The Pentecostal Media Mogul
Even in a profession peopled with multi-taskers, Bishop Thomas Dexter (T.D.) Jakes stands out. Last year the African-American preacher's R-rated religious movie about sexual abuse, Woman, Thou Art Loosed, cracked the box-office top 10. His self-empowerment book He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle was a best seller. And his record label Dexterity Sounds/EMI Gospel won its first Grammy. Jakes' teachings of faith, family and financial prosperity reach far beyond the Potter's House, his 35,000-member suburban Dallas church. This year he has two more movies in the works and plans a business-networking cruise to Alaska, a leadership conference in London and the second annual Mega Fest, a gathering for families that is expected to draw 200,000 people to Atlanta in August. A master of pop psychology, Jakes, 47, represents a new wrinkle for Evangelicals, the neo-Pentecostals, who combine intense spirituality with a therapeutic approach. Dealing with critics of his popular style has taught Jakes a few lessons of his own: his latest book is titled Ten Commandments of Working in a Hostile Environment.