Thomas Dexter "T.D." Jakes began his preaching career in West Virginia in the early 1980s while attending West Virginia State University. While at school, Jakes preached part-time at local churches. He continued to do part-time preaching after dropping out of school. In 1982, Jakes was hired for a full-time preaching position at the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith in Montgomery, WV.Continue Reading
T.D. Jakes grew the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith from 10 people when he began to 300 in a few short years. During that time, Jakes and his congregation were forced to relocate twice because of their continued growth. The church moved first from Montgomery to Smithers, then to South Charleston.
During his time in West Virginia, Jakes conducted a radio ministry called "The Master's Plan." He also returned to school and completed his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Ministry degrees through correspondence courses at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.
While in the greater Charleston area, Jakes' ministry continued to grow and add additional elements. In 1993, he authored his first book titled "Woman, Thou Art Loosed." In 1994, he established a nonprofit organization called T.D. Jakes Ministries that focused on televangelism and conference efforts. Jakes also hosted a television show called "Get Ready" between 1995 and 1996.
In May 1996, Jakes moved his family and ministry to Dallas, Texas, where he purchased Eagle's Nest Church. Jakes renamed the church The Potter's House. As of 2013, the megachurch was the 20th largest church in the country.Learn more about Religion