The Potter’s House celebrates 25 years in Dallas
Lifestyle & Culture Editor
Megachurches. Like them or not, there’s no denying the impact The Potter’s House, led by founder Bishop T.D. Jakes, has on the world.
From individuals, couples and families to students, the formerly incarcerated and more, Bishop Jakes has come a long way from his first church, Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith, founded in 1980 in Montgomery, West Virginia.
A Fourth of July, Sunday morning celebration of 25 years in Dallas delivered the artistry of ministry, worship and praise. “We got a whole lot done in 25 years,” Bishop Jakes told the massive crowd in attendance and those tuned in via live stream.
Throughout the celebration, a hush came over the room as attendees smiled and swayed as Gospel great and featured musical guest Yolanda Adams sang her classic hit, Open My Heart.
The Potter’s House members Pat Smith, Marvin Jones, Ayoka Lawson and Steven Sledge served as emcees, leading attendees through a journey that featured video tributes, vignettes of leaders impacted by the ministry and a series of clips from past services showcasing Bishop Jakes and many others. Smith is a 24-year member and ordained elder in the church, while Jones is a member known for his portrayal of Tobias Whale in the CW series Black Lightning. Lawson serves as Director of Arts and Music and Sledge has been a member since 1996.
Tributes on-screen came from former presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, singer Anthony Hamilton, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, author and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and many others. Emcee Sledge shared that The Potter’s House has “over 90 active ministries, is in over 170 countries, reaching over 1.5 million souls.”
Language is no barrier. A video vignette featuring a couple who work as translators for the ministry gave a glimpse into translators working around the globe to ensure Bishop Jakes’ messages are fully and accurately received.
The celebration was heavy on the arts. The visual display was stunning and dancers were emotionally engaging with choreography that energized the crowd. Many of the performances cor- related to several of the ministry video flashbacks, including a past sermon that highlighted pianist and music composer Jamar Jones along with a young child with different playing abilities to emphasize the importance of practice and embracing your beginnings.
Maestro Jones then appeared live at the piano on the floor level directly in front of Bishop Jakes, displaying his masterful skills.
A special tribute was given to The Potter’s House Director of Dance Mickye Castillo who suffered a foot injury in December 2019 that transformed her ability to dance. Dancers shared testimonials of her impact via video as well as live performances synced with videos from the past. Bishop Jakes praised her impact and led the entire congregation in prayer for Castillo.
During the celebration, a clip from when the church was three years old had Bishop Jakes sha ing his sentiments on the growth from 50 families who settled in Dallas from West Virginia, saying “It’s not about good preachin’, it’s about awareness.” The unrelenting vision of Bishop Jakes reaches far and wide, revolutionizing health, wealth and mindset.
From the church’s MegaCARE initiatives that have streamlined natural resources to providing a hospital wing for expectant mothers in Kenya; caring for the underserved has been a top priority both locally and abroad.
Thousands attend the Mega FEST conferences for education, rejuvenation and entertainment which dually brings major economic benefits.
There is also the Texas Of- fender Reentry Initiative (TORI), which gives help, hope and connectivity to those reentering society and employers seeking to hire, while providing guidance to stabilize families involved.
Newly announced efforts by Jakes Real Estate Ventures, LLC to revitalize an area long-talked about in Atlanta is just one project that keeps The Potter’s House focused on growth and development in key areas. In developing a massive residential and commercial space to live, work and play, this new effort follows the development of its signature community project, Capella Park, in South Dallas.
This fraction of what has been achieved over 25 years right- fully crowns Bishop Jakes as an unmatched, global leader with signs of wisdom to show for it.
“I earned this gray hair and I thank God for every strand of it,” Bishop Jakes laughed as he ad- dressed the crowd.
Near the conclusion of the celebration, leaders joined Bishop Jakes and First Lady Serita Jakes on and in front of the stage.
Bishop Jakes stressed the importance of showing those who work to keep everything going for The Potter’s House.
The ministry is now five lo- cations strong, with additional campuses located in Fort Worth, North Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles.
“We only did it by God’s grace and your support,” Bishop Jakes said, later adding, “As long as He (God) is there, we will be here.”