Since his brush with death last week, megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes says he has experienced an outpouring of love and support greater than any he's seen in all his years serving as a pastor.
"So many statements of love and concern for my well-being and the well-being of my family left an indelible impression on my soul," Jakes reported Tuesday – a little more than a week after a gas explosion in the sun room of his home demolished that entire portion of his house.
The Pentecostal preacher said had God not led him to cancel a meeting the morning of the explosion, on June 7, he would have been in the devastated room at exactly the time of the blast.
"Just think, had my family and I died in that explosion, I would have died not knowing the existence, the degree or the intensity of the love that I witnessed Sunday (June 14)," added Jakes, who ministers to the 30,000-member The Potter's House in Dallas.
He called June 7 the day that he "stood on the brink of eternity and dangled on the cliff of destruction."
According to Lt. Kent Worley of the local fire department, investigators have ruled last week's explosion to be accidental. Worley told the Dallas Morning News that there was no fire because the blast had consumed all available gas in Jakes' sunroom, which had a gas-fired pool heater and a large gas-fired barbecue grill.
Aside from the affected area, the rest of the 15,000-square-foot home remained intact.
Next week, Jakes will be holding his popular Manpower event at his church and be joined by fellow "Prosperity" speakers Eddie Long and Myles Monroe as well as music artists Marvin Sap and Jesse Campbell.
On July 5, Jakes will be honored in New Orleans at the Essence Music Festival All-Star Tribute.
Jakes has been twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as "America's Best Preacher" and as one of this nation's "25 most influential evangelicals."