Pastors of Texas Mega-churches unite

HOUSTON Pastor Joel Osteen asked Bishop T.D. Jakes of Dallas to preach. So why is that such a big deal and how did it happen? We talked to both mega-ministers about how they got together in this exclusive interview.

A funny thing happened on the way to the service. Jakes called Osteen, hoping to get Lakewood to host a men's conference. A quick tour turned into an all-day session.

"We talked about how he got started and how he prepares messages and things like that," said Osteen. "But other than that, we just had fun."

They'd known each other for years, but not well.

"I have always loved him from afar and prayed for him, as he rose to the office of assuming his father's mantle," said Jakes. "I watched from a distance and prayed for him and imagined that it was my son. I was praying for him like he was a little kid, you know."

"But you know, you all aren't that different in age. He's a few years older than you, but yet you seem to feel as though he's almost like a father figure instead of an older brother," I said.

"You know, it's funny because I always thought that and maybe just because of the presence he carries and you know again, I think he was preaching when he was 10 years old out in the woods," said Osteen. "So you just see him like that and I realize he's not that much older than me. When I got with him one on one, it was more like brothers."

And like brothers, they have a lot in common. Both pastor mega churches, and preach to millions more on TV. And both have made millions outside of the pulpit from best-selling books and even movies.

Their new bond led Osteen to invite Jakes to preach.

"Having a guest minister here in your pulpit, that's a fairly unusual thing for you, isn't it?" I asked Osteen.

"It really is, because it's usually handled by the Lakewood staff," said Osteen. "But we've known Bishop Jakes from afar and thought it would be a great thing for him to come down and share with our people."

"I think that this is a new model, because whether people want to admit it or not, there's often a lot of jealousy in the ministry among clergy and I think it's a wonderful indication when a ministry like Lakewood and Pastor Osteen can come together with Potter's House TD Jakes without regard to race and theology and anything else and just worship God as his sons," said Jakes.

These two titans of televangelism have one more thing in common. They are often criticized for being too wealthy and for preaching the gospel of prosperity. How they respond to that charge, and more on their unique relationship, tonight on Eyewitness News at 10pm.

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