Cover image for Son of a preacher man : my search for grace in the shadows
Son of a preacher man : my search for grace in the shadows
Bakker, Jay.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxii, 218 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BV3785.B29 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In Son of a Preacher Man Jay Bakker, son of famous televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, tells the compelling story of growing up in the glaring lights of a television studio. It's all here: the Bakker family's public disgrace, the fall of the PTL (Praise The Lord) media empire, and Bakker's subsequent plunge into a morass of anxiety and selfdestruction. But Son of a Preacher Man is more than a tell-all -- it is a story that dramatizes the human toll of this tragedy on the Bakker family, with insight into the seismic shifts that nearly destroyed his father and wrecked his parents' longtime marriage. It is the story of a prodigal son's return to the true meaning of God's love and acceptance. It is the story of a boy who was lost, but on the journey back from ruin finds a better way to understand and live life. It is the story of discovering God's grace and of becoming a man.

Despite years of disillusionment, alcoholism, and heartbreak, Bakker managed to continue on his spiritual quest. First he worked to redeem his father...then his faith. Bakker began his service with Revolution, a ministry for skateboarders, punk rockers, and hippiesthe street kids he knew best. He shared the message that saved his life -- the message of Jesus that God's love is infinitely generous. Now Bakker has a large and growing ministry among the tattooed and pierced of downtown Atlanta who feel rejected by the traditional Church yet flock to hear his message of grace and love.

Ultimately, Son of a Preacher Man is a story about resurrection -- of one lost young man, of his disgraced and imprisoned father, and of the hope that can't be destroyed by the machinations of power-hungry preachers, The long, lonely road that Bakker traveled taught him that you can't earn or make yourself worthy of the love of God, but if you are willing to let go and open up, that infinite love is waiting to welcome you home with open arms.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

From the opening epigram (a passage from Romans about learning from trials and adversities) to the rousing concluding chapter, this memoir by the son of the scandal-ridden televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker inspires, captivates and entertains. Even before his dad was arrested, Jay confesses, family life began to fall apart: Mom was addicted to drugs, and Jay's 16-year-old sister ran off to marry her beau. And then, in a haze of scandal, his father, whom Jay lionizes, was sentenced in 1989 to 45 years in prison. Jay's portrait of Papa Bakker is extremely sympatheticÄat times, a tad too worshipful. He also includes a touching vignette about Jimmy Swaggart, who agreed to help Jay get his father's prison sentence reduced when no other big-name pastors dared to intervene. In the years since his father was released from prison, young Jay Bakker has discovered he's an alcoholic, and gotten sober; fallen in love, and gotten married; and realized he's a sinner, and gotten right with God. He's now a pastorÄa tattooed, hip pastorÄin Atlanta, ministering to street youth on skateboards. Readers are sure to love Bakker's delightfully down-to-earth, slightly self-mocking tone ("For a while I thought I was Jim Morrison," he says about his acid-tripping, cowboy-boot-sporting days in high school), and will hope he'll somehow carve out time to write more books. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In Son of a Preacher Man, Bakker proudly, defiantly, defensively, and needlessly proclaims his relationship to his parents, Jim and Tammy Faye. At 28, the author, who was known as "Jamey Charles" at the height of his parents' popularity, can almost be forgiven for lacking the necessary distance to give a balanced account of what happened at the Praise the Lord Ministry. Most listeners will remember some details of his father's conviction in 1989 for defrauding his followers. Bakker, as an adolescent, did not understand what was going on around him. The elder Bakkers and their lawyers, seeking to protect him, assured him his father would not serve jail time, but when Jim did go to prison and his parents divorced, young Bakker's life came unstuck. He coped by taking up smoking, drinking, and drugs. Jay felt as if all of his family's friends, followers, and fellow ministers had turned their back on the Bakkers. He contacted many of the ministers who had condemned his parents and asked them to write letters supporting his father's early parole. He learned firsthand the lesson of letting go and forgiving the individuals the family had blamed for their downfall. Eventually, he found himself "called" to the ministry, which he named "Revolution." He wanted to work with other disenfranchised young adults who did not feel welcomed into traditional Fundamentalist churches. Bakker's story of transformation and forgiveness is emotionally charged, but this tale never lives up to the soulful title of the old Dusty Springfield tune. The book is uneven at best and defensive at worst. Not recommended. Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xvii
Part 1 Eden
1. The Keys to the Kingdomp. 3
2. Shadowsp. 13
3. Betrayedp. 31
4. Trial and Tribulationp. 49
Part 2 The Fall
5. Low-Level Searchingp. 65
6. Alone in the Darkp. 81
7. From Heritage to Hellp. 95
8. The Prodigal Sonp. 103
Part 3 Redemption
9. The Seeds of Salvationp. 115
10. Praying on the Outsidep. 129
11. Lost and Foundp. 145
12. Restorationp. 157
13. The Sober Truthp. 167
Part 4 Carrying the Message
14. Sharing the Truthp. 177
15. Grace for the Torturedp. 193
Indexp. 213