Megachurch bishop T.D. Jakes has released a Christmas CD featuring Gospel music stars MaryMary, Brian McKnight, and BeBe and CeCe Winans, among others.
The twelve-song collection, which boasts seasonal favorites and brand new yuletide offerings, comes more than two months before people worldwide celebrate Christmas Day. But as Jakes points out in the CD, the greatest Christmas gift is the One that remains with us every season and every month of the year.
"It's more than a tree," Jakes' rich baritone muses on The Gift Remains. "It's more than the carolers singing, the crowds and the fun… it's more than all of that. It's about Jesus: His gift that remains."
The Gift Remains features classics including "Joy to the World" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" as well as more contemporized songs, such as "Angel's Medly" – a combo of "Gloria In Excel sis Deo" and "Angels We Have Heard on High."
In between songs, Bishop Jakes offers inspiring Christmas messages of hope and faith.
"Now, it's true we acknowledge Him in December but he's much more than a holiday," the Pentecostal minister says in sonorous baritone. "He's the gift that remains in January, February, March, winter, spring, summer, fall. He's the God of it all...
"Acknowledge the fact that all things that begin end, and all things that start, finish and all the people that come and go, you can deal with it – as long as you have the gift that remains…"
One of the fastest growing churches in the nation, Bishop Jakes' The Potter's House has a membership of over 30,000 members and a host of community-oriented ministries. He and The Potter's House Mass Choir have released three hit CDs, including the Grammy-winning 2003 project, A Wing and a Prayer.
PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly have named Jakes among America's "Top 10 Religious Leaders" and Time magazine featured Jake on the cover of its Sept. 17, 2001 issue with the provocative question: "Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?"