FORT MILL, S.C., SEPT. 30 -- The PTL ministry submitted a reorganization plan today that would create a profit-making corporation for its hotel, theme park and real estate holdings and a nonprofit corporation for the ministry's television facilities.
The 36-page reorganization plan, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia, S.C., a day before the deadline, would let the PTL church operate independently and sets up a complex plan to deal with people who bought $1,000 "lifetime partnerships" under fallen founder Jim Bakker.
PTL lawyer Walter Theus said he did not believe the plan would please everyone involved, but added, "You never do."
PTL has been under Chapter 11 protection from its creditors since June 12, less than three months after Bakker resigned amid a sex scandal and turned the television and entertainment ministry over to Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell.
"My personal feeling is that the plan is a very fair and equitable one," Falwell said. "While we are not allowed to solicit support for the plan, I think the fairness will clearly win the day."
Falwell aide Mark DeMoss said the plan, which must be approved by the bankruptcy court before it can be implemented, reorganizes PTL's assets into a newly formed for-profit corporation that "will be run on a businesslike basis that will let the ministry pay financial claims against it.
"The plan would also establish a new nonprofit corporation that would serve such purposes as are decided by its management," he said.
Under the proposed reorganization plan, the Heritage Village Church at the PTL resort would be allowed to operate independently of both the for-profit and the nonprofit corporation.
Lifetime partners, who initially were promised three nights' free lodging at the PTL resort per year for life, are offered four options under the plan, including making a gift of their $1,000 contributions. The plan also has options for credit toward real estate purchases, membership in a "Heritage Club" that gives theme park discounts, or accepting stock in the for-profit corporation.
Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, meanwhile, continued pitching a record and phone recording they launched this week to help support themselves while their lawyers seek the return of PTL from Falwell.
Those who call the Bakkers' 900 number will be charged $1.50 for the first minute and 35 cents for each additional minute.
The Bakkers receive about 25 cents for each call, according to Charlie DeNatale, vice president for marketing at 900-USA Inc., who estimated they may make as much as $100,000 from 30 days of recordings.
The Bakkers, who reportedly were paid nearly $2 million last year, claim they have fallen on hard times since Jim Bakker quit PTL in March after his sexual encounter with former church secretary Jessica Hahn came to light.
Tammy Bakker's new a record, which includes "The Ballad of Jim and Tammy," is due out Friday with a video to follow