The Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes serves as Senior Pastor/Teacher of The faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. He received his elementary education at Nicholas Copernicus and secondary education at Marie Curie Metropolitan of the Performing and Creative Arts High School. Furthering his education, he received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois; the Master of Arts degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
As Senior Pastor/Teacher of The faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Jakes has witnessed numerous spiritual, financial and administrative successes in the last fifteen years. His most notable was being immeasurably involved in bringing healing, reconciliation, and restoration to a congregation that suffered a devastating church split prior to his being called to serve, as well as establishing the Operation H.O.P.E. Food and Clothing Pantry and the West Point Community Development Corporation. These initiatives were inspired after it became apparent the community in which he serves needed food and clothing to supplement their daily needs. After being in operation for only three years, by 2008, the pantry served over 19,000 people, and has averaged 20,000 to 22,000 annually. In 2009, Dr. Jakes birthed a vision initiating the Domestic Violence and Advocacy (DVA) Ministry at The faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church. DVA is dedicated to improving the lives of men, women, and children, who experience violence by providing Christian support, love and comfort to persons involved in emotionally abusive relationships. For the last seven years, the DVA Ministry has hosted Dare to Care Community Festival and Resource Fair, servicing an average of 1,000 community members each year.
Dr. Jakes is highly involved with local, state and federal policy makers—utilizing his voice as a local pastor to speak truth to power as it relates to social justice, social action, and social accountability. Dr. Jakes passion, commitment, and unwavering voice for social justice has led to policymakers seeking his voice on statewide issues such as sensible gun laws, same gender marriage, increasing minimum wage, education funding reform, etc. Locally, Dr. Jakes proudly serves as a working member on The Mayor’s Commission for a Safer Chicago, the Faith Based Leaders Advisory Board of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, and a member of the Board of Trustees for Elmhurst College. Additionally, Dr. Jakes serves as spiritual advisor to several local and state politicians.
Dr. Jakes’ voice and commitment to the less fortunate has earned him national recognition from the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show by presenting him with The Biggest Giver Award for community excellence. His commitment to social justice, coupled with his humanitarian efforts led to his being inducted into the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of International Preachers of Morehouse College. He also serves as Co-Chaplain for African American students at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. Dr. Jakes is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the Ancient Free and Accepted Scottish Rites Masons of North America, and a host of other civic and religious organizations. The Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes shares his life and ministry with Lady Carole Denise, their two children, Brandon and Erika, and their four-legged children, Taylor and Elizabeth.
Sunday Morning Worship:
7:45 am (1st Sunday’s only) & 10:00 am
Wednesday in the Word