T.D. Jakes on 35 years in ministry

Cooper Neill Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien co-hosted a fete celebrating the 35th pastoral anniversary of Bishop T.D. Jakes, who is … Continued

Cooper Neill

Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien co-hosted a fete celebrating the 35th pastoral anniversary of Bishop T.D. Jakes, who is standing beside his wife, Serita Jakes, and their daughter, Sarah Henson.

Earlier this month, Bishop T.D. Jakes, founding and senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, celebrated his 35th anniversary in ministry, his 15th anniversary at the Potter’s House, his 55th birthday and 30th wedding anniversary.

“I’m still glowing in the dark,” he said about a star-studded fete Friday at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. The event featured special tributes from myriad icons and leaders in various fields – a testament to his impact and influence. Jakes leads a 30,000-member non-denominational church. He and his wife, Serita, have five children.

What has Jakes learned after 35 years in ministry? The preacher told the Washington Post via a telephone interview: “I think that is to keep my circles small.” Jakes said he’s also learned “to put a great deal of interest and time in particular with his children” and that, in his role as a popular and well-respected religious leader, he has to make himself “available to those on both sides of the aisle” as they work as “they guide our country toward a future I’d like to see passed onto my grandchildren.”

Vernon Bryant

Bishop T.D. Jakes and his wife Serita as they arrive for a star-studded fete celebrating Jakes’s 35th pastoral anniversary.

Where does he see his ministry headed for years to come? “My focus is on coaching and mentoring,” he said, adding that he is passionate about being a voice for and a confidant to other ministers particularly younger ones.

Earlier this year, Jakes launched Project Gideon, a mentorship conference for pastors, ministers and church leaders under 40 years old. Later this year, participants in the Pisgah Experience will meet; the mentorship conference, built on the Project Gideon model, is open to pastors, ministers, and church leaders who are over 40. The event, which also features Jakes and guest speakers, focuses on issues affecting experienced and seasoned leaders including personal finances and succession planning.

“I think we have to empower the next generation,” Jakes said, “who will take the helm of leadership.

“When you look at faith leaders, particularly of African Americans, most of them are in their 60s and 70s,” he said, adding that it’s important to work with and help guide younger pastors or the church “won’t be where we want it to be unless we shape the leaders who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s today.”

The Washington Post

On Faith’s Sally Quinn interviews the author, pastor and producer T.D. Jakes before the debut of his motion picture, “Jumping the Broom.”

His appeal via books and conferences has been long-standing and in the last few years, he has reached broad audiences through his movies. Last year, “Jumping the Broom,” produced through his TDJ Enterprises, opened at number three with an estimated $13.7 million Mother’s Day weekend in North America. Upcoming film projects include a remake of “Sparkle” featuring Whitney Houston, “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke and Mike Epps.

“That’s going to be a big deal and I am looking forward to the opportunity for the public to see Whitney on the stage,” he said about the music icon who died in February.

“I am grateful that we put together an amazing cast of people,” he said, adding that the “musically and cinematically” it is a stellar project.

TDJ Enterprises is also developing an adaptation of the novel “Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent.

When asked about the influence of his childhood church in West Virginia, Jakes said his upbringing still shapes his faith and the work he does nationally and globally.

It was a place “where we sought refuge”. . . “where my ideas of the church and leadership and community were incubated.” His pastor and the Sunday school teachers were very influential, instilling in him a lasting faith in Christ and recognition that, grounded in faith, he could involved in many things inside and outside of the church walls.

“I really do believe that faith is a huge assistance for those who live in a cruel hard world.”

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  • MichaelMullarkey51

    God calls upon us to be doers of the work as well as faithful. This means giving to the needy of our firstfruits. Giving food, water, clothes, medicines and shelter primarily to our poor, sick, fatherless, and widow neighbors as well as visitations is truly gods calling. The wee people need so very little to survive it is surely gods will that their needs be met. 9 times out of 10 one party is within their rights and the others simply are not. God shows us the way which is to give keeping only what is needed for the body. Of course god is good and his abundance overflows. So give and have joy. Today nearly 25,000 wee little fellows will die due to preventable neglect please do your part for god, or humanity, or self. But please do your part Give now goto CRS,org, or the worthy cause of your choice please give now.

  • Rongoklunk

    Why bother? The good book says God will provide, and who are we to disagree with the good book??
    I couldn’t help noticing that God didn’t do a thing to help folks in last year’s Japanese tsunami, or in the 04 tsunami which killed more than 200,000 people – in Asia. And He didn’t get involved on 9/11 either. What does He do all day I wonder? And how come nobody has ever seen or heard from Him…EVER?

    I used to think like you, and then it all fell into place…the realization that man invented every god we ever heard of – from Apollo to Zeus – including your God and Allah, and Vishnu and Brahma – all of whom exist in the imagination. and nowhere else.

  • Rongoklunk

    Why didn’t God divert the planes that exploded into the World Trade Center on 9/11? It would have been easy for God to just blink – and have them fall slowly and safely onto an airfield, and have the terrorists arrested. He can do anything, yet He never does a thing. Floods drown us, hurricanes blow us away, earthquakes swallow us, famines starve us, and bad guys blow us up. Yet God never ever lifts a finger to help. It’s just as if He doesn’t exist. I wonder why that is?