Bishop T.D. Jakes says parents today have not raised their kids in church the way his generation did

T.D. Jakes doesn’t wave around the Bible or preach from Proverbs in his new OWN talk show; but the popular pastor still considers his host role an extension of his ministry.

Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Associated Press | 10/28/2016, 1:12 p.m.
T.D. Jakes doesn’t wave around the Bible or preach from Proverbs in his new OWN talk show; but the popular ...
Bishop TD Jakes (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Pure Flix)

T.D. Jakes doesn’t wave around the Bible or preach from Proverbs in his new OWN talk show; he’s discussed plastic surgery obsessions, questioned Bobby Brown about his troubled marriage to Whitney Houston, and talked politics with the network’s queen, Oprah Winfrey.

But the popular pastor still considers his host role an extension of his ministry.

“I think it is a chance to minister to the nation. I think it is a chance to … infiltrate the culture and to be a part of the conversation on mainstream television,” says the 59-year-old pastor.

“I think it is a very important that we don’t remain nuanced and stay in our communities or our sanctuary and not really engaged in the culture. We need to be out there listening and learning and talking and adding our thoughts to the whole mix of who we are as Americans.”

It’s just another example of how Jakes has used his powerful voice to extend his influence far beyond the Dallas megachurch Potter’s House. Jakes is a best-selling author whose books include inspirational tomes, including this year’s “Destiny” and the novel “Woman Thou Art Loosed” which led to the Hollywood film of the same name.

His Hollywood imprint also continues to grow. Besides “The T.D. Jakes Show,” he is a producer of other films, including “Miracles from Heaven” starring Jennifer Garner.

And he still finds time to make it back to his church to preach on Sundays.


AP: Some talk shows on today are of a more salacious nature. How will yours be different?

Jakes: I don’t expect to do guttural shows. I am not that kind of person and don’t want to be characterized in that way, but we are going to uplifting shows. We will meet people where they are. I have been dealing with people who have had substance abuse. I have been dealing with human trafficking. I have been dealing with domestic violence. I have been dealing with family conflict. … This is going to be a potpourri … in terms of the diversity of shows each day.

AP: Who do you think we are as Americans these days? In some ways, we seem very divided.

Jakes: I don’t really agree with that. I think that we are finally talking about things that we all knew existed in our nuanced areas all the while. Now we are struggling to have a conversation and it is a rough conversation. But I am used to rough conversations because it is almost like a dysfunctional family who never talks about the elephant in the middle of the room. And when you start talking about it, emotions flare and tempers flare. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing because if we can keep going through that processes, and the end of it, hopefully we’ll have resolution and somebody will call us together. …. That there is common ground and that reason should prevail over watching our country fall apart.

AP: A lot of key preachers have gotten involved in the presidential campaign. Do you see yourself doing so?