Jim Bakker resigns as head of the PTL ministry. It has been publicly revealed that he not only had a sexual affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn in 1980, but also that he's been paying her to ensure her silence about it. As part of his resignation agreement, he admits to the affair, but denies the allegation that he raped her. Jim Bakker will be succeed by Jerry Falwell as head of the PTL.
Jerry Falwell will soon call JIm Bakker a liar, an embezzler, a sexual deviant, and "the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history":
"I could not sit at this table with (Bakker and Messner) and look into the (television) lens and ask you to send money. In good conscience, the 10 members of the board of directors of PTL cannot sit on a board that could have the slightest potential for the return of Jim Bakker to continue the PTL travesty of the past."
In 1988, Jerry Falwell will also say that despite how horrible the Jim Bakker scandal was, it had nevertheless strengthened broadcast evangelism and made Christianity in America stronger and more mature:
"Most of the evangelical ministers that are playing on top of the table will be stronger than they are today. ... You need not be embarrassed by what ha happened, just more sensitive. ...
The cause of Christ is now better off... in the days ahead, it's going to be tougher for national leaders of TV ministries to misbehave. ... I think the days of Rolls-Royces and Rolexes ... the days in which social status is gauged by financial trappings are over."