Bishop T.D. Jakes was honored with a three-hour black tie event in Dallas Friday for his 35 years of spiritual leadership and service.
Titled “A Triumphant Journey,” the celebration was hosted by director/writer/producer Tyler Perry and CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien at the AT&T Winspear Opera House. Oprah Winfrey made a surprise appearance to congratulate him for being a “man of conviction and beacon of light.”
The bishop’s wife Serita Jakes and daughter Sarah Henson enlisted the help of family, friends and staff to keep the night’s biggest moments under wraps from the guest of honor.
“I have been blown away,” Jakes said at the event. “I love God and I’ve always loved people. Your presence here tonight says you love me back. It’s hard to overwhelm me, but you’ve done it this time.”
The night also included musical performances from Jordin Sparks, Ledisi, BeBe Winans, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton and Karen Clark Sheard. Gospel duo Mary Mary brought the crowd to their feet with a performance of “Yesterday,” and pianist Keiko Matsui flew in from Japan to perform with KEM, Kelly Price and Kirk Whalum. R&B diva Chaka Khan serenaded Bishop Jakes with a medley of her greatest hits.
In addition, film stars Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Kimberly Elise, Meagan Good and Charles S. Dutton, as well as Christian leaders Dr. Bernice King, Pastor Paula White, Pastor Bill Hybels and Pastor Sam Rodriguez paid homage to Jakes.
Other notable guests on hand to celebrate Bishop Jakes’ 35th anniversary include Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Gayle King, Glynn Turman, producer Debra Martin Chase, Sony Pictures executive DeVon Franklin and Emmitt and Pat Smith.