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Bishop T. D. Jakes Receives The Black Aids Institute 2008 Heroes in the Struggle Award

Mega Pastor's Mission to Eradicate AIDS Garners Recognition

DALLAS, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, roughly 40,000 people in the United States are infected with HIV. In an effort to stop the spread of the disease, Bishop T. D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, has initiated HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness programs. For his continuous commitment to HIV/AIDS eradication, the Black AIDS Institute recently paid tribute to Bishop Jakes, presenting him with the Heroes in the Struggle award during its 7th annual Heroes in the Struggle gala reception held Feb. 7 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

"I accept this award at a moment when nearly 200,000 African Americans are living with AIDS. I accept this honor on behalf of the myriad of governmental, civic, healthcare, faith-based and community organizations that work feverously to change the course of HIV/AIDS," said Dr. Nicole McCann- Cross, director of counseling services at The Potter's House, who accepted the award on behalf of Bishop Jakes.

Jakes joined the fight against HIV/AIDS in the mid-1990s, when The Potter's House formed an official HIV/AIDS outreach program. Through its Balm Ministry, which functions under the church's counseling center, the national and international program targets the faith community, women and minorities by sharing the latest HIV/AIDS statistics and providing free screening and educational seminars to congregants and community members. Since its inception, the ministry has provided food, clothing, prayer, counseling, testing and community agency referrals to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Last year, Jakes also co-chaired the First National Conclave on HIV/AIDS Policy for Black Clergy, hosted by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, which calls for legislature to support and enact the National HIV/AIDS Elimination Act. The Potter's House recently partnered with World Vision to present a virtual exhibit of African children whose lives have been devastated by the disease. In addition, the church is building homes in Africa where many children have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS.

Bishop Jakes shared the award with other leaders of African descent who are helping to combat AIDS. Other honorees included NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, actor Hill Harper, and media personality Tavis Smiley.

About Bishop T.D. Jakes

Bishop Thomas Dexter (T. D.) Jakes heads the globally recognized multicultural, non-denominational church The Potter's House of Dallas, which has more than 30,000 members and more than 50 outreach ministries. Twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as "America's Best Preacher" and one of the nation's "25 most influential evangelicals," Jakes is a ministerial trailblazer. In addition to his spiritual work, Jakes is a successful entrepreneur with more than a half-dozen diverse businesses.

SOURCE The Potter's House of Dallas
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