Religion: A New Preacher for PTL

Televangelists compete over what's left of Bakker's domain

It stands variously for Praise The Lord or People That Love, but PTL, the former evangelistic empire of Jim Bakker, has recently spelled nothing but trouble. In its heyday, PTL operated the biggest all-day, all-God TV network and reached 14 million cable households, in addition to controlling a theme park and retirement village. But its founder's fall and imprisonment shattered the empire and left it bankrupt. Last week it got a new -- and quite unexpected -- owner.

The principal bidder for the PTL cable network looked to be evangelist Oral Roberts, whose career has had more ups and downs than...

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