Why T.D. Jakes Stays Christian

The mega-preacher discusses his favorite Christian, his annoyance with politics, and even recites his favorite Psalm.

Bishop T.D. Jakes is a best-selling author of 29 books, a Grammy-winning gospel singer, a nationally renowned preacher, and the subject of a 2001 Time magazine cover story that asked: Is This Man The Next Billy Graham? He is also pastor of one of the largest churches in the nation--the 30,000-member Potter's House, in Dallas. His sermons are broadcast nationally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Black Entertainment Television.

In August, Jakes will host his second annual Mega-Fest, a giant Christian family conference and festival. Last year's festival broke an Atlanta event attendance record, with 560,000 people. This year's speakers and entertainers include: Robert Kiyosaki, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin, Paula White, Stephen Baldwin, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurkin, and Suze Orman. Recently, Beliefnet senior editor Deborah Caldwell caught up with Jakes for a chat.

What do you love most about Christianity?


The Christian message reaches out to everyone and anyone-it doesn't exclude anyone from an opportunity to reshape their lives. That no one living and breathing is beyond redemptions, grace.

What do you dislike about Christianity?

Sometimes Christianity is used as a pawn for political manipulation. I dislike the fact that we have black and white lines in this country about who is, and who is not, a Christian--and sometimes we market the Christianity to one particular group, or audience, at the expense of excluding other people from it. While Christ is inclusive, sometimes religious leadership can be very narrow and tribal in our tendency to alienate people that we ought to be able to embrace.

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