I started reading Wigger's PTL and found this ending pargraph of the Introduction that speaker to an almost decade-long moditation I've been on about what happens to a ministry when the revelution becomes the establishment.
The story that emerges, particularly from my interview with former PTLers, is of a ministry started by a small group of energetic young believers, mostly in their twenties and thirties, who felt sure that God had called them to change the world through television. That meant they had to be big, which meant big money. In the 19802 Bakker used that money to change the direction of the ministry, shifting the focus from television to Heritage USA, from evangelicsm to Chrstian version of the good life. In the process many of the original staff quit, disillusioned by the corruption they saw creeping into the ministry. Yet PTL continued to grow, supported by hundreds of thousands of followers drawn to its combination of faith and cultural relevancy. It was church with a water park, revival in the comfort of a luxury hotel, preachers who were telvision stars. Then it all fell apart.