Thomas Dexter Jakes popularly known as T.D. jakes was born June 9, 1957 in South Charleston, West Virginia. He grew up in Vandalia, West Virginia. As a teenager he was caring for his invalid father and working in local industries. He also attended some local Baptist churches. Feeling the call to ministry he enrolled in West Virginia State University and began preaching part-time in local churches, but later dropped out of the university and took a job at the local Union Carbide and continued preaching part-time.
Jakes became the pastor of the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith in 1982, a small, Montgomery, West Virginia independent Pentecostal church with about ten members. The church grew over the years, drawing an integrated congregation. He moved the church twice from Montgomery to Smithers and then to South Charleston, where the congregation grew from about 100 members to over 300 members.
At this time He also began a radio ministry called The Master’s Plan that ran from 1982-1985.
T.D Jakes became acquainted with Bishop Sherman Watkins, founder of the Higher Ground Always Abounding Assembly.
Bishop Sherman Watkins ordained T.D Jakes as a minister of the Higher Ground Assembly and encouraged him to start a church in the Charleston Area. Jakes also used this time to continue his education by studying through correspondence courses from Friends University. Jakes completed a B. A. and M.A. in 1990 and a Doctor of Ministry in Religious Studies from Friends International Christian University in 1995.
T. D. Jakes began to focus on the spiritual needs of the women in his church who had been abandoned and abused in their lives so he began a Sunday School class for them, “Woman, Thou Art Loosed,” in which he encouraged the women to use their past pain as a foundation for new growth.
He later started a similar class for men, which he called “Manpower. Based on the Sunday school for the women, he wrote his first book that he self published named “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” and it is still one of his most popular work and has sold over 800,000 copies and has spawned a devotional series and a musical CD as well as its continuing influence on Jakes’ conference of the same title.
He also began a new television ministry, Get Ready, which aired on Black Entertainment Television and the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Also in 1993, Jakes moved his church yet again, to Cross Lanes, West Virginia.
Jakes ministry continued to expand, prompting the founding of the T. D. Jakes Ministries organization to oversee his work beyond the church itself. He continued to write and to publish, spreading his message of spiritual healing to new audiences. In 1994 he held the first of what would become a series of conferences for ministers and their spouses, “When Shepherds Bleed”.
In May 1996, Jakes moved his family and his ministry again, as well as fifty other families involved in his work, to Dallas, Texas. There he purchased Eagle’s Nest Church, a large Dallas church, renaming the church ‘The Potter’s House’. The Potter’s House, which is a 5000 seat auditorium and a 34-acre campus, has grown to a congregation of over 30,000.
Its ministries include the Ravens Reach program for the homeless, Operation Rehab, an outreach program for prostitutes, Transformation Treatment, a program for substance abusers, as well as prison ministries, literacy programs, youth ministries, weight-loss programs, and mentoring and job-training programs.
Bishop T.D. Jakes is married to Serita Jamison, now Serita Jakes. They got married in 1981. They are blessed with four children Sarah Jakes, Thomas Jakes Jr., Jermaine Jakes, Cora Jakes, Jamar Jakes.
T .D. jakes is not only a Pastor; he is a speaker, an author and a film maker. He has written a lot of books like
- Before You Do: Making Great Decisions That You Won’t Regret, 2008.
- The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times, 2009.
- Let it Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven, 2012.
- Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive, 2014.
- Destiny: Step into Your Purpose, August 2015.
and produced quiet a number of movies such as
- Heaven is Real.
- Miracles from Heaven.
- Not easily broken.