Nationally renowned preacher Bishop T.D. Jakes will be the keynote speaker at the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference Tuesday evening.
Jakes, along with clergy from across the country, are gathering at HU for the conference, which began Sunday and is celebrating its 100th year.
The conference, which draws ministers of all denominations, has been a prominent showcase for the university in previous years. Past speakers include the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and President Barack Obama, who addressed the conference in 2007 when he was a U.S. senator.
Gianina Thompson, a spokeswoman for Hampton University, said about 7,000 people are expected to attend the convention this year.
Jakes is founder of The Potter’s House of Dallas, which boasts a membership of more than 30,000, according to his website.
The congregation has more than 50 outreach ministries across the world. Jakes has also produced several faith-oriented movies, including “Woman Thou Art Loosed.”
According to a news release from the university, the conference started in the campus chapel, then moved to the student center and is now at the university’s Convocation Center.
The conference really began to take off after the First World War, according to the university, as blacks migrated to the North and the program expanded to account for more urban areas, in addition to the rural South.
“This conference is the only one that has lasted this long and is a theological, spiritual and educational testament of how through Jesus Christ we can get through anything and continue to thrive against the odds,” said the Rev. Debra L. Haggins, HU chaplain and the conference’s executive director.
“For 100 years, Hampton University has been and continues to be the home of this ancestral and ministerial wonder,” said Haggins. “Truly, we are celebrating and honoring our past as we anticipate and rejoice in our future.”
The conference concludes on Friday. Registration is $250.
SOURCE: Austin Bogues