“Financial management in churches is stewardship over money that really belongs to God,” says Adrienne Thomas (MBA 1991), who has held fast to that perspective in a 20-year career in top financial posts at some of the largest Christian-related ministries in the United States.
Noting the complex business challenges in nonprofits with global operations, large staffs, and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in annual cash flow, Thomas comments, “The leadership I provide is behind the scenes. The best ministries understand that their reputations are built on trust. Whether I’m negotiating large loans and leases or navigating complicated tax regulations, I’m building a business foundation that supports our good works in the community.”
Thomas currently works for Bishop T. D. Jakes, a nationally acclaimed religious leader who heads the 30,000-member Potter’s House church in Texas and a global humanitarian organization. As CFO of TDJ Enterprises, Thomas oversees the finances of Jakes’s separate for-profit business, a $400 million, faith- and family-oriented media and entertainment venture that offers inspiration to millions through books, conferences, festivals, music, and Hollywood-produced films.
“I’m enjoying the switch to the for-profit sector,” Thomas notes, “but I also know TDJ does a lot of good. I have the best of both worlds.”
(Published June 2016)
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