Now 53, Serita Jakes wears a variety of hats: she’s a wife, mother, minister, pastor’s wife, author, speaker, and producer. Soft spoken, she is also the Executive Director of Women’s Affairs at the Potter’s House, which is a glorified term for the director of the multi-faceted women’s ministry, WoMan-to-Woman. They minister to women who are victims of domestic violence, and prepare young ladies to become strong women of God. “The first ‘woman’ in our logo has a capital ‘M’ — meaning that we know that our relationships are with one another, yes, [but our relationships are also] with the men in our lives, whether it’s our husbands, our fathers, our brothers. Dispelling the myth that women just can’t get along has been my thrust.”
Armed with a background in theater and mass communications, Serita is actively involved with her husband’s production company, TDJ Enterprises, and even has a cameo appearance in their latest film, Not So Easily Broken. She is also the author of two books, The Princess Within, which to date has sold more than 180,000 copies and Beside Every Good Man: Loving Myself While Standing By Him.
Wearing so many hats can be a challenge at times, but Serita relies on her relationship with the Lord when balancing her many roles. “I’m a combination of all of the hats that I wear. When I get up in the morning [...], I have to identify who [God] made me to be. All of those gifts and off-shoots of the hats that I wear come from the character that He’s placed inside of me, and I can only give what He’s given me...We have a lot on our plate, but we know that through prayer and prioritizing we can do all things [...]. If we didn’t have a prayerful state of mind, [ministry] would be overwhelming.”
Another big challenge is being the woman behind such a famous and powerful man. “I’ve got a husband at home, and I’ve got a pastor outside of the home. He describes me as the anchor for the family, and I’m very comfortable and confident in that role.”
While they are often in the spotlight, it’s the private moments that they crave. When the cameras are off and they are behind the closed doors of their luxurious home, the Jakes are able to place their public persona aside and be a family. “We wear one shoe and one sock and pajamas, and sit on the floor and talk about how good God has been. Sometimes we just look because we feel like we’re almost in a fairy tale. [The fact that] God would even use us from such meager and humble beginnings to affect the world is just amazing.”
Getting ready to celebrate their 28th anniversary, Serita Jakes and the love of her life have gone from a simple two-bedroom apartment to a mansion in an exclusive community, and they’re looking forward to many more years together. “My husband and I often talk about sitting on the front porch with matching jars for our teeth sipping lemonade.” Through God, Serita Jakes has traveled a long road from her coal mining town to the red carpet that welcomes her around the world. “It falls in the realm of exceedingly, abundantly above all that you could ask or think.”