Earlier this month, Bishop T.D. Jakes, founding and senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, celebrated his 35th anniversary in ministry, his 15th anniversary at the Potter’s House, his 55th birthday and 30th wedding anniversary.

“I’m still glowing in the dark,” he said about a star-studded fete Friday at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. The event featured special tributes from myriad icons and leaders in various fields – a testament to his impact and influence. Jakes leads a 30,000-member non-denominational church. He and his wife, Serita, have five children.

What has Jakes learned after 35 years in ministry? The preacher told the Washington Post via a telephone interview: “I think that is to keep my circles small.” Jakes said he’s also learned “to put a great deal of interest and time in particular with his children” and that, in his role as a popular and well-respected religious leader, he has to make himself “available to those on both sides of the aisle” as they work as “they guide our country toward a future I’d like to see passed onto my grandchildren.” Bishop T.D. Jakes and his wife Serita as they arrive for a star-studded fete celebrating Jakes’s 35th pastoral anniversary.

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