PTL founder Jim Bakker proclaimed his innocence after a federal magistrate set a $50,000 bond for him and three former aides accused of bilking $4 million from his TV ministry's flock.

"Basically, to be very, very honest, it's a sad day for me," Bakker said after Thursday's hearing. "Here at Christmastime, it's sad for my family, my children and my friends. But we have a good God, and I have wonderful attorneys standing by my side."Bakker, 48, arrived at the federal courthouse in a white Cadillac, smiling and waving to reporters.

After the 30-minute hearing, he said, "I am not guilty of these charges, and I'm looking forward to due process taking place. If I get a fair trial, we can win this case."

His wife, Tammy, did not accompany him.

U.S. Magistrate Paul Taylor continued an arraignment for Bakker and co-defendant Richard Dortch until Jan. 17.