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Five folks with local ties -- well, six, if you count Your President -- have made The Church Report's list of the "The 50 Most Influential Christians in America." (Alas, no Bible Girl. But there's always next year, God willing.) Surely, you can guess at least one of the names on the list. Yup, it's Bishop T.D. Jakes, the Potter's House honcho who slides in at a cool No. 4 on the list, behind only Houston's Joel Osteen, Billy Graham and, uh, Bill Hybels, who's the senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Dunno about the last one; says The Church Report, "Willow Creek's innovative ministries have made it one of the most-attended churches in North America," so I'll take the magazine at its word. Or is that, Word?
You have to scroll all the way down to No. 26 on the list to find the next local: Ed Young Jr., founding and senior pastor of Fellowship Church. One spot beneath Young is Dallas Theology Seminary's chancellor Chuck Swindoll, so added to the list because of his nationally syndicated radio show "Insight for Living."
Then, at No. 30, is Marcus Lamb, the founder of the Daystar Television Network, the second-largest Christian network in the world behind, like, God or something.
But the most interesting selection on the list, at least as far as locals oughta be concerned, is a guy who's perhaps the least-known among the 50: Arlington-based attorney Frank Sommerville, a shareholder in the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber. Who he? Says The Church Report: "His experience includes representing clergy, churches and nonprofit organizations at all levels of IRS tax controversy (from examination to courtroom) across America. He is one of the few nonprofit attorneys who actively litigates nonprofit cases in the courtroom." And he's also pals with George Dubya, which doesn't hurt. --Robert Wilonsky