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Mark Jackson stands without a sound in the front left corner of his Southern California church, rocking from foot to foot with his eyes closed and his hands clasped behind his back.

This dance lasts several seconds before he interrupts the silence with piercing claps and starts bellowing prayers in a distinctive, deep voice. This solo act lasts several minutes more before the congregation joins with vociferous offerings and more clapping.

Within 20 minutes, Jackson rallies a group of 50 people – varying in garb from three-piece suits to lint-covered sweat suits – into a collective eruption of praise. Different languages and prayers follow him into such a thunderous roar that the fortitude of the building comes into question.

This scene is from a summer Wednesday. It’s a perfect representation of Mark Jackson in any season, on any day. To know him as the new leader of the Golden State Warriors, you have to know him as the pastor of True Love Worship Center International.

“These people don’t care about anything I’ve done or will do in basketball,” Jackson said. “They’d kill for me because of what I’ve done at this church in the past two years.”

To say Jackson’s ministry started two years ago would be a fact. In many ways, however, it started 46 years ago when he was born, 22 years ago when he met his wife and nine years ago in the Bahamas.

Jackson was born in a Catholic home, played in a Catholic youth basketball league and attended Catholic high school and college St. John’s. But he wasn’t much for going to church services, and he wasn’t “born again.”

That changed soon after Desiree Coleman, a successful Broadway performer and R&B singer, caught his eye on TV. One look, and Jackson told his roommate he had found his wife – well before he had met the singer.

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