There's a show coming this fall to Oxygen that is already sparking controversy. The reality program "Preachers of L.A." will follow the lavish lives and booming careers of six mega pastors — Clarence McClendon, Deitrick Haddon (one of the show's producers), Jay Haizlip, Noel Jones, Wayne Chaney and Ron Gibson.
A description on Oxygen's website boasts: "Known for their fiery sermons, community outreach and passionate followings, pastors have become iconic, beloved, and sometimes polarizing figures in modern culture. Yet, few people have access to these larger-than-life men away from the pulpit. Until now."
As the official trailer reveals, the docuseries shows these men of faith "inside and outside of the church" as they shop, golf, vacation. Bishop Clarence McClendon said, "The Bible says that I wish above all things that you will prosper and be in health, even as your soul will prosper--I believe that," expressing a view that all of the preachers seem to hold in common. And when it comes to the men's lifestyles there's no shortage of controversy.
"P. Diddy, Jay-Z — they're not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses," said Bishop Gibson, who is himself the product of a past characterized by struggle and redemption. The show's blog gives a brief overview of Gibson's background as a former gang member, and explains how his life was transformed by the Christian message:
"Although he was raised by a Christian mother in the Church, Ron succumbed to the pressure of the streets and became a Compton Crip by the age of sixteen. This led to a life of crime and drug addiction, until Christ changed his life. He started Life Church Of God In Christ with nine members, which has now grown to a congregation of approximately 4,000 members."