A Tribute to Bishop T.D. Jakes

A Tribute to T.D. Jakes
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 30, 2009

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Bishop T.D. Jakes has gained millions of followers and a multimillion dollar spiritual enterprise through his global teachings and preachings. The author, businessman and preacher we see today continues to prove those early critics—who thought he wouldn’t make it as a preacher because of his lisp-wrong.

He is the epitome of a man who can balance work, family and carry on the word of God. We salute Jakes with a look at his most memorable moments.

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Bishop T.D. Jakes welcomed the crowd with a fist full of pride at the first presentation of MegaFest in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2008.

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Attendees raise their hands in praise as they celebrate the best that South Africa has to offer.

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“I want to leave a message that we care. I want South Africans to understand that all of us who could come did come and that many more wanted to be here,” says Bishop Jakes of the two-day MegaFest event.

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People of all ages, races and nations joined together to praise in the same spirit in South Africa at Jakes’s MegaFest.

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Traditional South African dancers show the crowd what makes their country so culturally rich.

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The bishop does a little dancing of his own onstage at MegaFest 2008 in South Africa.

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A sampling of the crowd who joined in the festivities. “We have brought together what we think are the best representation of people who not only capture the excitement of this conference, but who truly epitomize the essence of this international event,” said Bishop Jakes.

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More than 100,000 people came out to attend MegaFest International. Bishop Jakes and The Potter’s House continue their strong desire to help the people of Africa by building places of refuge for children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Swaziland.

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Mveso is the birthplace of former South African President Nelson Mandela (his grandson seen here with Bishop T.D. Jakes) and is where the Nelson Mandela Museum is located.

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Bishop T.D. Jakes said he was “honored” by the ceremony. Chief Mandela (right) named him a “patron and ambassador of Mveso,” allowing Jakes to return whenever he pleased.

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During his trip to South Africa, Bishop T. D. Jakes was welcomed by the chief of Mveso (in the background), Nelson Mandela’s grandson, during an official ceremony.

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T.D. Jakes was a proud father last summer as he celebrated his daughter’s marriage. Here, Bishop Noel Jones, left, Jakes and wife Serita congratulate the newlyweds Sarah and Robert Henson.

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Primpin’ ain’t easy, but Sarah makes it look that way as Daddy and Mommy Jakes and the hairstylist help to make sure she’s flawless.

“My father picked out my dress,” said Sarah. “He was on a business trip in New York, and called me and told me he had found a dress. I was so nervous and called my mom. My dad doesn’t know how to work his cell phone that well, but he took a picture of it and sent it to me. When he brought the dress, it fit perfectly. I absolutely love it!”

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Jakes and his son-in-law Robert enjoy the festivities and some alone time as official family members.

“My wish for my son-in-law is that God will vest him with the fortitude to reach his dreams,” said Jakes, “and the daily secretion of love that makes a man support and cherish his new family, providing them with all they need that will let them know they have been loved by a good man.”

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Jakes and wife Serita enjoy the moment as Tyler Perry toasts the Hensons.

Perry’s toast drew laughter and hearty cheers. “Before my father proposed to my mother, he had to ask my grandparents’ permission. My grandmother never looked at him, but proceeded to pull out her razor and skin an apple as he spoke before she told him, ‘You see my daughter? She doesn’t have a scar on her. If you don’t want her, bring her back the way you got her, ya hear?’ Now, Robert, I don’t know if the Bishop carries a razor, but you see where this is going, right?” Perry joked. “No, seriously, I want you both to know that every day might not be a great day, but every day is a God day, and as long as you keep Him first in your lives, you’ll be all right.”

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Producer Tyler Perry, a friend of the Jakes family who has known Sarah since she was 10, served as the toastmaster of the Cinderella affair.

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Media pioneer Cathy Hughes congratulates Bishop Jakes on his daughter’s big day.

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Bishop Jakes got a taste of Hollywood success earlier this year as the writer of the January 2009 film “Not Easily Broken.”

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Not only was Bishop Jakes a writer of the film “Not Easily Broken,” but the famed author and spiritual leader also made a cameo appearance. He and his wife portrayed business tycoons in the movie. The movie is now on DVD.

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Pastor Jakes has been hosting the ManPower Conference for the last 15 years. It’s his way of encouraging men to build strong marriages, pursue their dreams, increase their confidence and take on community responsibilities.

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Dr. Myles Munroe, founder and senior pastor of the Bahamas Faith Ministries International. He was invited by Bishop Jakes to deliver a message on social and spiritual development.

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Bishop Jakes has been sponsoring the ManPower Conference for the past 15 years where young and old men of all different ethnicities come together to realize the importance of God’s presence in their lives.

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Gospel recording artist Dr. Marvin Sapp made an appearance to sing his inspirational, crossover hit, “Never Would Have Made It.”

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Thousands of men came out for the ManPower Conference where Pastor Jakes delivered a message about surviving in tough economic times.

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Bishop Lester Love, senior Pastor of the City of Love church in New Orleans, spreads the message to the masses with his T-shirt.

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This year’s ManPower Conference took place Thursday through Saturday, June 25-27, 2009, at The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas.

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Stellar Award-wining gospel artist Fred Hammond was also there to share in song.

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This year’s theme at the ManPower Conference was “Visions and Dreams.” Pastor Jakes encourages the men to address their needs and struggles through biblical principles.

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Bishop T.D. Jakes has graced the cover of Time Magazine as “America’s Best Preacher” and has been distinguished as one of the nation’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals.” But that never stops him from continuing to connect personally with the people of the congregation.

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A sampling of the crowd who joined in the festivities at MegFest. “We have brought together what we think are the best representation of people who not only capture the excitement of this conference, but who truly epitomize the essence of this international event,” said Bishop Jakes.

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