Jim and Tammy Bakker's "Farewell for Now" tour, scheduled to have kicked off in Nashville Nov. 17, was canceled yesterday.

Jeffrey Franklin, the Los Angeles-based producer of the tour, said the Bakkers' concern for the future of the PTL ministry led to the cancellation. The decision, Franklin said, had nothing to do with the virtually nonexistent demand for tickets in Nashville and 25 other tour cities across the country.

For $20 a ticket, the Nashville audience would have seen the former PTL leaders as they remembered them on television: Tammy Faye singing and the now-defrocked Jim preaching. But although the Bakkers had raised millions for PTL and their religious theme park, Heritage USA, only 32 tickets had been sold in Nashville during the three weeks they were on sale.

The tour was announced seven months after Jim Bakker resigned as leader of the televangelical empire he and his wife founded. Bakker stepped down in March after confessing to a sexual encounter with church secretary Jessica Hahn.

Franklin, who used the word "cancellation," said the tour will be revived in March 1988. "They {the Bakkers} simply want to see PTL and Heritage USA succeed," he added.

As to the sluggish public appetite for the tour, Franklin said such a response is normal for religious shows. People don't buy tickets for such events until the last minute, he said.

Robert Highsmith, manager of the 9,600-seat Nashville Municipal Auditorium, said yesterday that the $20 ticket price may have been too expensive.

"That may not be a big price for Washington," he said, "but that would be high for anything here." He said the average ticket for rock concerts and other events at the auditorium costs about $13 to $15. An upcoming Kenny Rogers concert, Highsmith said, was expected to have a top ticket price of $16.50.

Bakker, who turned his ministry over to Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell when he resigned, has said the tour was a chance to give fans and supporters a chance to say farewell.

When Falwell quit as PTL chairman last month, he predicted angrily that the Bakkers would be back in the PTL pulpit within six months. Jim Bakker, who reportedly is a target of a federal grand jury investigation, has said he does not seek to return to PTL, but would serve if asked.

PTL stands for Praise the Lord and People That Love; the ministry filed for protection from its creditors June 12 under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code.