Thomas Dexter "T. D." Jakes, Sr.
(born June 9, 1957) is the Apostle/Bishop of The Potter's House, a non-denominational American megachurch, with 30,000 members. T. D. Jakes' church services and evangelistic sermons are broadcast on The Potter's Touch, which airs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Black Entertainment Television, the Daystar Television Network,The Word Network and The Miracle Channel in Canada. Other aspects of Jakes' ministry include an annual revival called "MegaFest" that draws more than 100,000 people, an annual women's conference called "Woman Thou Art Loosed", and gospel music recordings.
He grew up in Vandalia, West Virginia, attending local Baptist churches. He spent his teenage years caring for his invalid father and working in local industries. Feeling a call to the ministry, he enrolled in West Virginia State University and began preaching part-time in local churches, but he soon dropped out of the university. He took a job at the local Union Carbide and continued preaching part-time. During this time he met his future wife, Serita Jamison. The couple married in 1981. In 1982, Jakes became the pastor of the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith, a small, Montgomery, West Virginia independent Pentecostal church with about ten members. Over the next few years, the church grew, drawing an integrated congregation that helped increase Jakes' renown as a speaker and pastor. He moved the church twice - from Montgomery to Smithers and then to South Charleston, where the congregation grew from about 100 members to over 300. During this time, he began a radio ministry The Master's Plan that ran from 1982-1985. He also became acquainted with Bishop Sherman Watkins, founder of the Higher Ground Always Abounding Assembly (an association of over 200 Pentecostal churches). Watkins ordained Jakes as a minister of the Higher Ground Assembly and encouraged him to start a church in the Charleston Area. Jakes also used this time to continue his education by studying through correspondence courses from Friends University. Jakes completed a B. A. and M.A. in 1990 and a D. Min. in 1995.
After the 1990 move to Charleston, as his congregation grew, T. D. Jakes began to focus on the spiritual needs of the women in his church who had been abandoned and abused in their lives. He began a Sunday School class for them, "Woman, Thou Art Loosed," in which he encouraged the women to use their past pain as a foundation for new growth. He later started a similar class for men, which he called "Manpower." In 1993, Jakes self-published his first book, drawing on his experiences working with the women of his congregation. Woman, Thou Art Loosed would become Jakes' signature work and a national religious bestseller. He also began a new television ministry, Get Ready, which aired on Black Entertainment Television and the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Also in 1993, Jakes moved his church yet again, to Cross Lanes, West Virginia.
His ministry continued to expand, prompting the founding of the T. D. Jakes Ministries organization to oversee his work beyond the church itself. He continued to write and to publish, spreading his message of spiritual healing to new audiences. In 1994 he held the first of what would become a series of conferences for ministers and their spouses, "When Shepherds Bleed."
In May 1996, Jakes moved his family and his ministry again, as well as fifty other families involved in his work, to Dallas, Texas. There he purchased Eagle's Nest Church, a large Dallas church. Renaming the church The Potter's House, Jakes continued his work. The Potter's House, which 5000 seat auditorium and a 34-acre, campus has grown to a congregation of 14,000.
In 1980, at age 23, Jakes became the pastor of Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith, a storefront church in Smithers, West Virginia with ten members. The congregation grew to encompass 100 members and was notable because it was racially integrated.
In 1990 Jakes moved to South Charleston, West Virginia, and his congregation grew again, to 300 members. In 1993 he moved to Cross Lanes, West Virginia, where the congregation grew to more than 1,100 people, of whom 60 percent were African American and 40 percent were Caucasian.
In 1994 T.D. Jakes Ministries was established as a non-profit organization that produced televised sermons and conferences. From 1995 to 1996, Jakes hosted "Get Ready," a weekly radio and television show with national distribution through syndication.
In 1996 Jakes, his wife, children, and a staff of 50 employees relocated to Dallas, Texas, where Jakes founded the Potter's House, a non-denominational megachurch. Located on a 34-acre hilltop campus, the Potter's House features a 5,000-seat auditorium, as well as offices for employees and staff. Between 1996 and 1998, church membership grew from 7,000 congregants to 14,000.
In 2005 Jakes accompanied President George W. Bush on his visit to the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In his bookDecision Points, President Bush describes Jakes as "a kind of man who puts faith into action."
On January 20, 2009, Jakes led the early morning prayer service for President Barack Obama at St. John's Church in Washington, D.C., according to NBC News.
In the fall of 2009, Jakes planned on launching a secular daily talk show, syndicated through the CBS Television Distributiongroup; however, economic troubles in the industry may put his new program into jeopardy.
Although Jakes was converted and ordained within Oneness Pentecostalism, he revealed in an interview with Mark Driscollin 2012 that he affirms the Trinity, although Jakes did not affirm the eternality of the individual persons of the Trinity which is denied by Oneness churches.
Jakes is a strong advocate of abstinence and has made appearances on the subject ranging from Good Morning America to Dr. Phil.
Awards and accomplishments
Jakes has received numerous honors, including 13 honorary degrees and doctorates. He has also received Grammy and Dove Award nominations for Gospel album "Live at The Potter's House." PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly named Jakes among America's "Top 10 Religious Leaders." Time magazine featured Jakes on the cover of its September 17, 2001 issue with the provocative question, "Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?"
When he was 24 in 1981, he married Serita Ann Jamison. They have five children: Jermaine, Jamar, Cora, Sarah, and Thomas Jakes, Jr.
On the PBS program African American Lives, Jakes had his DNA analyzed; his Y chromosome showed that he is descended from the Igbo people of Nigeria. According to his family history, it was also suggested that he is descended from them through his grandmother. He is a second cousin once removed of vocalist Will Wheaton and first cousin twice removed of actor James Wheaton.
Intimacy With God
Loved by God
Can You Stand To Be Blessed?
Naked And Not Ashamed?
Loose That Man And Let Him Go
Loose That Man And Let Him Go Work Book
Positioning Yourself To Prosper
Reposition Yourself: Living a Life Without Limits
He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle
Help! I'm Raising My Children Alone: A Guide for Single Ladies and Those Who Sometimes Feel They Are
Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment
Promises From God For Single Women
Woman, Thou Art Loosed: Healing the Wounds of the Past
Woman, Thou Art Loosed Devotional
The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord
Maximize the Moment : God's Action Plan for Your Life
So You Call Yourself a Man?: Finally… a Devotional for Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Potential
God's Leading Lady
Jesus Walks (with me)
Lay Aside the Weight
Daddy Loves His Girls
The Greatest Investment
Mama Made the Difference
TD Jakes Speaks to Men
Overcoming the Enemy
From the Cross to Pentecost
Life Overflowing: Six Pillars for Abundant Living
Not Easily Broken, 2006
Before You Do: Making Great Decisions That You Won't Regret, Atria Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4165-4728-0
The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times, 2009
Let it Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven , 2012
2004: Woman Thou Art Loosed — As himself (based on Jakes' novel of the same name)
2009: Not Easily Broken — Allen (based on another Jakes' novel)
2011: Jumping the Broom — Reverend James
2010: Munya — Reverend Brian
2012: Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day - As himself
2014: Heaven Is for Real - Producer
2014: Winnie Mandela - Producer