TEGA CAY, S.C., JUNE 16 -- Tammy Faye Bakker was taken by limousine today to a discount store where she bought some makeup and rhinestones. Meanwhile, an aide to the Rev. Jerry Falwell said the Bakkers will not communicate with new PTL leaders.
Tammy Faye, who has said that shopping at discount stores is "therapy" for her, was driven in a black Mercedes to a K mart store in Charlotte, where she spent an hour shopping and talking to customers.
A K mart checkout clerk said Tammy Faye bought makeup, hair spray, fingernail polish and a $3 pack of rhinestones.
"I saw her in there picking up clothes and saying, 'These are so pretty,' " said a woman who would identify herself only as Cynthia. "Why would anybody with a million dollars go shopping at K mart?"
Falwell aide Mark DeMoss drove to Tega Cay where the news media have been gathered since last week near the lakefront home the Bakkers occupied for their last seven years at PTL.
Bakker resigned the ministry he founded last March following revelations of a one-night fling with a church secretary and gave the ministry to Falwell, who has refused Bakker's attempts to return. The new PTL leadership has asked the Bakkers to vacate the lake house so it can be sold to help pay $72 million in debts that forced the ministry to seek Chapter 11 protection from creditors.
"Nobody asked me to come over here," DeMoss said when he arrived at Tega Cay. "I'm just walking through. I've never been over here."
DeMoss said Falwell and other PTL leaders have had no communication with the Bakkers since they came out of seclusion in California and returned to South Carolina last Wednesday night.
"Our concern is not so much that they move out, but just that they communicate with us," DeMoss said. "I would say there has been regular attempts to communicate by letter and by telephone -- all of which have gone unanswered so far. But we'll keep trying.
"I feel like we're not very far from meeting with them, not to discuss moving out necessarily but to discuss what's ahead," he said. "As recently as yesterday, a letter was hand-delivered over here asking for a meeting. I would estimate that within the next few days we will have at least made contact."
Neighbors in the Bakkers' once-quiet lakefront neighborhood have had mixed reactions to the return of the couple -- and to the onslaught of reporters staking out their house.
One resident called the police this week when reporters converged on his driveway to catch a glimpse of the Bakkers. But Vi Azvedo, another neighbor, brought home-baked oatmeal cookies to the news media.