T. D. Jakes

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T. D. Jakes
Thomas Dexter Jakes

(1957-06-09) June 9, 1957 (age 61)
ResidenceDallas, Texas, US
  • Pastor
  • author
  • filmmaker
Serita Jamison (m. 1981)
ReligionPentecostal Christianity
Congregations served
The Potter's House Church, Dallas, Texas

Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr. (born June 9, 1957), known as T. D. Jakes, is a pastor, author and filmmaker. He is the pastor of The Potter's House, a non-denominational American megachurch. Jakes's church services and evangelistic sermons are broadcast on The Potter's Touch, which airs on Lightsource.com, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Black Entertainment Television,[1] the Daystar Television Network and The Word Network.

Other aspects of Jakes's ministry include the annual festival MegaFest which draws more than 300,000 people, the annual women's conference Woman Thou Art Loosed, and gospel music recordings. He hosted the T.D. Jakes Show, a nationally syndicated talk show produced by Tegna Media and distributed by NBC, until the show's cancellation in March 2017.[2]

Early life[edit]

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 factory and continued preaching part-time. During this time he met his future wife, Serita Jamison. The couple married in May 1982. In that same year Jakes became the pastor of the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith, a small independent Pentecostal church in Montgomery, West Virginia, with just ten members. Over the next few years, the church grew, drawing an integrated congregation that helped increase Jakes's 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, which 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, 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 them 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's 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.[citation needed]

Jakes's 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 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."[citation needed]

In May 1996, Jakes moved his family and his ministry again, along with fifty other families involved in his work, to Dallas, Texas. There he purchased the former facilities of Eagle's Nest Church, a large Dallas church pastored by W.V. Grant (who at the time was facing prison time for fraud). Renaming the church The Potter's House, Jakes continued his work. The Potter's House, with a 5,000-seat auditorium and a 34-acre campus, had a congregation of 30,000.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]

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 Caucasian.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

In 1996, Jakes, his wife and family, 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.[citation needed]

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."[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[3][4]

In July 2015, Tegna, Inc. and Debmar-Mercury announced that a new secular talk show hosted by Jakes 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.[5][4] On May 10, 2016, Tegna announced that it would begin airing Jakes's show September 12 in over 50 markets across the country.[6][7] On March 15, 2017, Tegna announced that T. D. Jakes was cancelled due to poor ratings and low clearances.[8]


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.[9][10]

Jakes is an advocate of abstinence and has made appearances advocating it on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil.[11]

Jakes has been ordained a minister of the United Pentecostal Church International.

In 2015, Jakes stated that his views on homosexuality and LGBT rights are evolving. However, Jakes stated that his words were misinterpreted and that while he does not support same-sex marriage, he "respect[s] the rights that this country affords those that disagree..."[12]


Woman Thou Art Loosed (1997) The Storm Is Over (2001)

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Jakes has received numerous honors, including thirteen 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.[13] 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?"[14]

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.[15][16] According to his family history, it was suggested that he is also descended from them through his grandmother.[17][18] Jakes was selected in Oprah's SuperSoul100 list of visionaries and influential leaders in 2016.[19]


  • 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
  • Soar!: Build Your Vision from the Ground Up, 2017, FaithWords



  1. ^ "T.D. Jakes (Washington Post)". trinityfi.org. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12.
  2. ^ Rhodes, Sybil (March 20, 2017). "TEGNA cancels T.D. Jakes talk show after first season". empoweringeverydaywomen.com. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Troubled Syndie Market Takes Its Toll". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Tegna, Debmar-Mercury to Test Talker Starring T.D. Jakes". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  5. ^ "T.D. Jakes Talk Show Gets Summer Test Run in Heartland Markets". Variety. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  6. ^ Pedersen, Erik (10 May 2016). "'T.D. Jakes' Syndie Talker Gets Launch Date".
  7. ^ TEGNA. "New T.D. Jakes TV show premieres Sept. 12".
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Tegna’s ‘BOLD’ to Replace ’T.D. Jakes’" from Broadcasting & Cable (March 15, 2017)
  9. ^ Foust, Michael (January 27, 2012). "T.D. Jakes Embraces Doctrine of the Trinity, Moves Away from 'Oneness' View". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  10. ^ Menzie, Nicola (January 26, 2012). "TD Jakes Breaks Down the Trinity, Addresses Being Called a 'Heretic'". Christian Post. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  11. ^ "Dr. Phil.com — Shows — Teens and Sex with the Bishop". drphil.com.
  12. ^ Cheryl Wetzstein (August 10, 2015). "T.D. Jakes clarifies his comments on 'evolving' on gay rights". The Washington Times. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  13. ^ Cusic, Don (ed.). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. p. 221. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Christ Notes". christnotes.org. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "EthnicLoft — Sharing and celebrating the treasures of our heritage and culture". Archived from the original on November 25, 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  17. ^ "Unknown Forum". websitetoolbox.com.
  18. ^ Ryan, Suzanne C. (February 1, 2006). "New PBS Show Explores African-American Heritage In a New Way". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  19. ^ "Meet the SuperSoul100: The World's Biggest Trailblazers in One Room". O Magazine. 1 Aug 2016. Retrieved 5 Jul 2018.
  20. ^ "Woman Thou Art Loosed". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  21. ^ "Not Easily Broken". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-23.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]