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By any standard, Jay Bakker has had it rough. The son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jay was only 11 years old when his parents' empire collapsed and his family was vilified as the epitome of televangelism's excesses. Jay Bakker's autobiography, Son of a Preacher Man, unflinchingly addresses all of his family's major scandals, including his father's affair with Jessica Hahn and his mother's battle with drug addiction. Bakker also reveals that by age 13, he had developed a serious drinking problem, and that was only the beginning of a long period of rebellion that intensified during his father's years in prison. After his father's release, Jim and Jay began to rebuild their relationship, and Jay, though still struggling with alcoholism, discerned a calling to ministry. After several false starts he built a ministry to young people in Atlanta called Revolution. As a minister, Bakker's main interest is in the kids that churches overlook--the pierced, tattooed, smoking, drinking kind. The message of this ministry, like the message of this book, is simple: "Jesus loves you for who you are, not who you can become." Bakker says that he still works every day to learn that lesson, and to pass it on to others, as he does with some eloquence in Son of a Preacher Man. --Paul Power
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