January 20th, 2009
10:26 AM ET
10 years ago

Pastor to Obama: 'May the force be with you'

From a Tuesday morning pool report from reporters traveling with President-elect Barack Obama as he attended a morning church service:

After a brief reading from Rabbi David N. Saperstein and a solo singing performance by Yolanda Adams, Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell – Pres. George Bush’s spiritual advisor – introduced the keynote speaker: Bishop T.D. Jakes
(Note: This pool report was later corrected to reflect the fact that Caldwell is senior pastor from Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, and Jakes is senior pastor at Potters House, in Dallas - not windsor village in Houston.)

Jakes read from Daniel 3:19 and used the scripture to offer PEOTUS a series of four lessons for his administration.

1 – “In time of crisis, good men must stand up. God always sends the best men into the worst times.”

2 – “You cannot change what you will not confront. This is a moment of confrontation in this country. There’s no way around it…This is not a time for politeness or correctness, this is a time for people to confront issues and bring about change.”

3 – “You cannot enjoy the light without enduring the heat. The reality is the more brilliant, the more glorious, the more essential the light, the more intense the heat. We cannot separate one from the other.”

4 – “Extraordinary times require extraordinary methods. This is a historical moment for us and our nation and our country, and though we enjoy it and are inspired by it and motivated by it.”

After his four lessons, Jakes turned from the crowd and looked directly at Obama.

“The problems are mighty and the solutions are not simple,” Jakes said, “and everywhere you turn there will be a critic waiting to attack every decision that you make. But you are all fired up, Sir, and you are ready to go. And this nation goes with you. God goes with you.

“I say to you as my son who is here today, my 14-year-old son – he probably would not quote scripture. He probably would use Star Trek instead, and so I say, ‘May the force be with you.”

Monsignor William A. Kerr delivered a brief prayer for VPEOTUS and then The Rev. Otis Moss Jr. delivered a blessing for PEOTUS. Moss Jr. said: “Give to president Obama a double measure of faith and hope, and the strength to do justice…Give him the sight to see all that needs to be seen and the insight to look beyond the clouds and chaos of the moment and see great joys and possibilities. Let the house where he lives and serves be a house of hope for the nation, a house of joy and affection for his family, and the house of friendship for all nations. We thank you eternal god, for our new president, president elect Obama.”

Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. JD

    WHat a bunch of crap I would have expected better, Is this what we have to look forw to for 4 years? We can do better, we need CHANGE already

    January 20, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Angie

    Bishop Jakes, you have said it all. Thank you. I am so glad President Obama is a christian. We are all praying for you. We all have alot of work ahead of us as a country. But we will make it.

    January 20, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. S Callahan

    What a beautfiul sermon Rev. Jakes....

    How good and plesant it is
    when brothers live together in unity!
    It is like precious oil pourned on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron's beard,
    down upon the collar of his robes.
    It is as if the dew of Hermon
    where falling on Mount Zion.
    For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore. Psalm 133

    January 20, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. randomworker

    use Star Trek instead, and so I say, ‘May the force be with you

    That's from Star Wars...

    January 20, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Ray Fisher

    Isn't Darth Cheney in charge of the force??? Maybe Cheney contracted it to Halliburton for continuity???

    January 20, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Star

    "may the force be with you" is actually a quote from the "star wars" movies and not of "star trek".

    January 20, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Kenya

    Thanks for the words of encouragement Bishop... We love and miss you here in Dallas at The Potters House... Be blessed President Obama


    January 20, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. john johnson MI

    "yes, we can"

    January 20, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Kevin

    It's actually Star Wars not Star Trek

    January 20, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Anonymous

    You ALWAYS capitalize GOD! Where is your proofing staff?

    January 20, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. LIP

    On this day in history, let's not forget that Republican President George W. Bush gave us Clarence Thomas, the second black Supreme Court Justice and two black Secretaries of State, Collin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and that if not for Powell's wife, he would have been the first black President. Thank you George W. Bush.

    January 20, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. todd

    Correction: Bishop TD Jakes is the Pastor of the Potter's House Church in Dallas, TX.

    January 20, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. shoe party

    Im watching TCM and his friends

    January 20, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Arlene

    Ask yourself JD, What have you personally done to bring about change? Obama is a man, not a God. He will need everyone's prayer's and support to make a dent in the mess we're in. It's time for American's to step out of our negative paradigm and make it happen one person at a time in our families, neighborhood's, school's, communities and indeed the nation. Best wishes to our new first family as they lead the way. May God Bless You.

    January 20, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Dylan

    star wars not star trek

    January 20, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. emifitz

    TD Jakes is great, but he's the pastor at The Potter's House in Dallas, not a church in Houston.

    January 20, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Thomas

    “Extraordinary times require extraordinary methods."

    This is a very scary concept and one that got us in to some of the current messes we are forced to deal with.

    January 20, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. DW

    He had anything in the God-breathed Word of God to choose from and he quoted Star Wars??? (and didn't even get his source right, "Star Trek!?")

    January 20, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Daniel

    Wrong series, but we'll take it anyway.

    January 20, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. al in memphis

    If you are critical of this, then you really have to give your brain a break. Try to laugh sometimes. There is only one thing better than food to give the hungry and homeless - that would be food and shelter COMBINED with laughter and hope.

    January 20, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Beth

    JD – are you kidding me?

    This was just a church service. What more did you want?? Is God supposed to rain down fire and speak through Obama to the rest of the world? Lighten up.

    January 20, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Jim, Burlington NC

    And with great power, comes great responsibility....

    Stan Lee

    January 20, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |