An Homage to the Women of Televangelism

Photos by Maya Fuhr
Art direction by Talvi Faustmann
Text by Rebecca Storm

Styling by Vini Lacerda, Wigs & beauty by Steph George, Photo editing by Luna Khods
Models : Talvi Faustmann, Maya Fuhr & Jorian Alea.
Fantasy Tweed Jackets by Chanel. 


A glossy heap of modacrylic tendrils quivers with an emphatic “Only by the grace of God…”—it’s a heavily made-up and quietly amazed Jan Crouch under there. Jan Crouch has been experiencing the grace of God since she was a “wee little one” and when she’d stub her toe or get a tummy- ache, “Mommy and Daddy would pray for [her].” No miracle is too slight, no sign too discreet. Her zealous faith lent itself to the birth of the ever-prevalent Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1973, co-founded with her husband Paul, and fellow televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. But this devout beauty was not without sin—in 2012 Jan was accused of squandering network funds on a lavish lifestyle. Private jets, expensive homes, enormous wigs, a 2-year stay at a luxury hotel for herself and her dogs—with a private suite for the pooches. In 2017, Jan was also found posthumously responsible for attempting to cover up her granddaughter’s rape. Only by the grace of God, indeed.


“This is my powder, when I cry it takes away the tears,” says Tammy Faye Bakker during a brief show-and- tell video clip of her makeup bag. Tears seem to have been a frequent recurrence for Tammy, despite the gleaming exterior inherent to life as a jubilant televangelist, with her not-so- devoted husband, Jim Bakker. In the early 1970s, the couple founded The PTL Club (Praise the Lord), a Christian talk-show program which, during its prime in the 80s, often raked in upward of 130 million dollars per year in donations. Tammy was candid and spritely—she loved to sing and dance, and was adamant about giving voice to marginalized communities, often featuring AIDS patients on the show in a naive attempt to instill empathy and acceptance in the pious hearts of her viewers. As is the case with many gleaming exteriors, the luster was no match for the rot at the core—Jim Bakker was involved in several highly publicized financial and alleged sexual abuse scandals, bringing Tammy down with him. While she did manage to regain a modicum of what she had lost, she eventually passed away after complications with cancer.


Juanita Bynum is a self-proclaimed prophetess. Twice divorced and eager to affect change in the lives of lost women, Juanita encourages them to live chaste and devote themselves entirely to God. She also has some questionable opinions about how women should dress in church. Yet, unlike her televangelist seniors—who concealed their corruption behind measured, orthodox pizzazz—Juanita lays her past transgressions out on the table for all to see, leveraging her life of sin to illuminate for others the path to salvation. During one of her most notorious sermons, “No More Sheets,” which was likely the catalyst for the life she leads today, Juanita preached about obstacles between women and God, namely, sheets. We are all wrapped in sheets—each sheet is meant to represent a past relationship, and only God can peel away those layers and render us truly single. Juanita advocates for single women to have the wisdom to exercise celibacy, “I’ve done it all. I did the drugs. I’ve been with men. I’ve been with women. It’s not a line. It’s my life. I took full responsibility in every area because every choice that I made, nobody put a gun to my head. These were my choices and I made these choices due to a lack of wisdom.” Through the ominous smog of televangelism, Juanita is perhaps a laboured breath of fresh air.

See behind the scenes footage for this shoot: