Bio: Bishop T. D. (Thomas Dexter) Jakes, Sr.

June 9, 1957 in South Charleston, W.Va.

The youngest of three children (sister, Jacqueline Jakes; brother, Ernest Jakes)

Serita Ann Jamison Jakes

Five children

Bishopric of the Greater Emanuel Assembly of Churches, 1987

Senior Pastor and Founder, The Potter's House, 1996

Bachelor of Arts (1985) and Master of Arts (1990) in Biblical studies from Friends International Christian University; Doctor of Ministry in religious studies (1995) from Friends International Christian University

Jakes has written more than 30 books, including his most recent, Let it Go: Forgive Others So You May Be Forgiven (Atria 2012) and the following 16 best sellers:

  • The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God (Atria 2011)

  • Before You Do (Atria, 2008)

  • Reposition Yourself (Atria, 2007)

  • Mama Made the Difference (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2006)

  • He-Motions (Penguin Putnam, 2004)

  • God's Leading Lady (Penguin Putnam, 2002)

  • The Great Investment (Penguin Putnam, 2001)

  • Maximize the Moment (Penguin Putnam, 2000)

  • The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord (Putnam, 1998)

  • Lay Aside the Weight (Albury Publishing, 1997)

  • Daddy Loves His Girls (Creation House, 1996)

  • Can You Stand to Be Blessed? (Destiny Image, 1995)

  • The Harvest (Pneuma Life, 1995)

  • Naked and Not Ashamed (Destiny Image, 1995)

  • Woman, Thou Art Loosed (Albury Publishing, 1993)

  • Loose That Man and Let Him Go! (Albury Publishing, 1996)

Additionally, Jakes' most popular books include:

  • From the Cross to the Pentecost: God's Passionate Love for Us Revealed (Howard Books, 2011)

  • Healing the Wounds of the Past (Destiny Image, 2011)

  • Live Overflowing: 6 Pillars for Abundant Living (Bethany House, 2010)

  • Wisdom from T.D. Jakes (Destiny Image, 2010)

  • Highly Favored: A Christmas Story (Atria, 2009)

  • The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times (Atria, 2009)

Honor and Award Highlights:


  • The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God (Atria 2011) wins the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional.

  • Jumping the Broom wins three NAACP Image Awards.

  • Bishop Jakes is honored with the Black Heritage Excellence in Ministry Award.

  • T.D. Jakes Enterprises is nominated for six NAACP Image Awards.


  • Bishop Jakes is named to Ebony Magazine's Power 100 List.

  • Bishop Jakes celebrates 35 years of ministry (September 2011).

  • Jumping the Broom, produced by Bishop Jakes, ranks as the No. 1 comedy on its opening weekend.

  • Bishop Jakes releases Sacred Love Songs 2, inspired by his latest film, Jumping the Broom.

  • The Potter's House forges a partnership with National Christian Hispanic Leadership Conference (NCHLC), which sanctions ManPower as the men's event for the NCHLC, creating a large and diverse conference.  

  • Bishop Jakes participates in the Drucker Institute CEO Forum.


  • The Claude R. Platte Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen honors Bishop Jakes as a pioneer in change and ministry.


  • International Black Gospel Music Hall of Fame & Museum inducts Bishop Jakes.

  • Bishop Jakes receives the first ever Community Leaders Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers and the United Health Group.

  • Essence magazine presents Bishop Jakes with an All-Star Tribute.

  • Bishop Jakes delivers the service the morning of President Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration.


  • Essence magazine presents Bishop Jakes with the 2008 President's Award for his book, Reposition Yourself (Atria).

  • Bishop Jakes receives the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award from the Congress of Racial Equality.

  • AIDS Institute honors Bishop Jakes with the 2008 Heroes in the Struggle Award.


  • Mama Made the Difference (Putnam) wins the 38th Annual NAACP Image Award in the instruction category.

  • CNN names Bishop Jakes to their Blue Ribbon Panel, placing him in the company of 15 influential world leaders who are committed to improving the state of the world.

  • Readers of The Church Report rank Bishop Jakes No. 4 among "The 50 Most Influential Christians in America."

  • The Atlantic magazine highlights Bishop Jakes in its 150th anniversary issue.

  • Essence magazine names Bishop Jakes among the "25 Most Influential of 2007."


  • Mama Made the Difference (Putnam) ranks No. 4 on The New York Times best-seller list two weeks after its release.

  • Bishop Jakes celebrates 30 years in ministry.

  • Readers of The Church Report magazine chose Bishop Jakes as the Most Influential Christian for 2005.

  • T.D. Jakes wing of the Melchizedek Hospital in Kenya's Kawangware slum is dedicated.


  • Bishop Jakes serves with the Rev. William H. Gray III as co-chair of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund's Interfaith Coalition

  • Bishop Jakes serves as official homilist at the Washington National Cathedral during the commemoration of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

  • "Faith for Africa: Kenya Mission™" - Bishop Jakes leads more than 300 African Americans on a humanitarian mission trip to Kenya, Africa.

  • He-Motions receives nomination for a 2005 GRAMMY® in the best contemporary soul Gospel album category.

  • Bishop and Mrs. Jakes receive honors for their MegaFest 2004 attendance record, which surpassed the previous record held by the Rev. Billy Graham.

  • Bishop Jakes accepts a Tower of Power Trumpet Award.

  • TIME magazine names Bishop Jakes among "25 Most Influential Evangelicals."

  • Woman, Thou Art Loosed: The Movie wins the NAACP Image Award for an independent or foreign film.


  • Bishop Jakes receives the NAACP President's Award, which honors top African Americans in film, television, music and literature.


  • T.D. Jakes Presents Follow the Star and A Wing and a Prayer earns nomination for a GRAMMY® award.


  • God's Leading Lady ranks No. 4 on The New York Times Best Seller Hardcover Advice List.

  • Bishop Jakes' musical project The Storm Is Over receives: GRAMMY® Nomination - Best Gospel Album, Contemporary; NAACP Image Award - Best Gospel Album, Choir or Group; Stellar Gospel Award - Best Gospel Album, Contemporary; and Dove Award - Best Gospel Video.


  • The cover of TIME magazine features Bishop Jakes as "America's Best Preacher."

  • CNN and TIME magazine honors Bishop Jakes as one of the year's top five religious innovators.

  • Ebony magazine calls Bishop Jakes one of the "56 Most Intriguing Blacks of 2001."


  • PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly recognizes Bishop Jakes among "Top 10 Religious Leaders."

  • Maximize the Moment ranks No. 3 on The New York Times business best-seller list.


  • The New York Times identifies Bishop Jakes as "one of the top five evangelists most frequently cited by scholars, theologians and evangelical leaders to step up to the international pulpit . . ."

The Potter's House MegaCARE Ministry's 2011 Global Humanitarian Initiatives:

  • Donated food and toys to women's shelters, three orphanages and impoverished communities in Mexico

  • Provided food, water and medicine to over 5,000 men, women and children in Kenya and Somalia

  • Partnered with local churches in the Dominican Republic's most distressed communities to treat over 300 women and children in need of medical care

  • Partnered with the City of Dallas for the Earth Day "Keep Dallas Beautiful" Campaign