Jakes Counsels Patience In Economic Sorrows 2009: July 19

Jakes counsels patience in economic sorrows

In this July 19, 2006 photo, Bishop T.D.
Jakes asks the crowd to make some noise during the opening event of MegaFest at International Plaza in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Bita Honarvar, Atlanta Journal Constitution) MARIETTA DAILY OUT, GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT CHARLESTON, . – As the economy continues to grind away at jobs, homes and lifetimes’ of savings, Bishop Thomas D. Jakes looks back from his position as one of America’s most successful preachers and remembers his own hard times. T.D. Jakes – known internationally by those first two initials, or simply as “bishop” to the people at his 30,000-member Dallas megachurch The Potter’s House – began his life and ministry in West Virginia’s Kanawha Valley. As a young husband and father, he lost his job when the local Union Carbide plant closed and found himself slipping out of the middle class, working for years at hard jobs for low pay. Eventually, he turned a seven-member church in the tiny town of Montgomery into the vast territories known today as T.D. Jakes Ministries and TDJ Enterprises – discrete kingdoms that nonetheless complement each other, with the Pentecostal-honed Christianity of the former blending with the empower-and-entertain entrepreneurship of the latter. Jakes, 52, preached a sermon on Inauguration Day this year and is frequently mentioned as one of the prospective heirs to Billy Graham’s title as America’s Pastor. He eschews an active role in speaking out on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, though, warning churches not to become better known for politics than for prayer. Jakes shuns the term “prosperity gospel,” the belief that God is willing and eager to bestow material blessings on the faithful. But he has no problem with being a wealthy Christian, and with instructing other Christians on how they can emulate him. Returning to Charleston this week for a major homecoming conference for the first time since he left for Dallas in 1996, Jakes spoke with The Associated Press about the economy, President Barack Obama and the changing face of American Christianity. Here are his answers in condensed form:
The Associated Press: What do you say to people who tell you, “I’ve been faithful, and now I’ve lost my job and my house” Is it wrong for Christians to expect earthly rewards along with heavenly rewards

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