That crossover into the mainstream seems evident in theatergoers’ behavior. Tyler Perry’s movies, which include his 2005 film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, in which actress Kimberly Elise portrays an abused wife who eventually finds herself, and the 2006 film, Madea’s Family Reunion, took in $21.9 million and $30 million, respectively, according to published reports.
Jakes tells of being approached by Michael Lynton, the president and CEO of Sony Pictures, who said he had liked the message of Woman Thou Art Loosed and that he wanted to work with the Dallas pastor to share his stories with the world.
“The Bible said to go throughout the world to spread the message,” Jakes said. “What bigger stage could there be to spread God’s message than through a vehicle that is seen by millions?”
Melanie Eversley is a Washington-based writer who has covered race and politics for many years. She is the former Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Detroit Free Press.