Influential U.S. cleric, T.D. Jakes, on Zim tour

Famous American bishop and author Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr., widely known as T.D. Jakes, concluded his visit to
Harare with a meeting with United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. on Saturday. He described visit to the southern African country as “a great experience.”

By Sizani Weza

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“It’s been a great experience,” said Jakes, the Bishop of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational megachurch in Dallas, Texas with more than 30,000 members. “I didn’t come here with a lot of preconceived expectations, I came in as a blank sheet of paper to meet the people, experience the food and the cuisine and just learn through the experience.”

The breakfast meeting at the American diplomat’s residence was attended by youthful clerics who shared insights about the role of the church in Zimbabwe.

Bishop Jakes said his visit to Zimbabwe was to celebrate Zimpraise Choir’s 10th anniversary. ZimPraise Choir is a popular contemporary gospel musical group based in Harare.

In addition to several engagements with the church, Bishop Jakes said he was honored to meet President Robert Mugabe.

“I was really privileged to have an opportunity to sit with the President and we spent a couple of hours together, he was generous with his time,” he told ZimPAS. “It was very interesting to listen to his perspectives on things that I have had the other perspective of. And to get his perspective included in the process of how I think
about things, and that is something that I will mull over for quite some time.”

The influential bishop had to contend with questions about political and other developments from journalists. He is not alarmed by the many challenges Zimbabwe is facing, he said. “You have to take into consideration that it is a very young country and I think sometimes in this world we live in today you can see other countries and compare
yourself with them, sometimes it’s difficult to make a fair comparison because you are a fairly young country,” said Bishop Jakes.

“If you rolled our country back to maybe 30 years old, we would not be the America that we are today. And it takes a lot of time to bring about the change and the stability that really makes a country become the populace of people who are really pleased and accommodated in a way that is really appropriate to them.”

Whilst in many countries, the African American church is known for its prominent role in the civil rights movement; Bishop Jakes said the church was currently working to alleviate the suffering caused by natural disasters as well as empowering minority groups.

“Right now we are doing hurricane relief,” said T.D. Jakes. “On the other frontiers we at the Potters House have taken on the issue of working with inmates to equip and empower them to become productive in their communities.”

He said 10,000 inmates had been taken through the program and the church was now helping them get jobs and matriculate them back into society.

T.D. Jakes founded The Potter’s House in 1996. The ministry has grown to one of the largest and most well-known megachurches in the United States, boasting a 17,000-person attendance each week. In addition to The Potter’s House, his church services and evangelical messages are broadcast around the world on other networks such as the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Black Entertainment Television, the DaystarTelevision Network, The Word Network and The Miracle Channel in Canada.- ZimPAS © November 11 2017.

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3 Comments

  1. AUGUSTNEMUGANHIRI

    i miss an oppotunity to see this man

  2. There seems to be a lot of nothing in what he says. He might be one of those people who come here and do more damage than good. F.eks black Americans were oppressed for a far longer time than our colonisation and they are still marginalised. Hence they tend to view Mugabe’s racist utterances and off-the-thumb policies as brave and what he has put us through as a necessary phase. The truth is that it has never been necessary to subject the nation to suffering just to protect his skin and ego. T. D. Jakes is off-line.

  3. Zimbabwe seems to be awash with prosperity churches and is now a new market frontier for these global TV audience men of god. How and why has this come about? Seeing as Zimbabwe has been a nation since April 1980. Does this have anything to do with the fact that the economy is dollarized, more money is in the informal sector and poverty levels are at an epic levels?

    The ordinary Zimbabwean man and woman requires access to good public services including health which leaders from both ruling and opposition parties access in foreign countries. These religious prophets are a distraction from the real cause of the nations suffering i.e. poor governance, corruption, incompetence, nepotism, tribalism across the board from Executive, Judiciary, legislature, Civil service, private sector and ordinary citizens. This is a cancer and a yoke on the country.

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