Bishop T.D. Jakes leads The Potter’s House church in Dallas, Texas and is a husband, father, author, and entrepreneur.
As a faithful servant of the Gospel, Bishop Jakes is one of the greatest minds of our Christian history. His life is a testament to the faithfulness and power of our very Great God.
His life has been the vessel of many spirits to come to life from paths of death, and souls to be revived with fresh vision after years of brokenness and crushed dreams.
The testimonies of personal lives now changed by his service before God are hundreds of thousands. This is his story.
The analogy from which his church’s name, The Potter’s House, comes from pretty well sums up Bishop Jakes’ approach to ministry.
God is our faithful and very good Potter. We are clay in His Hands. When we submit to Him, He forms us into something glorious and useful.
Through the moments we spin and may feel out of control, but if we are under His covering then He spins us on His clay-wheel, smoothing edges and shaping unique angles unlike any other.
Through the fire of trials, in His furnace, we become a firm vessel, a dependable conduit, in which He carries His Gospel Truth to the world.
His church’s name is intended to reflect all of these truths, as the congregation together seeks the will and ways of God.
But how did Bishop Jakes get here?
Thomas Dexter Jakes was born on a summer day, June 9th, 1957.
Ernest Sr. and Odith Jakes brought little Jakes into the world in their home of South Charleston, West Virginia. Though his parents were Christians, he had a hard upbringing at home and struggled financially.
Jakes was known in the neighborhood as the “bad Bible boy”, who also would never be able to speak because of a prominent lisp. Well, God had some different plans!
Shortly after his father’s young death, Jakes went into ministry despite nearly zero financial support. His heart had been turned toward God and a fire had begun to burn.
Jakes founded Greater Immanuel Temple of Faith in 1979 and the 22-year-old young man was faithful to the initial ten members meeting at their storefront home of worship.
As he continued his hole-digger day job, he continued to be shaped by the Potter into a vessel none could recognize from youth, and even yet to be more transformed as years went on.
In 1981, Jakes married Serita Jamison, who continues to support him in ministry often referred to as Sister Jakes today.
In only 10 years, Grace Immanuel grew to over one thousand members. Between 1982 when Jakes began full time ministry and 1995, God worked His careful masterful plan in the hearts of the people under Bishop Jakes’ voice.
Then, at 38 years old, a TV ministry took off. People around the country were hearing this man of God speak in a transformative way.
By 1995, Grace Immanuel moved to Dallas, Texas to become the Potter’s House. Within 12 years in Texas, the congregation, including 50 of the original families, grew to over 30,000 attendees.
The diversity of its members is a testament to the focus of the people within its walls. Seeing the people within (and those served outside of) church walls at such a level of diverse socioeconomic status, race, interests, age, and nationality is an absolute testimony to the unifying power of One Spirit alive and clearly proclaimed in this church family.
Serita and T.D. have had 5 children, some of whom are also prominent voices in Christian Faith today.
Ministry and family are not the only areas God has blessed in Bishop Jakes’ life. This amazingly active servant of God is also a prolific author, with over 30 books and many of those on New York’s Best Seller List.
He has chosen to use gifts in the creative arts as a songwriter, playwright, and performer to create Dexterity Sounds. This Christian record label sits alongside a theater and movie production company in the growing legacy this man is leaving to the world — all overflowing with the Grace and Glory of God.
In ministry, God blesses this congregation and their shepherd with much, as they continue to pour much Love locally and abroad. Bishop Jakes founded his original church on nothing but the blood of Jesus to proclaim and the fire of God in his spirit, and that same message fuels the continued mission of this flock.
Jakes understands the importance of foundation — spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. In this, according to the T.D. Jakes site, the Potter’s House cares deeply with action for “…homeless outreach, GED/literacy programs, and AIDS outreach. Bishop Jakes also empowers communities through distinct national ministries, including Global Partner System (GPS), MegaCARE, and Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.). With a steadfast love of people, TPH is consistently ranked amongst the nation’s most influential churches each year.”
Other than caring for the city and people surrounding the Potter’s House, Jakes takes special interest in the needs of African communities, as he is very aware and connected with his own Nigerian heritage.
T.D. Jakes has been the worthy recipient of many rewards of the national, entertainment, and Christian sectors. Yet this is not where he looks for affirmation. He constantly reminds the people who hear any word from his gift of a mind that God Alone is the author and finisher of our lives, and the One who makes us great in His Kingdom.
Bishop Jakes’ message is one of purpose and a belief that God has placed every single person on this Earth for a brilliant purpose … if we will submit to Him, rise to the responsibility our true purpose entails, and engage with Him on a supernatural level.
He speaks to this in one of his books, Instinct: the Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive: “Others can inspire you, but ultimately the only thing that empowers you is what lies within you and learning how to better utilize what you’ve been given.”
Ways to engage with the amazing things that God is doing at the Potter’s House are by tuning in on their live Sunday broadcast, donating financially, or visiting one of the amazing conferences that occur annually.
And of course, the headship and faithful body of this ministry desire your prayers and that any revelation or comfort you receive from this house of God be shared with others around you.
Have you been impacted by the ministry of Bishop T.D. Jakes? Let us know in the comments below.