American mega-pastor Bishop TD Jakes has apologised for remarks he made at his church in Dallas, Texas on Sunday which rubbed off some Kenyans the wrong way.
Bishop Jakes made the comments that were seen as an exaggeration of his work in Kenya during a sermon he was delivering at the Potter’s House where his church is based.
He regretted what he called a misunderstanding saying that “it was only meant to communicate to his constituents that his love is for people as demonstrated through years of practical ministry.”
The Bishop made the Kenya comments as he attempted to distance himself from a new American TV reality series “Preachers of LA (Los Angeles)” which he lamented was portraying preachers in a negative light.
The reality show follows the lives of six larger than life pastors who are usually flamboyant and show off their lavish lifestyles with big cars and large mansions.
Bishop Jakes in his sermon went ahead to criticise the show, saying it was not a portrayal he would want to be associated with.
It was at this time when he attempted to show the differences between the pastors in the show and himself that he made these comments:
“So let the work I’ve done speak for me. You are sowing into good ground. And the 300 families that are employed in this ministry eat from this ministry, work in this ministry, and help us to produce the excellence that we do,” he explained.
“The natives all over Kenya drink water because of this ministry. And the hospital in Nairobi survives because of this ministry,” he added.
Bishop TD Jakes apology read in part;
“An attempt in last Sunday’s sermon to distinguish myself from an American television program portraying preachers in a manner that I found unseemly has caused some offence in Kenya. For that I apologise.
“My intent was to show the extensive humanitarian efforts by TD Jakes Ministries through its MegaCARE arm as a means of further distinguishing this organisation from the TV programme’s exclusive focus on the personal material wealth of the individual ministers over the works of the Gospel.”
When the video of his comments surfaced, Kenyans on social media were up in arms with many demanding an apology from the Bishop.
Many saw the comments as an exaggeration of the Bishop’s work in Kenya and demanded a retraction. In his apology later, the Bishop added:
“The attempt was to highlight one well and one hospital wing in Kenya as one example of this ministry’s worldwide efforts.
“It was by no means meant to take responsibility for an entire nation or to minimize the contributions of its people.
“I love Kenya and the entire continent of Africa. I am proud of its efforts and grateful to have had an opportunity to minister to its people on numerous occasions.
“I trust that this explanation will end this apparent misunderstanding.”
In July 2012, Bishop Jakes tweeted a photo of what appeared to be an engineering crew starting a project at a hospital in Kenya.
The Bishop tweeted that the crew was breaking ground at Melchizedek Hospital’s new well site in Kenya.
He mentioned that he has a number of projects in Kenya in conduction with MegaCARE Missions (MegaCARE) an International Humanitarian Organisation he founded.
According to the website, in April 2012, the organisation repaired the TD Jakes Rift Valley pipeline and after it was destroyed during skirmishes between two Kenya tribes.
The website also states that in December 2012, the organisation met with tribal leaders to reinforce peaceful relationships between the tribes and to discuss goals for returning the pipeline to a self-sustainable project going forward.
Over 100 representatives from the Maasai and Kikuyu communities attended bringing 4,000 cattle, donkeys and goats to reinforce the commitment to peace and to commemorate the restoration of the TD Jakes Pipeline and Water Station.
The website says that the pipeline caters for 20,000 Kenyans, local businesses, farms and more than one million livestock including cattle, donkeys and goats.