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Old 09-12-2002, 08:07 AM   #1
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Branson Update

Ok, I finished it! I posted a new Update
http://bransonmom.com/2002%20Branson%20Updates.htmlto my site, lots of stuff going on! And I find out more every day! (it's just finding the time to get it all written down!) Hope you enjoy it!! Have a nice day!
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Old 09-12-2002, 09:44 AM   #2
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Thanks Mom.......we wait for this with baited breath.... Really.....
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Old 09-12-2002, 10:22 AM   #3
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Great Update!

Always look forward to reading these! Thanks BMom!
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Old 09-12-2002, 02:57 PM   #4
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Old 09-12-2002, 03:10 PM   #5
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Oh, goodie!! Can't wait to read everything, Branson Mom!
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:12 PM   #6
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Worth waiting for!!
Thanks a bunch.

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Old 09-12-2002, 05:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the update Branson Mom!!! It's nice to read what's going on -- even living here I sometimes miss things 'cause there's so much going on!!!
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:39 PM   #8
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Thanks Mom.......we wait for this with baited breath....

Baited Breath?
Have you been having lunch with Shoji?

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Old 09-12-2002, 06:50 PM   #9
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I think this will help shed some light on...

In the new update it was a question as to what the restaurant across from Mansion America is to become. I think this story from yesterday's Springfield News Leader will help. When you read this story you have to keep in mind that this person is the one you are thinking of. Thats right he was a TV Televangelist and he had a wife named Tammy Faye that wore A LOT of makeup. He divorced her in prison and is now remarried. Again I apologize for those weird symbols.

Sept. 11, 2002
Bakker to preach from Branson
Evangelist puts criminal past behind him and prepares national broadcast.

By Kathryn Buckstaff
Copyright 2002 News-Leader

Branson — More than a few careers have been revived in Branson.

Now, fallen televangelist Jim Bakker has come to town to start what he projects will be a nationally syndicated broadcast ministry, pumped onto the airwaves live from a studio in a restaurant. Bakker moved to Branson two weeks ago. In an interview with the News-Leader Tuesday, he said he is only weeks away from launching his show.

The 62-year-old Bakker is building a TV set in the former Cowboy Cafe. He will co-host the daily, hourlong talk show with his wife, ordained minister Lori Graham Bakker, Christian celebrities, musical guests and a live band.

Bakker’s show is tentatively scheduled for the lunch hour. He said broadcast audience members could eat and witness to their faith at the same time.

Springfield’s Churchill Coffee Company will operate the restaurant. A trial sign
for the renamed Studio City Cafe touts “Friends, Fun, Food and Faith.”

I've dreamed for years of more reality TV,said Bakker who first hit the
airways with his PTL Ministries in the 1970s. “I believe the Gospel is true reality.”

Branson supporters, both newfound and those dating to Bakker’s
scandal-riddled PTL Ministries, are financing and encouraging the move.

Bakker, a former Assembly of God minister, is not affiliated with any
denomination. He returned to Christian evangelism upon his release from federal
prison in 1995 and began working with a ministry in Los Angeles. Thirteen years
ago he was convicted of mail and wire fraud. Recently, he has operated out of
Vernon, Fla., where he founded another independent ministry, New Covenant

Bakker and his wife, who also has a troubled past, make their failures a feature
of their current preaching.

“We serve a God of the second chance,” Jim Bakker said. “We’re about
restoration. We’re not coming to say, ‘Be like us.’ ”

Bakker said he has commitments to air the programs on TV stations in several
cities — including Atlanta, Philadelphia and Nashville.

“Many are my dear old friends, giving me a chance to broadcast all over the
country,” he said.

Bakker, who has been a featured speaker for Revival Fires Ministry’s
Campmeetings in Branson, has already found friends here. Branson developer
Jerry Crawford said he offered the building as a ministry center because Bakker
touched his heart years ago during hard times.

Because the center will offer nondenominational activities, volunteers from
several area churches were there Tuesday painting and remodeling. Volunteers
from local churches also unpacked the Bakkers’ furniture before Lori Bakker
arrived with the seven children the couple are raising.

“Branson is known for its strong family and religious values,” said businessman
and Alderman Ron Huff. “For Jim Bakker or anyone else trying to get their life
put back together, Branson is probably a good choice. Let’s give him the benefit
of the doubt. We do that for lots of folks.”

Past follows

Fifteen years after founding the PTL Ministries, Bakker resigned in 1987 while
admitting to a tryst with a ministry secretary. His troubles continued to mount,
and in 1989, Bakker was convicted of a wire and mail-fraud scheme over the
sale of more than 150,000 lifetime partnerships to his ministry’s Heritage USA
theme park in Fort Mill, S.C. Other ministry officials also were convicted in the

Two years later, Bakker’s 45-year sentence was reduced to 18 years. He
served five years before his parole. While in prison, his former wife, Tammy
Faye Bakker, divorced him.

Bakker’s credentials as an ordained minister were withdrawn in 1987, said
Juleen Turnage, spokesperson for Assemblies of God International in

Bakker said people still bring up his problems, but most have forgiven him.

“I’m sure there are some people out there who haven’t,” he said. “But God has
restored me. I’m not asking people to trust me. This isn’t about trust. This is
about restoration for anyone who’s blown it, who’s made mistakes.”

Audience here

Bakker said some of his supporters are among the 8 million tourists who come
to Branson each year. Some of those visitors also came to his South Carolina
theme park before it closed.

“I meet those people here now,” he said. “This now is a vacation destination
where a family can come and not run into the bad influences they might
encounter somewhere else.”

The staff of the New Covenant Fellowship has already sent word of Bakker’s
upcoming return to television to people on the PTL Ministries’ old mailing list, he
said. Before making the move to Branson, sought the advice of retired TV
evangelist Cecil Todd, founder of Revival Fires Ministries.

Its twice-yearly camp meetings bring thousands of people to Branson and pack
the 4,000-seat Grand Palace, generating millions of dollars for worldwide
missionary programs.

“I told him, ‘Branson would put you ahead by 10 years because the Christian
foundation is here, and people are already coming here,’ ” Todd said.

The Christian market is important for Branson, said Claudia Vecchio,
spokeswoman for the Branson-Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. Each year,
chamber representatives attend the national conference of religious conferences,
“one of Branson’s key markets.”

Bob Ramey, director of Stonecroft Conference Center in Hollister,said his
organization hosts thousands of Christians each year. Ramey said the center,
founded in 1981, is booked three years in advance and has a waiting list.

“Generally, the Christian conference market is always growing,” Ramey said.
“The economy doesn’t affect it, 9-11 didn’t affect it.”

A second chance

Jim Bakker readily admits he once was a troubled man. The title of his
autobiography says it succinctly: “I Was Wrong.”

His wife also survived tough times.

She says she was a drug-abusing battered wife who had five abortions by the
age of 21. But 13 years ago, she found God.

She met Bakker in an alley behind the Los Angeles Dream Center where she
was ministering to troubled youth when Bakker showed up after his release from

They married four years ago after a whirlwind seven-week courtship.

Her biography, published in 2000, is titled “More Than I Could Ever Ask.”

The Bakkers have custody of seven children ranging in age from 5 to 13 who
grew up in difficult circumstances and were befriended by the Bakkers during
their work at the Dream Center.

Before his 1998 appearance at the Grand Palace, Bakker reflected on his life,
moving from the lap of luxury to a prison cell to a single room at the Dream

“You know,” he said, “it used to take a million dollars every two days just so I
could live. Now it’s so much more awesome just to be loved by those kids.”

Last edited by Jerm; 09-12-2002 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 09-13-2002, 05:52 AM   #10
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I think God gives us all a second, and third and fourth chance. However, how can someone have the gall to go BACK on public television after having so much broadcast about them. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutly nothing against the Bakkers and if I did you wouldn't know it. for fear of being judged myself, but this has got to be really hard or they really need the money. I pray they are right with God now, and live accordingly. God help these people. They certainly have more courage than I will ever have.
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Old 09-13-2002, 06:42 AM   #11
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Well, publicity is publicity....this IS bringing Branson into the News once again.

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Old 09-13-2002, 09:55 AM   #12
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I think that is where it's going in. I drove by there yesterday and noticed that there was a sign on the outside that read Cowboy Cafe ( I never noticed it before. ). Since we moved here that place has been empty. To give everyone an idea of what building I was talking about. It's directly across the street from the former Grand Mansion. I don't know what the name of the place was, but it was owned by Steve Trotter (Trotter's BBQ Family) But I don't think it was a Trotter's, I remember it having a pig on the side of the building. More recently it was scheduled to be the location of the Viva Las Vegas Supper Club. But it never opened there. Anyway, we'll see what happens. Have a nice day!
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:59 AM   #13
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Suselit, Scissortail, Bransoncutie and redcon 1,

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Old 09-13-2002, 12:27 PM   #14
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The Cowboy Cafe was owned by Steve Trotter -- and was not a Trotter's BBQ. There was one there (now I believe that is REd Lobster) but the franchise didn't work out down there. The franchisee's didn't quite know what they were doing. Then Steve got into real estate and got out of BBQ altogether. Too Bad -- was good stuff in Springfield.
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Old 09-13-2002, 12:35 PM   #15
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I remember trotters, we used to eat there all the time when we were in Branson, the meals were pretty good plus I remember they had this large table of desserts, not just one or two like most of the buffets but several things to choose from, they had a bar set up in the lobby you had to walk through before you got to the restaurant itself, always wondered if this might of hurt the restaurant with families that had little kids.
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