Two world renown evangelists slipped into Sydney last month – one known as the “fraudster and fornicator”, the other as “possibly the most effective evangelist in the world today.”

 The first, from North America, came declaring he was an “unscrambled egg” and preached to a crowd of 50 at a tiny Pentecostal church, the Living Way Church in Ryde.

 The second, Carlos Annacondia from South America, came as a virtual unknown to most Australians, and preached to thousands in one of Sydney’s biggest Pentecostal churches, Calvary Chapel.

 The unconnected-but-stereophonic-evangelistic visits presented a microcosm of  the powerful influences that have impacted not only the ancient Scriptural ministry of the evangelist but indeed the modern church itself.

 Our first evangelist, Rev Jim Bakker, is a Clintonesque figure who has risen from the grave of fraudulent prosperity, sexual dalliances, divorce, prison and public humiliation to once again be a sort-after speaker.

 He has written a book titled I Was Wrong, has rejected the prosperity doctrine he championed (and profited by) for so long and presents now as a well-groomed but repentant preacher.

 Even the cynical Sydney Morning Herald described him as “contrite, repentant and grateful…”.

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