A new reality series on Oxygen called Preachers of L.A. offers a glimpse into the lives of polarizing pastors from Los Angeles. Some of these pastors are celebrities in their own right, with their own shows on different TV and radio stations, but the series aims to show the "human side" of these preachers that many times is absent from their speaking engagements.
On the trailer for the show you can see several of the ministers, including Bishop Ron Gibson, Clarence E. McClendon, Jay Haizlip and Noel Jones, preaching and praying - but that's not all we see. As the trailer hits the 1:15 mark, the pastors start talking prosperity, sowing and reaping, and success. "P. Diddy, Jay-Z, they're not the ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses," says Bishop Gibson.
To be honest, I am surprised it took so long to see a TV show following televangelists and preachers with lavish lifestyles. I'm pretty sure many of the people who already follow these preachers as pastors and as celebrities would love to see them on a larger scale such as a weekly reality show. This also brings them to an audience that will watch, flabbergasted, not understanding how some of these preachers live these kind of lives when people in their own churches may struggle to bring bread to their tables.
"Now I know you've been watching that junk on TV and I want to tell you right now, not one dime of what you're sowing right now will buy my suit. I want you to know my car is paid for, I want you to know I got my house on my own." - T.D. Jakes
One person who is not amused with the show and what the preachers are showcasing is Dallas' own Bishop T.D. Jakes. Jakes is a well known pastor who has been on the cover of Time magazine and who has Oprah Winfrey as a fan (she even taped a LifeClass at one of his events earlier this year). A trip to his Dallas church is an adventure in its own right. Traffic that rivals that of a major concert or sporting event. A full band and choir who work hard to help the congregation attain a deep worship experience (including dancers). And last but not least, Bishop Jakes' preaching, which is among the best I've heard, if not the best. While some may think he would be a better fit for a reality series than most of the L.A. preachers due to his nice suits, huge church and famous friends, he had some words regarding the pastors from L.A.
"Now I know you've been watching that junk on TV and I want to tell you right now, not one dime of what you're sowing right now will buy my suit. I want you to know my car is paid for, I want you to know I got my house on my own," said Bishop Jakes in his fiery Sunday message at his Potter's House Church in Dallas. He then goes on to make clear where his money comes from, saying "I have sold enough books and produced enough movies I don't need your offering to pay for this little slimy suit," before stating, "I am not from L.A., I'm from Dallas."