Bishop T.D. Jakes preaches at the 2023 Joint New Year Revival hosted by Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church and the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Bowie, Md., on Jan. 6. (Courtesy of GMCHC Photography Ministry)
Bishop T.D. Jakes preaches at the 2023 Joint New Year Revival hosted by Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church and the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Bowie, Md., on Jan. 6. (Courtesy of GMCHC Photography Ministry)

The main sanctuary and overflow rooms of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden were filled as Bishop T.D. Jakes preached during the annual New Year’s revival in Upper Marlboro.  

Rev. John K. Jenkins and the members of First Baptist have hosted this event jointly with Bishop Alfred Owens and members of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church for years, but this was the first time for the event in two years because of the pandemic.

FBCOG minister Joshua Jenkins and GMCHC Executive Pastor Kristel Woodhouse greet the audience during the 2023 Joint New Year Revival in Bowie, Md., on Jan. 6. (Courtesy of GMCHC Photography Ministry)

“Your goal this year is to be in alignment with God,” said Jakes, during the pastors and leaders conference that was held the morning of Saturday, Jan. 7. “Say I want to be in alignment with God. God bring me in alignment.” 

Jakes’ lesson Saturday was a follow-up to his sermon Friday night of a revival meeting that began Wednesday night and featured two other ministers as well as recording artists JJ Hairston, Tosha Cobbs-Leonard, Tamela Mann, Anthony Brown and a joint choir representing both churches. 

The annual revival, which has been held for more than two decades, began Jan. 4 with guest minister Pastor Reginald W. Sharpe Jr.   

Young Adult Night was the following day, and led by Minister Joshua Jenkins and Executive Pastor of Greater Mt Calvary Crystal Woodhouse.

Pastor Dharius Daniels preached on Thursday with Cobbs-Leonard singing.  

Pastor John K. Jenkins said he was glad that his son and Bishop Owens’ daughter led the service on Thursday because “young adults are not just for the future, they are for now.” 

Jakes preached Friday night from Ezekiel 37, where he talked about the valley of dry bones and, at times, his message sounded more like a medical lecture as he spoke about how people can fall out of alignment spiritually just like a knee can hurt when one’s hip is out of line. 

In years past, Saturday was primarily for pastors and leaders, but Jakes told the crowd that packed the sanctuary because he knew they came to hear a sermon. He didn’t disappoint them as he mixed theology with business principles.  

“We are going to keep it real,” Jakes proclaimed. “We have been trained to be consumers and not producers. You can’t just build a church on tithes and offerings. We have to introduce systems.” 

This was the first New Year’s revival in two years because of the pandemic, and Jakes said it has not been easy for him.  

“I preached for two years to empty chairs because I knew you were in your homes scared,” Jakes said. “I never let the mic go…To my DMV family, I love you.” 

Bishop Owens echoed Jakes’ sentiments in an interview after the revival, saying he is glad that the event took place after two years.

“I think that we have been waiting for this,” Bishop Owens said. 

“The revival is not just Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church and First Baptist Church, it is really for the entire DMV to praise God for the blessings of the Lord.” 

Jenkins told the Informer that the revival helps people long after it’s over.  

“We are grateful that God allowed us to have the revival because it is life-changing,” Jenkins said. “ So many people are inspired because they get equipped to do life.”

Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the...

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