The largest faith-based conference in the country, MegaFest, is set to make its Dallas debut on Thursday. The three-day convention will draw an impressive 50,000 people from 40 countries. The event is the creation of notable Potter’s House pastor, Bishop TD Jakes. The conference combines Jakes’ most popular seminars – ManPower, Woman Thou Art Loosed, MegaYouth and MegaKids.
“It’s very exciting because I’m going to be able to fellowship with people and listen to the word of God,” attendee Rita Beafneaux said. She made the trip from Galveston to participate in MegaFest.
The influx of visitors to Dallas required a collaborative effort to ensure a seamless convention. In years past, Jakes hosted his event in Atlanta, Ga. and Johannesburg, South Africa. His mega-church, The Potter’s House, boasts a congregation of 30,000, and is located in Dallas.
The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates $41 million dollars will be generated in direct spending during the span of the convention.
“I love Dallas,” attendee Cherrie Sheppard-Clemons said. “This is my second time here and I’m glad we start at eight o’clock tomorrow because I can’t wait to get to the Galleria.”
The spiritual conference focuses on family. Over 26-sessions are planned to address the multi-faceted topic and will include concerts and a film festival. Don’t be surprised if you happen to catch a few famous faces. A line-up of Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Hudson, Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer are among those who will be present at MegaFest.
Thousands of visitors will need a place to sleep, and their stay means a big boost for local hotels. In fact, the Dallas CVB reported 97,941 rooms were sold throughout the city.
“We all come together under one umbrella, one body, many parts that will be representing the body of Christ,” attendee Carolyn Young said.
Perhaps the biggest draw for MegaFest is the queen of talk herself – Oprah! Yes, Ms. ‘O’ will be holding her ‘Life Class’ at the American Airlines Center on Thursday morning. DART told Nightcap it’s on track to help transport attendees. Twenty-four buses are road ready to help shuttle people to and from the convention center to the AAC. In addition, DART rail will keep its trains running consecutively for 21.5 hours, from 4-30 A.M. to 2 A.M., to ensure people get where they need to go.
The cost of general admission to MegaFest is $75 for adults; $20 for children 19 years of age and younger. There are five additional ticketed events, including Oprah’s Life Class. For additional ticket information click here. General admission Tickets may be purchased in person at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.