Religion: A Really Bad Day at Fort Mill

Evangelist Jim Bakker resigns from his Praise the Lord empire

"God has me on a roller-coaster ride," the Rev. Jim Bakker has often remarked. Through tumultuous financial ups and downs, the boyish-looking 47- year-old preacher has become a powerful czar of Christian entertainment. His enterprises encompass the PTL (for Praise the Lord or People That Love) network, carried by cable TV to 13.5 million homes; a daily television talk show, broadcast on 178 stations; and the 2,300-acre Heritage USA at Fort Mill, S.C., America's splashiest Gospel-theme amusement park, which was visited by more than 6 million people last year. His projects, which also include a lavish hotel and various charities, employ...