Bakker". Time. 15 March 2011. Archived from the original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b Morris, Alex (November 7, 2010). "God Loves Jay Bakker". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Ostling, Richard N. (December 19, 1988). "Jim Bakker's Crumbling World". Time magazine. Archived from the original on August 20, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  7. ^ Smothers, Ronald (December 2, 1994). "Ex-Television Evangelist Bakker Ends Prison Sentence for Fraud". The New York Times.
  8. ^ [2] Archived January 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "How Jay Bakker Is Trying to Use New York City to Save Christianity From Itself and Its Rigid Ideas -- New York Magazine". NYMag.com. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Jay Bakker defies the Christian mainstream". Indy Week. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  11. ^ "CNN". CNN. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Bakker, Brown: What the hell happened to Christianity?". CNN. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Rainbow Communion Bread". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  14. ^ Bakker, Jay (2002). Son of a Preacher Man. HarperCollins US. OCLC 228221840.
  15. ^ Gilson, Paul (13 December 2006). "One Punk Under God". Mother Jones. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  16. ^ Wiseman, Larisa (March 14, 2020). "One Punk Under God". Common Sense Media. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  17. ^ [3] Archived January 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (July 30, 2015). "Barbara Walters Revisits Celebrity Killers For Investigation Discovery – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 7, 2020.

External linksEdit