Jakes, T.D. 1957- (Thomas Dexter Jakes)

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Jakes, T.D. 1957- (Thomas Dexter Jakes)


Born June 9, 1957, in Charleston, WV; son of Ernest (a businessman) and Odith (a home economics teacher) Jakes; married Serita Ann Jamison (a church administrator and author), 1981; children: Jamar and Jermaine (twins), Cora, Sarah, T. Dexter, Jr. Education: Center Business College, 1972; doctorate, 1995. Religion: Pentecostal.


Home—Dallas, TX. Office—T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, P.O. Box 763518, Dallas, TX 75376.


Clergyman, author, producer, and speaker. Worked in business and industry, 1976-82; Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith (began in Montgomery, WV, moved to South Charleston, WV, 1990, Cross Lanes, WV, 1993), part-time pastor, 1980-82, full-time pastor, 1982-96; Ministries Today, columnist, 1996-97; Potter's House (interdenominational church), Dallas, TX, founder, 1996—; host of television show The Potter's House, broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Producer of audio and video tapes, including Woman, Thou Art Loosed: The Songs of Healing and Deliverance. Host of television show Get Ready with T.D. Jakes, broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Black Entertainment Television (BET), 1993—.


Gospel Heritage Award, Gospel Today magazine, 1996; Excellence award, Stellar Foundation, 1996; Key to the City of Dallas, for Ravens Refuge, The Potter's House homeless ministry; Dove Seal award, Gospel Music Association, for sound recording Woman, Thou Art Loosed: The Songs of Healing and Deliverance, 1997; Grammy nomination for sound recording Woman, Thou Art Loosed, 1998; named one of the Ten Most Influential Christian Leaders of 1997, Home Life magazine, 1998; Quill Award, Religion/Spriituality category, 2006, for Mama Made the Difference.


Woman, Thou Art Loosed!, Treasure House (Shippensburg, PA), 1993, reprinted as Woman, Thou Art Loosed! Healing the Wounds of the Past (also see below), Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1996.

Water in the Wilderness, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1994.

Why? Because You Are Anointed, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1994.

(With Stanley Miller) When Shepherds Bleed: A Study Guide for Wounded Pastors, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1995.

Naked and Not Ashamed: We've Been Afraid to Reveal What God Longs to Heal, Treasure House (Shippensburg, PA), 1995.

Loose That Man and Let Him Go!, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1995.

Help Me, I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1995.

Can You Stand to Be Blessed? (workbook), Destiny (Merrimac, MA), 1995.

The Harvest, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1996.

Help! I'm Raising My Children Alone, Creation House (Orlando, FL), 1996, Charisma House (Lake Mary, FL), 2001.

Daddy Loves His Girls, Creation House (Orlando, FL), 1996, Charisma House (Lake Mary, FL), 2006.

T.D. Jakes Speaks to Women! Deliverance for the Past, Healing for the Present, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1996.

T.D. Jakes Speaks to Men! Powerful, Life-Changing Quotes to Make You the Man God Intended You to Be (also see below), Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1996.

So You Call Yourself a Man? A Devotional for Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Potential, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1997.

Woman, Thou Art Loosed! Devotional, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1997.

Lay aside the Weight: Taking Control of It before It Takes Control of You!, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1997.

Anointing Fall on Me: Accessing the Power of the Holy Spirit, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1997.

A Fresh Glimpse of the Dove, Pneuma Life (Bakersfield, CA), 1997.

I Choose to Forgive, T.D.K., 1997.

The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, Putnam (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor) Holy Bible: Woman, Thou Art Loosed! Edition: New King James Version, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1998.

Loose That Man and Let Him Go! Devotional: So You Call Yourself a Man?, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1998.

Woman, Thou Art Loosed! The Book and the Devotional for Women, Inspirational Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Maximize the Moment: God's Action Plan for Your Life, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Intimacy with God: The Spiritual Worship of the Believer, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1999.

His Lady: Sacred Promises for God's Woman, Berkley (New York, NY), 1999.

Loved by God: The Spiritual Wealth of the Believer, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 2000.

Life Overflowing the Spiritual Walk of the Believer, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 2000.

The Great Investment: Faith, Family, and Finance, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.

Experiencing Jesus: God's Spiritual Workmanship in the Believer, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 2000.

Celebrating Marriage: The Spiritual Wedding of the Believer, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 2000.

(Coauthor, composer, and producer) Behind Closed Doors (play), produced in Chicago, IL, 2000.

Woman Thou Art Loosed Cookbook, T.D. Jakes Enterprises (Dallas, TX), 2001.

God's Leading Lady: Out of the Shadows and into the Light, G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2002.

Transforming Your Relationships: An Action Plan for Love That Lasts, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2003.

Cover Girls: A Novel, Warner Faith (New York, NY), 2003.

Follow the Star: Christmas Stories That Changed My Life, Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.

God's Leading Ladies: Conference Workbook: Taking Your Place on Life's Center Stage, Thomas Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2003.

Overcoming the Enemy: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

He-motions: Even Strong Men Struggle, Putman's (New York, NY), 2004.

Woman, Thou Art Loosed! (novel), Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Promises from God for Single Women, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Mama Made the Difference, Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.

Not Easily Broken, Warner Faith (New York, NY), 2006.

Promises from God for Parents, Berkley Pub. Group (New York, NY), 2006.

Reposition Yourself: Living Life without Limits, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2007.

T.D. Jakes Speaks to Men: Three Bestselling Books in One Volume!, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Contributor of foreword, Power to Get Wealth by Luther Blackwell, Albury (Tulsa, OK), 1996.


Woman, Thou Art Loosed! was adapted as a musical recording by Integrity Music. It was also adapted as an independent film produced and released by T.D. Jakes Enterprises, 2004.


T.D. Jakes is a noted pastor, author, and speaker, whose fans include Pat Robertson and Coretta Scott King. Time contributor David Van Biema wrote that "George W. Bush calls Jakes's social programs models for a church-state partnership." Jakes was named by the New York Times as one of the five preachers most likely to succeed Billy Graham. In July 1999, he broke Graham's attendance record when 84,000 flocked to hear him in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

Jakes was born in Charleston, West Virginia, and after completing college he preached at a Baptist church and acted as the part-time music director. He founded Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith in 1980 in a storefront, with a congregation of ten. He became a full-time pastor in 1982, when the Union Carbide plant in which he worked closed and his father died. The church relocated twice more, then in 1996 Jakes moved his family along with fifty other families to Texas, where he founded The Potter's House, a multiracial and nondenominational church near Dallas. From The Potter's House, Jakes has created a number of ministries, including Ravens Reach for the homeless, an outreach to prostitutes called Operation Rehab, a GED literacy program, the Transformation Treatment Program for drug and alcohol abusers, an AIDS outreach, and a prison outreach.

Since 1984, Jakes has drawn large audiences, bringing his healing ministry to people beyond The Potter's House. He has also developed a conference for pastors and their wives. Many of Jakes's books have appeared on the national Christian best sellers list, and his Woman, Thou Art Loosed! has sold close over three million copies. His syndicated television show is shown on both the Trinity Broadcasting Network and the Black Entertainment Television network, reaching audiences in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and England. Jakes also beams special programming via satellite to prisons in the United States. People writer Pam Lambert wrote that "if Jakes strikes such an emotional chord in many of his followers, it may be due to his sympathetic approach to such timely and thorny issues as AIDS, single motherhood, and abusive relationships.

Jakes's ministry to women began with his own wife, Serita, who was overwhelmed by her life and asked him to help her, not as her husband, but as her minister. "That conversation got Jakes thinking about women's needs and problems," wrote Lauren F. Winner in Christianity Today. "‘So many women are abused; their self-esteem is stolen,’ Jakes says. Helping those women heal became the goal of his Sunday school class, the best-attended he ever taught." Serita later developed her own Woman-to-Woman ministry.

In reviewing The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, Maureen Jenkins wrote in Publishers Weekly that "rather than dwelling on group liberation, [the book] deals with inner freedom. Jakes writes about the three most important relationships in a woman's life—with herself, her man, and her God—and what she should realistically expect from each one." Jakes's central theme, according to Booklist writer Vanessa Bush, is that "women should maintain a balance in their lives, not overemphasizing one aspect to the detriment of others." Bernadette McGrath, a reviewer for Library Journal, found this message powerful, noting that Jakes "speaks … to women who have lost faith in themselves and seek salvation primarily in their relationships with men." A Publishers Weekly contributor appreciated the "intimate bond" that Jakes creates in the book through his use of "deeply personal stories" that he shares with his readers. People contributor Amy Waldman called the book "a provocative sermon for devout women on how to have it all."

Another project aimed at themes of specific interest to women is the play Behind Closed Doors, which Jakes coauthored, composed for, and produced in Chicago in late 2000. The play concerns a wealthy white woman who feels undesirable after losing a breast to cancer and pays her black maid fifteen thousand dollars to sleep with her husband. The resolution of her problems finally comes with prayer. Jakes speaks frankly to women from the stage, the pulpit, and through his books, going beyond the reading and discussion of bible verse. Editor of Charisma magazine, J. Lee Grady, deemed Jakes "a married black man speaking from a shepherd's heart to wounded women, and they lined up by the thousands."

The Great Investment: Faith, Family, and Finance combines a guide to family living with a book on organizing your finances, comparing the lives of ideal Christian families with the realities of living in the world today and the compromises possible to keep a family operating within Christian structures while remaining realistic. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted: "While there are flashes of genius in both the finance and family sections, the whole would be improved by a more narrow focus on just one of its parts."

God's Leading Lady: Out of the Shadows and into the Light, which can be considered an extension of the lessons taught in Jakes's earlier books, Woman Thou Art Loosed! and The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, encourages Christian women to step out from behind the men in their lives, or their work, or whatever they use as a shield, and stand up for themselves—their beliefs, their desires, and their rights. Beyond everything, he stresses that women have great worth in the overall scope of the world and that it is their divine right to have all they deserve. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found some of the advice clichéd, but on the whole opined that "Jakes offers a fresh and compassionate summons for women to recognize their divine worth." Booklist contributor Vanessa Bush commented that the book "speaks to a range of issues from single motherhood to ill health to financial crises to troubled marriages."

With Cover Girls: A Novel, Jakes delivers his message in a different format—fiction. The novel follows four women, each in a different stage of their life, each facing a difficult time or significant change. Jakes depicts each woman using her faith and lessons from the bible to empower and enable her to take control of her life and her destiny. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., in a review for Black Issues Book Review, pointed out that "at best, it is light literary fare, for Jakes is not primarily a novelist but a preacher with a message to deliver." Writing for Essence, Sandra Jamison opined that Jakes "proves that he knows how to spin a tale." A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised the biblical lessons, but noted that "it's ironic that a novel that's supposed to be about strong women shows those women almost always being rescued or straightened out by men."

In The Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment, Jakes offers spiritual guidance to those people who dread going to work in the morning due to an uncomfortable work situation. Many people hate heading off to their jobs, but Jakes provides some simple ideas to help minimize that negative sense of anticipation, based on the ten commandments, yet adapted for the modern work situation. He reminds readers that, among other things, they should not expect things they have not earned, and that they should take advantage of the breaks and time off they are allotted.

Jakes's ministry includes the proposed development of a city that will meet the economic and social needs of his congregation. It will include a home for the elderly, a support system for pregnant teens, a private school, a performing arts center, and a business incubator. Jakes and his wife enjoy their prosperity; indeed, Jakes makes no apologies for his comfortable lifestyle. Winner wrote that "Black working-class folks, he says, need ‘believable heroes; we don't need preachers who've taken vows of poverty or who, on the other extreme, are living out of the offering plate. We need a preacher who through writing or some other honest means, has made the American dream work for him.’" Pointing out Jakes's emphasis on the practical aspects of church leadership in the black community, Winner added that "he knows the church has been the one institution in society that African Americans trust intuitively, the one place where they can be themselves. This awareness constantly informs his work."



Wellman, Sam, T.D. Jakes ("Black Americans of Achievement" series), Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.


Africa News Service, October 5, 2005, "Jakes Skips Function in His Honour."

America's Intelligence Wire, August 4, 2005, "An Interview with Bishop T.D. Jakes"; September 5,2005, "The Situation for September 5, 2005, MSNBC—Part 1"; October 26, 2006, "Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Potter's House Announce Megafest Conference Changes; Globally-Renowned Conference, Megafest, Takes a Sabbatical"; November 16, 2006, "Congratulations to Emmitt Smith from His Pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, on Winning ‘Dancing with the Stars.’"

Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, October 10, 2005, "Waiting for Godot at Bomas."

Atlantic Monthly, March 1, 2006, "The Preacher: Bishop T.D. Jakes Wants His Flock Not Only To Do Good but To Do Well, and His Brand of Entrepreneurial Spirituality Has Made Him Perhaps the Most Influential Black Leader in America Today," p. 92.

Black Issues Book Review, July 1, 2000, Faith Johnson, review of Maximize the Moment: God's Action Plan for Your Life, p. 58; July 1, 2002, review of God's Leading Lady: Out of the Shadows and into the Light, p. 44; September-October, 2003, Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., review of Cover Girls: A Novel, p. 58; November 1, 2003, review of Follow the Star: Christmas Stories That Changed My Life, p. 23.

Booklist, July, 1998, Vanessa Bush, review of The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, p. 1826; May 1, 2002, Vanessa Bush, review of God's Leading Lady, p. 1442; July 1, 2003, Vanessa Bush, review of Cover Girls, p. 1845; September 1, 2004, Vernon Ford, review of He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle, p. 24; January 1, 2005, Barbara Jacobs, review of The Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment, p. 789; April 15, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of Mama Made the Difference, p. 4.

Business Wire, December 20, 2001, "Bishop T.D. Jakes to Hold an Inaugural Leadership Seminar at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.," p. 0266.

Christian Century, October 10, 2001, "T.D. Jakes, a Dallas-based Minister Known for the Pentecostal Fervor in His Sermons, Was Dubbed ‘America's Best Preacher’ by Time Magazine," p. 17.

Christianity Today, September 6, 1999, Lauren F. Winner, "84,000 Join Jakes in Georgia," p. 23; February 7, 2000, Lauren F. Winner, "T.D. Jakes Feels Your Pain," p. 52.

Church & State, September 1, 2005, "America Is Not a ‘Christian Nation,’ Says Prominent Texas Pastor," p. 20.

Dallas Business Journal, January 5, 2001, "Bishop T.D. Jakes," p. 46.

Ebony, January 1, 2001, "Why People, Especially Black Women, Are Talking about Bishop T.D. Jakes," p. 108; October 1, 2002, "T.D. Jakes," p. 24; September 1, 2003, review of Cover Girls, p. 28; September 1, 2004, "Expressing Oneself by Looking Deep Inside Is the Clarion Call for Men One of America's Leading Preachers, Bishop T.D. Jakes," p. 30; December 1, 2004, "5 Questions For: Bishop T.D. Jakes: Founder & Senior Pastor, the Potter's House Church," p. 24; January 1, 2005, review of The Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment, p. 27.

Essence, December 1, 2001, "Bishop T.D. Jakes on the Power of Family: The TV Evangelist, Best-selling Author and Pastor to a Flock of Millions Talks about Healing Our Spirits, Our Relationships and Our Families," p. 126; August, 2003, Sandra Jamison, review of Cover Girls, p. 116; August 1, 2006, "Blessed Assurance: Bishop T.D. Jakes's Keys to Good Parenting," p. 80; June 1, 2007, "Be the Woman You've Always Wanted to Be: Are You Being Held down by Something from Your Past? T.D. Jakes Says It's Time for Black Women to Stop Looking at Yesterday and Step into a Brighter Future," p. 162.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 14, 2006, "T.D. Jakes' Fiery Sermons, Global Reach Have World Watching."

Fsb, October 1, 2005, "So Shall Ye Reap: The ‘Next Billy Graham’ Proudly Brings in the Almighty Dollar," p. 32.

Hollywood Reporter, October 8, 2004, "Woman, Thou Art Loosed," p. 13; April 18, 2006, "Author Jakes Lands Inspiring Deal with SPE," p. 4.

Insight on the News, September 14, 1998, "Provocative Pentacostal," p. 41.

International Wire, February 1, 2005, "America's Most Influential Evangelicals."

Jet, September 6, 2004, "Bishop T.D. Jakes Hosts Mega Fest in Atlanta," p. 52; January 16, 2006, "Preachers and Their Partners: Wives of Prominent Pastors," p. 16; March 6, 2006, "Former Pennsylvania Rep. William Gray, Who Currently Serves as Senior Pastor of Philadelphia's Bright Hope Baptist Church, and Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pastor of Potter's House in Dallas, Have Been Named to Administer a $20 Million Government Fund to Help Gulf State Pastors Rebuild Their Churches," p. 16; July 31, 2006, "Bishop T.D. Jakes and Revs. William Gray III, William Shaw Quit Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund Panel," p. 12; August 7, 2006, "Bishop T.D. Jakes Hosts Megafest 2006 in Atlanta; Celebrates 30th Anniversary in Ministry," p. 60.

Kansas City Star, October 8, 2001, "We Can't Be Afraid to Watch and Enjoy Sports."

Library Journal, July, 1998, Bernadette McGrath, review of The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, p. 98; November 1, 1999, Ann Burns, review of Maximize the Moment, p. 108; November 1, 2003, review of Follow the Star, p. 107.

Los Angeles Times, August 20, 1998, "A Preacher and a Writer—and Woman's Best Friend," p. 1; July 19, 2002, "Jakes Fits 2 Worlds under His Tent; Preacher Takes a Modern Tack to Spread Old-time Message," p. 1.

New York Times, September 18, 2005, "Black Leaders Say Storm Forced Bush to Confront Issues of Race and Poverty," p. 21; September 19, 2005, "Stern Words from the Preacher at the President's Side," p. 18.

People, August 3, 1998, Amy Waldman, review of The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, p. 39; November 9, 1998, Pam Lambert, "Positive Thinking Proves Powerful—and Profitable—for Dallas Bishop T.D. Jakes," p. 121.

Publishers Weekly, May 25, 1998, Maureen Jenkins, "T.D. Jakes," p. 14; June 15, 1998, review of The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, p. 49; December 13, 1999, review of Maximize the Moment, p. 80; November 13, 2000, review of The Great Investment: Faith, Family, and Finance, p. 102; May 6, 2002, review of God's Leading Lady, p. 52; June 9, 2003, review of Cover Girls, p. 35; August 14, 2006, review of Not Easily Broken, p. 179.

Time, December 11, 2000, David Van Biema, "Bishop Unbound," p. 86; October 4, 2004, "Q & A T.D. Jakes," p. 95.

Time Canada, December 11, 2000, "Bishop Unbound: Pentecostalism," p. 60; September 17, 2001, "Spirit Raiser," p. 62.

Times, August 2, 1999, "Women Loosen Up for ‘Black Billy Graham,’" p. 11.

US Newswire, November 21, 2006, "Bishop T.D. Jakes and MEDC Lead Free HIV/AIDS Awareness Rally; It's Time to Step Up! Saturday, Dec. 2."

Wall Street Journal Eastern Edition, July 12, 2006, "Pastor's Sermons to Test Viability of Paid Podcasts," p. 2.

Wall Street Journal Western Edition, August 21, 1998, "Prophet Motives; Grammy Nomination, Book Deal, TV Spots—A Holy Empire Is Born; How His Gospel of Prosperity Helped Make T.D. Jakes a Media Phenomenon; A Press Release for a Baptism," p. 1.

Washington Post, September 11, 1999, "Force for Change; Preaching Phenom Stops by Washington," p. 01; July 13, 2006, "3 Leaders Quit Effort to Aid Gulf Churches," p. 06.


T.D. Jakes Ministries Home Page,http://www.tdjakes.com/site/PageServer (August 24, 2007).