In the wake of Obama’s election, I saw several interviews with Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder of the non-denominational The Potter’s House church in Dallas.
Undoubtedly Bishop Jakes is a distinguished religious leader, but my general understanding is that Bishops are clergy of denominations who supervise dioceses or similar regions composed of mutiple individual churches within the denomination.* Bishop Jakes, on the other hand, seems to be the pastor of just a single church not affiliated with a particular denomination, much less a hierarchical one.
So, how is it that Bishop Jakes (and other Bishops of non-hierarchical churches I’ve heard of) is a Bishop?
- Though the leaders of local congregations of the Mormon church are known as Bishops, the church believes in universal (at least male) priesthood, and actually ordains all men as priests within the church, so having the local leaders of the congregations including multiple priests referred to as Bishops follows a similar concept.