THE LOOP — Chicago’s own John Hannah, pastor of New Life Covenant Church, will lead a midnight prayer as part of Bishop T.D. Jakes' MegaFest next month in Dallas.
“I’m always trying to bring new voices that the MegaFest has not been exposed to so that we can understand that God uses different types of gifts,” said Jakes, who pastors The Potter's House, a nondenominational U.S. megachurch with more than 30,000 members.
He’s organizing the four-day family event, which runs from June 28 to July 1. In 2015, it attracted more to 91,000 visitors. Registration fees and tickets can be found at www.Mega-Fest.org.
This year MegaFest will unite people from around the world to be inspired, encouraged and empowered, Jakes said.
“I think they should be excited because we have the largest gathering of diverse speakers,” he said.
“Whether you’re talking about a John Hannah from right here in the city, or you’re talking about a Dr. Bill Winston, or you’ve got a Joseph Prince all the way from Singapore, where else are you going to go and be in the room with one of the most premiere global preachers from Singapore?”
Prince is senior pastor of New Creation Church. Winston is from Bill Winston Ministries of Oak Park. Jakes said there will be a diverse list of well-known religious leaders.
The fest will feature prayer, a comedy show, a film festival and other activities. Jakes said he's looking forward to bringing entrepreneur workshops to the fest this year.
The "Men's Power Closing" event at 2015's MegaFest [Provided/T.D. Jakes]
“Entrepreneurship has a better chance of bringing back the largest amount of jobs to people,” he said, adding that African-Americans often have a hard time finding jobs after being stigmitized by the U.S. criminal justice system.
“When you look at the dynamics of the African-American community where the criminal justice system has sabotaged the success for millions of African-Americans through nonviolent crimes ... Once you have a felony on your record, you often can’t get a job,” he said.
Lenders will be available to show festgoers how to access capital.
Also new this year is a business competition for teens. There will be $50,000 in grants to help them launch and start their businesses.
“It’ll be a competition for the smartest and brightest young person who could walk away with a $10,000 advance toward birthing their own business,” Jakes said. “To me, this is part of training up a child in the way they should go.”
For those who can’t make the trip, MegaFest can be streame online through his “Netflix-like” website, www.BishopsVillage.com. The site has an annual subscription cost of $100 and gives subscribers 24-hour access to event streaming, teachings, interactions with other members and more.