him several Grammy nominations and a Dove award.
Author, playwright, songwriter, vocalist, motivational speaker,
broadcaster, recognized as a community activist and humanitarian,
Thomas Dexter Jakes, best known as Bishop T. D. Jakes, is also the
founder and pastor of the Potter's House, a 30,000-member,
nondenominational Dallas church. In 2001, when Time magazine featured
him on the cover of its September issue, he was applauded as
"America's best preacher."
Now he has added actor and producer to his repertoire.
"Women Thou Art Loosed," a movie scripted from Jakes' 1993
best-selling novel and play of the same name, opened Oct. 1 at
theaters across the nation at the beginning of Domestic Violence
Awareness Month. It's playing locally in several theaters in Long
Beach and at The Block in Orange.
The movie tells the story of Michelle Jordan, a former drug addict
and stripper, now a death row prisoner after fatally shooting her
mother's boyfriend, a man who raped her when she was 12, while her
self-absorbed mother looked the another way.
The film's title is taken from the New Testament, from Luke 13:12,
where Jesus says to a woman he is about to lay hands on and heal,
"Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity."
Jakes, who says he's not considering quitting his day job for
acting, plays himself as Jordan's pastoral counselor amid an
otherwise accomplished cast that includes Kimberly Elise -- recently
seen alongside Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep in "The Manchurian
Candidate" -- as Jordan and Michael Boatman, who played Carter
Heywood on "Spin City," as a lifelong friend.
The film, shot on a tight budget, in 12 often 18-hour days, won
much attention and the American Independents Jury Prize at the Santa
Barbara Film Festival last year.
It is rated R, a rating Jakes hoped to avoid, for its language,
violence and sexual content, which has drawn some criticism from the
At a September screening of the film in Washington D.C., for
religion writers and pastors, Jakes told the audience, "We kept it
real." Without that, he says, the point would have been lost.
A trailer of the 99-minute film can be viewed from its companion