Love is a powerful tool. Regardless of one’s perspective, the term and concept are pervasive in culture and real life. Whether it is Tina Turner asking, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” or Musiq Soulchild giving the world a neo-soul infused definition in his 2000 ballad “Love,” there is no escaping the impact the emotion has on people.
This concept has even deeper roots if you surround its context with a good coming-of-age story. One consistent version of this story is the power of support and belief from a person or group who loved and believed in someone so much that the individual was able to positively evolve from where they were to where they were destined to be.
And at the center of culture, specifically in a faith context, America’s Bishop, T.D. Jakes has an out-loud coming-of-age story. It started from pulpit, progressed across several business industries, and has rested in the love and support of his community.
Born in South Charleston, WV, Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes is probably most known as the leader and pastor of the Dallas, TX, megachurch The Potter’s House. Serving there with his wife, Serita Jakes, The Potter’s House imprint has expanded to several campuses, with two of its locations led by his daughter and son-in-law Sarah Jakes Roberts and Touré Roberts.
Since 1996, Jakes has led the now 30,000-member congregation to exceptional heights with various global and national conferences, a range of ministry programming activities, and a focus and commitment to improve people and communities.
Although some like to box faith-based leaders in, Jakes’ life and work have demolished those antiquated ideas as he has launched several businesses, a school, community-based work, and even made significant waves in the entertainment industry.
“I think that when you start a person’s life by how you met them, you missed to find them. So people say, ‘T.D. Jakes is a preacher.’ He wasn’t always; I’m a person. And so if you work from the authenticity of who you are as a person, you can explore all of the things you have interest in without violating anything you have an interest in. Preaching is a part of it, a significant part of it. But I wasn’t born with a Bible in my hand and a microphone,” Jakes explained.