T. D. Jakes

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T. D. Jakes
Personal details
Birth name Thomas Dexter Jakes
Born (1957-06-09) June 9, 1957 (age 56)
South Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.
Nationality United States
Spouse Elder Serita Ann Jakes
Occupation Minister
Life Coach

Thomas Dexter "T. D." Jakes, Sr. (born June 9, 1957) is the bishop/chief pastor 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,[1] 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.

Early Life[edit]


In 1980, at age 23, Jakes became the pastor of Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith, s 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."

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 Distribution group; however, economic troubles in the industry may put his new program into jeopardy.[2]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

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?".[3]


  • 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 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



Personal Life[edit]

When he was 24 in 1981, he married Serita Ann Jamison.[1] 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.[6][7] According to his family history, it was also suggested that he is descended from them through his grandmother.[8][9] He is a second cousin once removed of vocalist Will Wheaton and first cousin twice removed of actor James Wheaton.[citation needed]


Although Jakes was converted and ordained within Oneness Pentecostalism, he revealed in an interview with Mark Driscoll in 2012 that he affirms the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity, which is denied by Oneness churches.[10][11]

Jakes is a strong advocate of abstinence[citation needed] and has made appearances on the subject ranging from Good Morning America to Dr. Phil.

Further reading[edit]

"Biography". Bishop T.D. Jakes. — T.D. Jakes Web site. http://www.tdjakes.com/bishops-bio/. Retrieved 11-24-2011


  1. ^ a b Washington Post Article
  2. ^ Broadcasting and Cable: "Troubled Syndie Market Takes Its Toll", 1/10/2009.
  3. ^ Christ Notes
  4. ^ "Woman Thou Art Loosed". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  5. ^ "Not Easily Broken". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  6. ^ "T.D. Jakes, D.Min., Alumnus". FICU Alumni Pages. Friends International Christian University. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ EthnicLoft — Sharing and celebrating the treasures of our heritage and culture at the Wayback Machine (archived November 25, 2006)
  8. ^ African Ancestry & DNA Tests: The Results
  9. ^ Oprah Winfrey's ancestry traced to Liberia
  10. ^ Foust, Michael (January 27, 2012). "T.D. Jakes Embraces Doctrine of the Trinity, Moves Away from 'Oneness' View". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ Menzie, Nicola (January 26, 2012). "TD Jakes Breaks Down the Trinity, Addresses Being Called a 'Heretic'". Christian Post. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]