- (Photo: T.D. Jakes Ministries video screenshot)
Two of America's most popular megachurch pastors, Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church and T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House, both in Texas, are joining forces for the annual family-themed three-day conference called MegaFest.
"MegaFest is a family-friendly festival bringing together the best of T.D. Jakes Ministries events including Woman Thou Art Loosed, Manpower, MegaKidz and the Mega-Youth Experience. One place. 3 Days. Inspiration, Music, Entertainment and Seminars. We're coming together," says a description for the Aug. 29-31 Dallas event on the official website.
In a video on the T.D. Jakes Ministries website, the Potter's House leader announces that fellow pastor Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria, will be speaking at the conference. In the video, the two Christian leaders express their excitement for the upcoming event.
"How important is it for families to come together?" Jakes asks Osteen.
The Lakewood Church pastor replies: "I think it's so important. We don't have enough opportunities these days, and so when you called and invited us I thought 'What a great thing to be a part of.' I'm inviting everyone to come along to Dallas. You are always looking for an excuse to come together. Why not get together with other believers? Get inspired in your faith, and have fun at the same time. "
Jakes concluded the video by promising that come the three-day conference, he and Osteen will be "taking Dallas over for Jesus."
When announcing the 2013 event last year, Phillip Jones, chief executive of the Dallas convention bureau, noted that 6,000 rooms will be occupied on its peak night and it will be one of the largest "citywide" conferences of the year.
MegaFest was launched in 2004 and focused on cultivating fellowship, spiritual rejuvenation and personal growth. It was first held in Atlanta, bringing in up to $125 million for the city.
In 2007, Jakes said he wanted to bring the conference to Dallas, where it could reach the most people.
"Once the [new Cowboys] stadium comes in, it may change things, but I want to see how many hotels come in around it, and the transportation that comes with it," Jakes said in an interview.
"But I would really, really like to bring [MegaFest] to Dallas. My support base is in Dallas. My people are in Dallas. And when you are part of a city, you really want to be a blessing to that city."