By BY Carolyn Albright:: EEW Magazine News
EEW Magazine was first to report that Bishop T.D. Jakes said he was sick of the “Hollywood Spirit” and the mega preacher’s words went viral. Some viewed his statement as controversial.
But on Sunday, April 21, The Potter’s House leader further explained his sentiments.
“In a small church you get used to the presence of God as opposed to personalities,” Jakes told the congregation.
“But in a big church, when you can bring in anybody from anywhere, the church has a tendency to only respond when they hear a recognizable name.”
In his original commentary, first published in EEW and later picked up by additional media outlets, Jakes said, “We do not have to have big names to have a big move of God. I got filled up with the Holy Ghost by somebody that didn’t have no name at all.”
On Sunday, he pointed out the shift in people’s perspective, particularly those who are accustomed to hearing bigger name preachers deliver sermons from America’s largest platforms.
“Now you can say whatever you want to say, but if I say Elder Willie-Joe Hissum is coming,” Jakes threw out a hypothetical name, “I don’t get the same response as I do as if I say Bishop Noel Jones is coming. Can we at least be honest?” he asked. “It’s just not the same thing.”
While some argue against the trend of inviting Bible teachers with the most name recognition, the best-selling author and charismatic speaker suggests he is merely pointing out the obvious.
“Inviting Shirley Johnson to sing is not like inviting Shirley Caesar. Even though Shirley Johnson may sing the paint off the walls, people won’t come hear her because she doesn’t have a name,” he added. “She has to build up a name to get people.”
Though the leader acknowledges this tendency, he maintains that he does not agree with it.
“Well see, I’m old school. I come from the old church. It wasn’t about names. It wasn’t about titles. It wasn’t about who was on TV,” said the West Virginia-born pastor, who was the youngest of three children born to Odith and Ernest Jakes.
When he was just 10 years old, his father became sick with a debilitating kidney disorder, forcing the young boy into the position of primary caregiver. Then, at 16 his father died, which was a devastating blow.
Later on, things didn’t get much easier. He dropped out of college, lost his job at a chemical plant and could barely sustain his wife Serita and their children.
In a 2006 interview with the Atlantic Monthly, Jakes said, “We lost everything. I was literally cutting grass and digging ditches, trying to get diapers for my kids. So when I go into a home of somebody who doesn’t have lights on, I’ve been there. I know what it is to get government milk.”
In 1980, the preacher with the household name started small, in the little town of Montgomery, W. Va where he opened a storefront church. His first Sunday, the congregation was made up only of his mother, older sister and eight others. But he preached like the house was full.
Today, it actually is. He leads more than 30,000 and is the most famous African American preacher in the world.
Still, Jakes’ old school roots remain in him—something he stated in his Sunday morning reflections of a time since past.
In his day, “It was about a move of God and if the Lord was there, the Lord was blessing, and the Lord was moving, I was happy to be there.”