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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stars surpriseT.D. Jakes at his 35th Anniversary

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Bishop T.D. Jakes and First Lady Selita Jakes on the red carpet at 35th anniversary gala.

Thousands Gather in Dallas to Pay Tribute to Worldwide Spiritual Leader, Highlighted by Oprah Winfrey Surprise Appearance, Moving Tributes and 
Uplifting Performances

DALLAS - June 11, 2012 - World leaders, dignitaries and celebrities from around the world gathered in the vibrant Arts District near downtown Dallas Friday to attend an historic event honoring global humanitarian and faith-based entertainment mogul Bishop T.D. Jakes' 35 years of spiritual leadership and service. Aptly titled "A Triumphant Journey," the three-hour, black-tie celebration was hosted by director/writer/producer Tyler Perry and CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien at the state-of-the-art AT&T Winspear Opera House. The awe-inspiring evening was a surprise for Bishop Jakes and featured an unexpected appearance by entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey who congratulated him for being a "man of conviction and beacon of light."

Successfully accomplishing the near impossible, wife Serita Jakes and daughter Sarah Henson enlisted the help of family, friends and staff to keep the night's biggest moments under wraps from the notably inquisitive Bishop. Jakes, senior pastor of the 30,000 member Dallas-based church The Potter's House, was celebrated for a career spanning more than three decades. A true man of God, his accomplishments in ministry and entertainment, as well as his dedication to humanity and family, were applauded in front of a packed audience of family, friends, parishioners, dignitaries, celebrities and fans.

A visibly moved Jakes expressed his shock at the crowd of well-wishers, some of whom traveled far and wide to participate in the celebration and took the stage to receive a resounding standing ovation.

"I have been blown away," said Jakes. "I love God and I've always loved people. Your presence here tonight says you love me back. It's hard to overwhelm me, but you've done it this time!"

The night included a kaleidoscope of musical performances ranging from gospel and jazz to R&B, featuring Jordin Sparks, Ledisi, BeBe Winans, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton and Karen Clark Sheard. Gospel duo Mary Mary brought the crowd to its feet with their stirring rendition of "Yesterday," and pianist Keiko Matsui flew in from Japan to perform with KEM, Kelly Price and Kirk Whalum. R&B diva Chaka Khan serenaded Bishop Jakes with a medley of her greatest hits.

In addition, film stars Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Kimberly Elise, Meagan Good and Charles S. Dutton, as well as Christian leaders Dr. Bernice King, Pastor Paula White, Pastor Bill Hybels and Pastor Sam Rodriguez paid homage to Bishop Jakes for inspiring so many. Other notable guests on hand to celebrate Bishop Jakes' 35th anniversary include Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Gayle King, Glynn Turman, producer Debra Martin Chase, Sony executive DeVon Franklin, and Emmitt and Pat Smith.

The Dallas Black Dance Theater praised Bishop Jakes' milestone anniversary with a stirring performance, and luminaries such as Dr. Phil McGraw, the Mandela family, philanthropist and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, cast members of the upcoming film "Sparkle," and others delivered moving video presentations.

"My husband has committed his life to empowering others that they might have joy, love and hope in their lives. The event was an opportunity to salute him for the millions of lives he's touched, the hearts he's changed and the lives he's saved through his stirring messages," said Serita Jakes. "It was a blessing to honor him for 35 years of unwavering service."
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King make a surprise visit to Bishop T.D. Jakes 35th Anniversary Gala. (Photo Credit: Cooper Neill, courtesy of TDJ Enterprises/The FrontPage Firm)

Following the T.D. Jakes 35th Anniversary Gala, (L-R) Pastor Paula White, retired NFL player Emmitt Smith, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pat Smith (wife of Emmitt Smith), Donna Richardson Joyner (wife of media mogul Tom Joyner) gather at an intimate post-event soirée. (Photo Credit: Vernon Bryant, courtesy of TDJ Enterprises/The FrontPage Firm)











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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ERIC BENET FILM “TRINITY GOOD HEART" SHOWS GOOD FATHERHOOD

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Last year, R&B star, Eric Benet, currently celebrating the release of his first CD “The One” on his own Jordan House recording label, made his debut as a leading man in the family film, “Trinity Goodheart” (Image Entertainment). The critically acclaimed movie is now available on DVD just in time for Father’s Day and it paints a positive picture of African-American fatherhood.

“This was my first time doing a male lead in a movie,” Benet told the Associated Press. “It would ease my burden of trying to carry a movie if I had a script that was so similar to my life and my life experiences. It was one of the aspects of the movie that really attracted me, and the other aspect was how it was so beautifully written. … It just all resonated really strongly for me.”

The movie does mirror his life. He raised his eldest daughter, India (now 21 years old), singlehandedly after her mother, Tami, was killed in a car accident in 1993. In the film, he plays a single father to a precocious, twelve year old daughter named Trinity Goodheart. She begins a search for long lost mother that opens up an emotional can of worms that eventually leads her father to reunite with his estranged parents and his ex-wife’s parents as well. In spite of the ensuing arguments and finger pointing, Trinity ends up teaching the adults in her life the values of love, faith and forgiveness.

Trinity Goodheart is played by the vivacious Erica Gluck (“The Game”) and the film also stars Mark LaMura (“As the World Turns”), Jennifer Van Horn (“All My Children”), Karen Abercrombie (“Strong Medicine”) and Willie Stratford.  The film is executive produced by Rick Eldridge (“The Ultimate Gift”) and directed by Joanne Hock (“Redneck Roots”).

 Although, India is now a young lady, Benet is enjoying fatherhood all over again. His current wife, Manuela Testolini, welcomed their first child together, Lucia Bella, this past December. However, he and India are still close as ever. She recently sang with him on the track “Muzik” from the new CD and it’s a special moment for him. I definitely want to do something with that song [such as making a music video],” he told The Boom Box. “It's such a beautiful sentiment for a father and daughter."
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