Best of the Best

When Time magazine's editors declared T. D. Jakes the best preacher in America, we wondered whether the nation's preachers would agree.

Time acknowledged Billy Graham as the longstanding holder of this distinction when they asked over a photo of Jakes, "Is this man the next Billy Graham?" Jakes and Graham are the only two evangelists who could pack out the Georgia Dome, which seats 79,000, they said. But who would preachers say is heir apparent to the title of Most Effective Preacher?

We first posed the question to the recipients of Leadership Weekly, our electronic newsletter for church leaders. They nominated almost 100 preachers. Then we posted the top ten on our Web site for another balloting. The result was a tie: T. D. Jakes and Chuck Swindoll, each with 23 percent of the vote.

Two very different preachers. What do they have in common? Time cited Jakes's delivery and his skillful handling of Scripture: "He purrs like Isaac Hayes and screams like Jay Hawkins … [however] each sermon eventually ...

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