Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, is donating $10,000 to Baptist minister and civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, "who embodied the spirit of Jesus," and the 50th anniversary of his March on Washington next week.
"It is a tremendous privilege to contribute to the National Action Network and to the legacy of an inspiring leader and powerful movement that changed the course of history," Jakes said in a statement released by The Potter's House, a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization, on Friday.
"Today, I honor Dr. Martin Luther King, who embodied the spirit of Jesus when he challenged us to elevate ourselves and respond to physical force with soul force," Jakes said, adding that the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963 was "a world-changing gathering."
Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech during the march 50 years ago. Jakes went on to say that it is because of Dr. King and his historic march "that we are now able to hold such a gathering as MegaFest in Dallas next week."
Some 50,000 people are expected to participate in MegaFest from Aug. 28 to 31, which will feature numerous speakers, some of them celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar. "People of all colors will unite and celebrate their faith, their families and their belief that tomorrow can be better than today," Jakes said, of the event.
Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as "America's Best Preacher," noted the MegaFest will be held during the historic anniversary of the March on Washington. "What a blessing it is to have this opportunity to bring so many people together in a way that embodies the spirit of Dr. King's message and the work of the National Action Network."
Jakes said Dr. King's rally "reminded those in Washington that America's dream is that all men were created equal." Dr. King "encouraged all of us to stand for justice and to continue to strive for all that is good."
Jakes said last month he was shocked by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the February 2012 fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. "I cannot imagine the devastation of this man and woman (Martin's parents), whose son committed absolutely no crime at all, walking down the street on his way to his daddy's house with some Skittles and a soda, and ends up being followed by someone and ends up with an altercation with someone, and never makes it to his destination," Jakes told his congregation.
Dr. King's 1963 march, attended by about 300,000 people, called for civil and economic rights for African Americans, and is seen as one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history. It was followed by the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.