By Jim Schutze
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By Anna Merlan
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"Most of all, he seems happy."
Irvin is so transparent that he doesn't hesitate to answer a touchy interview question: Has he been faithful to his wife since his Christian conversion?
"Yes," he says. "Yes."
He remembers, he adds, when he hit the one-year mark. Irvin smiles. "I thought, 'I did a whole year.' Wow, I thought that was something. Oh, that was huge."
Back to the revival meeting. It wasn't preaching that brought down the house. No, Jakes calls up his new disciple, Michael Irvin, then summons Sandy. Irvin strides across the stage and stands beside his bishop. As Jakes talks, Irvin grabs the microphone, then starts talking in his characteristically emphatic voice.
"I'm here to say this right now; I've made my peace with God," he says, "and now I want to tell my woman, I'm sorry, baby. I am sorry."
The Irvins embrace. Sandy leans up into his shoulder, and he gently strokes her hair with his huge hand. After a long moment, he kisses her, then hugs her some more. They are both weeping.
The camera pans into the audience, the black-clad choir, the assembled bishops, pastors and ministers, thousands of men and women. There are few dry eyes. All are directed toward the stage and the rocking, embracing couple. Jakes stands beside them smiling.
The choir glides into a hymn: "He changed my heart, he changed my mind, he changed my spirit--oh, the wonderful change..."
Dallas Observer Editorial Assistant Michelle Martinez contributed to this report.
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