DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than 100,000 people from around the world will be in downtown Dallas over the next few days to attend MegaFest 2017. The 4-day event, put on by T.D Jakes Ministries, features speakers of faith and entertainment for all ages.
On-site registration started at 9 a.m. and a kickoff celebration at Klyde Warren Park was free and open to the public.
Organizing an event for tens of thousands of people is no small undertaking. Everything comes together with months of planning and coordination.
CBS 11 News reporter Brittany Jeffers sat down with Bishop T. D. Jakes, pastor of the Potter’s House Church, and he said the ministry has been working hand-in-hand with the Dallas Police Department, Mayor Mike Rawlings, and officials at both Dallas/Fort Worth International and Dallas Love Field Airport to coordinate the event.
Some of the speakers at this year’s event include Joseph Prince, pastor of the New Creation Church in Singapore, and Academy Award winning actress Cicely Tyson.
There will also be an entrepreneurial empowerment session, for all ages, that Bishop Jakes is particularly proud of. “I think it’s a very important component… if you encourage people spiritually but don’t provide options practically then they leave invigorated but they don’t really have a strategy,” he said. “When I look at the way that the country is turning, as it relates to economic empowerment, it’s very important that we have those kinds discussions particularly amongst underserved communities.”
This year also features a Shark Tank style entrepreneurship contest for kids where those with the best business ideas will be awarded an array of prizes.
After taking a hiatus in 2016, Bishop Jakes said it’s good to be back in Dallas. “I love this this city. I absolutely love this city. I think it is a very cosmopolitan city that has a lot of diverse people groups here. It’s a big city with a country feel. We are hospitable people… loving people.”
Bishop Jakes said the goal is to offer people positive experiences and symposiums that will impact them spiritually, physically, and economically. It’s also hoped that the event will be a unifier. “I think it is very needed in the city, considering what we went through just a year ago with the police department and the killing of five police officers,” Jakes said. “It’s needed in the country. I think so much emphasis is placed on what we disagree about — to bring people together and focus on what we do agree about is healing and to remind us that we are all in the world together and we fight the same battles.”