Heads turn as Bishop Jakes visits Zimbabwe

Religion Writer —
AMERICAN charismatic leader, and provocative thinker who serves as the senior pastor of Potter’s House, Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes is headed for Zimbabwe to attend gospel group, Zimpraise International Music festival set for September.

Zimpraise chief executive and patron, Joseph Madziyire announced last week that the American visionary and entrepreneur is headed for his first ever visit to Zimbabwe in slightly more than two months to come.

He is expected to attend the tour which stretches from September 5-9. But Bishop Jakes is no simple man. One high profile figure the world pays attention to, Bishop Jakes lead a 30 000 member church in Dallas, Texas.

According to a snippet of his biography given on the church’s official website, thepottershouse.org, Bishop Jakes has advised the last three American presidents, was a featured speaker at the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, attended the state dinner for African leaders in 2014 and Pope Francis’ 2015 White House Visit.

“Over the years, he has met with leaders on the world stage, including (former) President (Jerry) Rawlings of Ghana and President (Olesugun) Obasanjo of Nigeria. He was the guest of the King of Jordan, King Abdullah, the President of Trinidad, George Maxwell Richards, and the president of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri K Museveni among others,” the website highlights.

It is also his ministry work which has earned him the respect he commands among Christians and people alike all over the world.

Since he founded his ministry in 1996, The Potter’s House has consistently been ranked among the largest and most influential churches in the U.S.

Up to today his ministry has expanded through four distinct channels which are global humanitarian outreach, inspirational conference series, media and entertainment venture and thought leadership forums.

Under his inspirational conference series is the MegaFest annually held in June and is rated to have scored more than $59 million in economic impact and drew nearly 100 000 attendees in 2015. It runs concurrently with the Woman Thou Art Loosed, a franchise which began as a woman’s Bible study in 1992. It has expanded into a book, stage play, CD, popular conference and film franchise.

In addition during the same conference, the ManPower program integrates the public, private and spiritual lives of men and encourages transparency among brothers.

In the entertainment channel, Bishop Jakes pursues film, music productions, broadcasting programmes, concerts, books to mention a few.

“T.D Jakes taps into a growing global audience who enter his digital-sphere through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, Vimeo, Google+, SnapChat, Periscope and the T.D Jakes app to the tune of 10 million followers,” the website records.

His visit to Zimbabwe will among other things draw attention to this southern African country.

Bishop Jakes accolades(to be boxed)

Listed among PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly “Top 10 Religious Leaders;”

One of the Nation’s Most Influential & Mesmerizing Preachers” by The New York Times;

Named Newsweek’s 12 People to Watch;

Placed on Savoy Magazine’s “Top 100 Powers That Be;”

Ranked on EBONY Magazine’s “Power 100 List;”

Called “America’ Best Preacher by CNN and Time;

A True 21st Century Renaissance Man; A Prolific Revivalist; Conference Leader & Christian Entrepreneur;

“Black Billy Graham Nation’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals;”

Among the Leading Candidates in Line to Inherit Billy Graham’s Mantle;

Called “Perhaps the most influential black leader in America today” by The Atlantic;

Named by CNN the “Smart Church of the 21st Century”

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