Controversial TV evangelist Jim Bakker suffers stroke amid lawsuit over coronavirus 'cure'
Jim Bakker, the controversial TV evangelist being sued after supposedly endorsing a fake coronavirus 'cure', has suffered a stroke.
His son, Jay Bakker, announced the news on Twitter on Friday.
"I know some of you struggle with humanizing my father, but he is also a good grandpa and my dad," he wrote.
"We have a complicated relationship like a lot of folks... His life has influenced mine as well as my work. He recently suffered a minor stroke, your thoughts are appreciated."
Jim Bakker's wife, Lori, said that he was recuperating at home and would be taking a sabbatical until he is fully recovered.
"We are thankful that Jim is okay, and that he is now at home with our family," she wrote on the Facebook page of The Jim Bakker Show.
"Under the guidance of medical professionals and our Board of Directors, Jim will be taking a sabbatical from the show.
"Jim will be back! He is still dreaming and hearing from the Lord, and he already has a powerful word to deliver when he returns to the air."
She continued: "Jim is a Watchman on the Wall, and we as a family are committed to carrying his mantle by bringing more prophets, news, updates, and more in the coming weeks on The Jim Bakker Show.
"For many years now, Jim has been working non-stop, working hard to bring incredible prophets and guests to our show, discovering and developing new products to share, building at Morningside, and bringing forth the message for the days that we are living in.
"All of these projects, and the vigorous warfare that we have experienced in the last several weeks, have taken a huge toll on Jim's health."
Bakker, 80, is at the centre of a lawsuit filed by Missouri's Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, after a guest on his show, Dr Sherrill Sellman, suggested a "Silver Solution" product may be able to prevent infection from some strains of coronavirus.
"This influenza, which is now circling the globe, you're saying that Silver Solution would be effective?" Bakker asked Sellman.
In response, Sellman said: "Well, let's say it hasn't been tested against this strain of the coronavirus, but it's been tested on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours."
Former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
"Jim Bakker is being unfairly targeted by those who want to crush his ministry and force his Christian television program off the air," he said.
"The video recording of the Jim Bakker Show clearly shows the allegations are false. Bakker did not claim or state that Silver Solution was a cure for COVID-19. This case is about religious freedom."