Thomas Dexter "T. D." Jakes, Sr. (born June 9, 1957) is an African-American pastor, author and filmmaker. He is the bishop of The Potter's House, a Nondenominational American megachurch. T. D. Jakes' church services and evangelistic sermons are broadcast on The Potter's Touch, which airs on Lightsource.com, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Black Entertainment Television, the Daystar Television Network, The Word Network, VHS home video, and The Miracle Channel in Canada. Other aspects of Jakes' ministry include an annual revival called "MegaFest" that draws more than 300,000 people, an annual women's conference called "Woman Thou Art Loosed", and gospel music recordings.
Jakes was born in South Charleston, West Virginia and grew up in Vandalia, 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, West Virginia area. Jakes also used this time to continue his education by studying through correspondence courses from Friends International Christian University, an unaccredited online university. Jakes completed a B. A. and M.A. in 1990, and a Doctor of Ministry in Religious Studies from Friends International Christian University 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 was a 5,000 seat auditorium and a 34-acre campus, had grown to a congregation of 30,000.
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 book Decision Points, President Bush describes Jakes as "a kind of man who puts faith into action."
In 2009, Jakes partnered with Dr. Phil McGraw, Jay McGraw, and CBS Television Distribution to launch a syndicated, secular talk show; however, due to economic issues within the syndicated television market, the program never premiered.
In July 2015, Tegna, Inc. and Debmar-Mercury announced that a new secular talk show hosted by Jakes and called T.D. Jakes would air a test run on Tegna stations in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, and Minneapolis from August 17 to September 11, 2015.On May 10, 2016, Tegna announced that it would begin airing Jakes' show September 12 in over 50 markets across the country.
Although Jakes was converted and ordained within Oneness Pentecostalism, he revealed in an interview with Mark Driscoll in 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.
Awards and accomplishments
Jakes has received numerous honors, including 13 honorary degrees and doctorates. His album A Wing and a Prayer won the "Best Gospel or Chorus Album" at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2003. He has also received Grammy and Dove Award nominations for the 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?"
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 suggested that he is also descended from them through his grandmother.
- Intimacy With God
- Loved by
- 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
- His 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
- Instinct: The Power To Unleash Your Inborn Drive, 2014, Hachette Book Group. ISBN 1455554049
- Destiny: Step Into Your Purpose,August 2015,Hachette Book Group. ISBN 978-1-4555-5397-6
- 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
- 2012: Sparkle
- 2014: Heaven Is for Real - Producer
- 2014: Winnie Mandela - Producer
- 2016: Miracles from Heaven - Producer