Tammy F. Bakker-Messner (Lavalley)

Is your surname Messner?

Research the Messner family

Tammy F. Bakker-Messner (Lavalley)'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Related Projects

Tammy Faye Messner (Lavalley)

Also Known As: "Bakker"
Birthplace: International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States
Death: July 20, 2007 (65)
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States (Cancer)
Place of Burial: Waldron, Harper County, Kansas, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Carl Lavalley and Rachel Lavalley
Wife of Private
Ex-wife of James Orsen Bakker
Mother of Private and Private

Managed by: Brian Bailey
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Tammy F. Bakker-Messner (Lavalley)


Television Evangelist, Entrepreneur and Talk Show Host. Former wife of evangelist Jim Bakker. Known for the famous PTL scandal and her exaggerated eye make-up. Born Tammy Faye LaValley, she was the oldest of eight children born to Pentecostal preachers Carl and Rachel Fairchild LaValley. She was introduced to religion at a young age. She attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While attending college she met Jim Bakker. In 1961 the two married. The couple would have two children, Tammy Sue in 1970 and Jamie Charles in 1975. Jim and Tammy Faye were instrumental in building three Christian-based television networks: The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) with Pat Robertson, The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) with Paul Crouch, and PTL, which would become their most known venture. While working for CBN they co-hosted "The 700 Club," from 1966-73. The PTL club would be their largest venture, that would grow to include the theme park Heritage USA. By the 1980s the couples popularity and credibility faltered when they became embroiled in scandal. Due to financial misappropriations and Jim Bakker's extramarital affair with Jessica Hahn, the Bakkers relinquished control of the PTL club, and reverend Jerry Fallwell took over. Jim Bakker would spend five years in prison for his crimes, and the couple would divorce in 1992. A year later she married PTL member and construction worker, Roe Messner. Tammy Faye worked tirelessly to re-define herself and her reputation and hosted two shows: "Tammy Faye's House Party," and the 1996 syndicated talk show "Jim J. and Tammy Faye." The show was short lived as Tammy Faye was diagnosed with colon cancer. When her health returned she continued to work appearing on television, including guest spots on shows like:" Roseanne," and as Mimi's mother on "The Drew Carey Show." She also told her side of the story in the 2000 documentary "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." In 2004 she appeared as a contestant on the reality series "The Surreal Life," and made lasting friendships with her co-stars including an unlikely one with adult film star Ron Jeremy. Shortly after completing the show she was diagnosed with lung cancer, having formed from her 1996 bout with colon cancer. She had a brief remission, but the disease soon returned. She continued to fight the disease, believing that it was in God's hands. In May 2007 she revealed that they had stopped her treatment for the disease. She made one last reach out to her fans on July 18, 2007 when she taped a segment for "Larry King Live." She appeared frail and spoke with difficulty, and weighing only 65 pounds. She died just two days later at her home in Kansas City Missouri at the age of 65. Her legacy is one marked with scandal, but Tammy Faye turned her image around and got her story told. In 1996, she wrote her autobiography, "Telling it My Way." She also wrote "Run to the Roar," a book about overcoming fear. In 2003 wrote her last book, "I Will Survive, and You Will Too." She was also an accomplished Christian Singer recording over 25 albums, but she will be most remembered as the woman with an unshakable devotion to her God, who wore wild make-up, and was prone to tears. (bio by: [fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=46589271" target="_blank The Perplexed Historian)]

view all

Tammy F. Bakker-Messner (Lavalley)'s Timeline

March 7, 1942
International Falls, Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States
July 20, 2007
Age 65
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States
Age 64
Waldron Cemetery, Waldron, Harper County, Kansas, United States