The Rev. Jerry Falwell repeated yesterday his intention to step down from the leadership of the embattled PTL ministry, saying his goal was to leave it in nine months to someone who would manage it in "competent fashion." He added that this person would not be the "former management" -- defrocked evangelist Jim Bakker.

Falwell also offered details about his personal finances, saying that in addition to his $100,000-a-year salary he has received a $1 million advance to write his autobiography.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Falwell revealed that at the first meeting of the post-Bakker board, on March 26, he suggested that the board members all leave in a year, "whether our job was finished or unfinished." But one member, former U.S. interior secretary James Watt, who recently resigned, "shot that down," saying the rest of the board should stay "for the duration," Falwell said.

"But I have committed to only one year," said Falwell, who also continued to deny Bakker's charge that he plans to take over the PTL television network to further his own ambitions.

PTL is currently under investigation by a variety of state and federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, and it is unclear at this point what changes may have to be made in the corporate structure of the ministry in order to bring it into compliance with the requirements for tax-exempt operations.

The satellite network, the Heritage Grand Hotel, the water park and the rest of the Christian resort Heritage USA are now grouped as part of the ministry of the Heritage Village Church, of which Bakker was pastor until he stepped down in March after confessing to adultery. Falwell, whom Bakker asked to take over the ministry, heads the five-member board that administers all the enterprises, but he is not the church pastor.

One of many financial puzzles that must be sorted out by Falwell and his board is how to deal with the $180 million in "lifetime partnerships" sold by PTL, which stands for Praise the Lord or People That Love.

Falwell said yesterday that the partnerships -- which guarantee each buyer three nights and four days in a Heritage USA hotel every year for life -- were oversold to the extent that if every buyer tried to use his partnership there would be "2 1/2 families in every room forever." One issue the IRS must determine is whether these are time shares, and thus subject to tax, or partnerships in a tax-exempt ministry, Falwell said.

Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority, repeated his belief that the only way for the evangelical movement to recover from the unraveling Bakker sex and money scandal is to submit to financial accountability. But he rejected suggestions that government or independent oversight was the way to ensure this accountability. Instead, he said, each church and broadcast minister should provide an independent audit of his finances, including salaries. Falwell will be releasing the audit for his Thomas Road Baptist Church and "Old Time Gospel Hour" show this week, he said.

Falwell repeated his previous statement that his salary is $100,000 annually and added that he had received a $1 million advance for his autobiography. In addition, he said, he earns $5,000 per speech on the lecture circuit, giving about a dozen speeches a year. "I'm not worth it," he said, "but I don't turn it down."

He also reiterated his support for the presidential candidacy of George Bush, but added that if Bush didn't get the GOP nomination he could support most of the others cited by the questioner: Rep. Jack Kemp, Sen. Robert Dole, evangelist Pat Robertson or Sen. Paul Laxalt. He said Kemp was the favorite of the conservative Christian constituency. Falwell also had some advice for the Democrats: Nominate former Virginia governor Chuck Robb or Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn.

In a related development, born-again former teen idol Pat Boone told United Press International in Dunn, N.C., that he would take the job of permanent PTL host if Falwell asked him, but suggested that prospect was unlikely. Boone canceled a planned appearance on the program yesterday after a supermarket tabloid reported he was close to Bakker and his wife Tammy Faye.

"I didn't want to be linked with that {the Bakkers}, so I decided this was not the right time to go on PTL," he said. At the same time, Boone turned up his nose at the notion of being a cohost, with regular Doug Oldham, and said the show has become dull under the Falwell format, which "can't offend anyone -- nor can it excite anyone."