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Tyler Perry And Soledad O'Brien Host Gala Honoring Bishop T.D. Jakes' 35 Years Of Ministry

Source: Cooper Neill / Getty

T.D. Jakes has built an empire in North Texas. He runs The Potter’s House, a megachurch with 30,000 members. He headlines a super-charged annual revival MegaFest. And he’s produced Hollywood films like “Heaven Is for Real.”

But as a pastor, he’s had to address some big national issues with his congregation. Jakes sat down to talk about his reaction to the Charleston shooting, his thoughts on same-sex marriage and his movie ambitions.

Interview Highlights: T.D. Jakes…

…On witnessing the violent incidences in Ferguson, Baltimore, McKinney and Charleston:

”It is disturbing, particularly for people my age who have lived this realistically and up close. My father’s from Mississippi, my father’s from Alabama and my grandfather, who I’m named after, was murdered by white racists in Mississippi. He was murdered when he was 26 years old and that really resonates with me. Yet I’m hopeful.

I don’t really see it as a black problem, or a black church problem. I see it as an American problem. I think as long as we color-code issues, we segregate the things that we really need to eradicate in our community.

..I’m not sure that it is about race alone as it is also about class, economic empowerment, education and things like that.”

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Pastor T.D. Jakes On Charleston, Same-Sex Marriage And Movie Ambitions  was originally published on