Several prominent Christian ministers, including World Changers International Church Pastor Creflo Dollar and award-winning gospel singer Marvin Sapp, will be joining Pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Joel and Victoria Osteen at this year's MegaFest gathering in Dallas, Texas, this summer.
MegaFest 2013, an annual multi-day family festival featuring faith, empowerment and entertainment activities, will also feature Pastor Sheryl Brady of The Potter's House of North Dallas, Dr. IV Hilliard of New Light Christian Center Church in Houston, Dr. Jasmin Sculark of the Shiloh Baptist Church in York, Pa., and Pastor E. Dewey Smith of The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga. Speakers especially for youth attendees will include Kingdom Church founder and Senior Pastor Dharius Daniels of New Jersey, Chris Durso, Youth Pastor at Christ Tabernacle in NYC, and John Gray, who was named associate pastor at Lakewood Church earlier this year.
The 2013 MegaFest, which combines some of Bishop Jakes' most popular conferences (such as the Woman Thou Art Loosed and ManPower conferences), will also be the final stop on the McDonald's-sponsored Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, which features recording artists Smokie and Ashton Norful, Tamela Mann, John P. Kee and New Life choir, Lecrae and tour host Vickie Winans.
The annual gathering, started nine years ago by Bishop Jakes, takes place Aug. 29-31. Organizers expect anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people to flock to the Dallas Convention Center and American Airlines Center, primary venues for the events.
The Dallas Morning News reports that city officials were so excited at the prospect of so many visitors heading to town for Jakes' event that the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau contributed $500,000 to help cover production costs, said to be in the millions. The event reportedly received an extra boost when Jakes revealed that Osteen, lead pastor of Lakewood Church, would also be participating in the festivities.
MegaFest, which usually draws a strong African-American presence, has previously been held in Atlanta, Ga., where it attracted about 500,000 people to the city in 2004, its premiere year. The event was reportedly credited with bringing the city nearly $4 million in sales tax revenue.
"It doesn't matter who you are or where you are in life, everyone is looking for answers, and MegaFest is the place to find them," Jakes has said about the festival. "Whether you come on your own or with family and friends, one thing is for sure: people attending MegaFest will find joy, fun, great music, encouraging community and powerful messages of inspiration, hope and purpose."
Jakes leads The Potter's House, located in Dallas and home to about 30,000 members. The church is described as a nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization.