A new reality television show about pastors in Los Angeles, scheduled to release this fall, is already stirring up controversy.
Preachers of L.A., about which Charisma News previously reported under its working title Pastors of L.A., is a new “authentic docuseries” from Oxygen Media. The show will feature Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and pastor Jay Haizlip.
A press release says the series “will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world-renowned megapastors in Southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives—from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit.”
A preview video published at the end of June shows Ferraris, Bentleys and lavish mansions, along with the pastors defending their wealth.
“P. Diddy. Jay-Z. They’re not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses,” argues Gibson, pastor at 4,500-member Life Church of God in Christ.
A group that calls itself Christians Against Preachers of L.A. has launched a petition on change.org against the show, which highlights the luxurious lifestyles of the six Southern California megachurch pastors.
“Biblical prosperity is not about wealth building. This is a poor representation of the Kingdom of God,” the petition states. “These preachers’ lifestyles are NOT promoting Christ ethos but rather their cars, homes, relationships, and their justification on why they want viewers to see them as having fleshly desires as everyone else does.”
The petition, which began last week in an effort to get the Oxygen Network to cancel Preachers of L.A., has garnered more than 60 signatures and is hoping for 100 total.
Samantha Gayles, a signer from Fife, Wash., wrote, “This show does not represent the Christian Faith in the right light. I'm not against the wealth because God blesses us in many ways, but preachers have been called on by Christ to aid those in their walk towards Christ but this show will only see men flaunting their money around and honoring God. These men should be more worried about spreading the word of God rather than the drama that follows reality TV shows.”
The television network has teamed up with Lemuel Plummer, the creator and executive producer of Vindicated and producer of The Sheards, and Holly Carter, creator and executive producer of 106 & Gospel and executive producer of The Sheards, for the new series.
Preachers of L.A. “documents these larger-than-life characters who are rock stars in their communities with a fresh, unique perspective that will resonate with our young audience,” explains Rod Aissa, Oxygen Media's senior vice president of original programming and development.
Click here to watch the trailer for Preachers of L.A.