A 4-hour service Sept. 7 including praise team worship and dancing, led by Minister of Music VaShawn Mitchell, served as the finale of a four-day welcome celebration for Dr. Jasmin “Jazz” Sculark as Jericho City of Praise’s new senior pastor.

The New Pastor, Dr. Jasmin “Jazz” Sculark

Charged with officiating the ceremony, T.D. Jakes, lead Sculark through a cheering sanctuary packed to near capacity. There were also scripture readings from Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook ad Dr. Rita Twiggs, and well wishes from celebrated clergy, including E. Dewey Smith Jr. House of Hope Atlanta; Dr. Henry P. Davis of the First Baptist Church of Highland Park, Landover, Md.; and Bishop Walter Thomas, of New Psalmist, Baltimore, Md.

For Sculark, who left Trinidad with $30 and a one-way ticket on American Airlines 20 years ago, the installation was viewed as the reaping of spiritual fruit.  Jakes, in fact, recalled prophesying over Sculark several years earlier, “a gate or a door opening,” but said he could never have envisioned her meteoric ascension. Sculark had applied for a position as youth pastor at Jakes’ 30,000-member Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas in 1995.  She did not get the job.

Calling it the mystery of God’s will, Jakes encouraged Sculark to trust in God, saying there was something she was called to do beyond that position. “There is a mystery to will. Who would have thought that 20 years ago we would be here in this situation, or even 10 years ago?  When came together at the moment of prophesy some time ago, I told her that God was going to open a big gate, but I had no idea it would be this. This is a big gate for real,” Jakes said.

Jakes, along with Dr. Charles E. Booth, Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr., and Archbishop Alfred A. Owens Jr. presided over the installation.  In addition to the anointing of Sculark’s head, finger, foot, and ear with oil, the laying on of hands, and the covering of her head with the Word of God, Jakes was led by the Holy Ghost to dance.  The church erupted with joyous dancing and praise, officially welcoming Sculark into leadership.

In a black suit emblazoned with gems and a smile so bright it lit the night sky, Sculark addressed the jubilant congregation. “I want to build on the legacy of Betty Peebles.  It feels like she just tagged me on the shoulder and said, ‘Tag, you’re it.’ What a night, what a night. The mystery of His will.  Who would have thought a little girl from Trinidad . . . The mystery of His will,” an emotional Sculark said. “I’m just speechless. I thank Jakes for reminding me that is a mystery.  Everyone is asking how I got to Jericho because I was never a candidate; I never put in my resume, or was scripted or selected. The first time I took to this pulpit, it was to be installed as the preacher of this church.”

Then, addressing her new membership, Sculark said, “In the past when people talked about Jericho City of Praise, they talked about some of their problems. People see problems; prophets see potential. And I love you all.  I am eternally grateful for the opportunity and I will be able to give God the praise and glory.”