All Articles Tagged "church"
Taking ‘Em To Church–Again: Oxygen Network To Premiere New Series On The Drama-Filled Lives Of Pastors With “Pastors Of LA”
Just when you thought Oxygen couldn’t stoop any lower with their programming after they tried to give Shawty Lo and his millions of baby mothers a show, they’ve decided to prove us wrong with Pastors of L.A. Following in the trend of reality shows about the wives of pastors and the children of them out here acting wild, the show will be about the actual pastors themselves, their often rocky journey to preaching the word of God, and how the megachurch pastors from Southern California live their lives when they’re not in the pulpit. Knowing Oxygen, the home of the always ratch Bad Girls Club, this show will probably be far from holy, and I’m personally not too excited about it…Here’s an excerpt of the press release about the show from Oxygen, courtesy of Shadow and Act:
“Pastors of L.A.” will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world renowned mega-pastors 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.
“‘Pastors 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,” said Rod Aissa, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media. “By teaming up with Lemuel and Holly who are some of the best creative minds in the business and heavily respected within this community, we can deliver this authentic series with integrity, while also staying right on brand with Oxygen.”
“We are delighted to work with Oxygen to develop this groundbreaking series on the extraordinary lives of some of the most prominent pastors in America,” said Lemuel Plummer. “I come to this project with a respect and understanding of their world, having grown up as the son of a pastor and religious broadcasters. We intend to portray the human side of these pastors and the real world in which they live and work.”
“This show documents a journey of transparency from one man to the next as they endeavor to lead others to their own truth and self-discovery,” adds Holly Carter who holds a doctorate of divinity with an emphasis on marketplace ministry and is the daughter of a pastor and an industry veteran in faith and inspirational development and programming. “It’s a dose of reality and a pound of redemption coming from a creative team reared in the church.”
The cast will include Bishop Noel Jones, the brother of entertainer Grace Jones; Deitrick Haddon, a divorced preacher whose church has shunned him; Bishop Clarence McClendon and Pastor Wayne Chaney, who is battling with his family to make his church, Life Church of God in Christ, the next big megachurch in the state; Bishop Ron Gibson, a former drug addict who has come far, but struggles with his wife to bring a child in the world; and Pastor Jay Haizlip, who reaches out to the troubled youth after being one himself and also battling crack addiction in the past.
Everybody (though Bishop McClendon seems the most tame) seems to have a back story, and if you’re really interested in getting to know them better, the show will debut this fall. That is of course, unless a Change.org comes out before then…
Beginning today, Oxygen Media will begin filming scenes for its newest reality show, Pastors of L.A.
The docu-series aims to give viewers a candid and revealing look at the personal and professional lives of the following six world renowned pastors: Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and Pastor Jay Haizlip.
“Pastors 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,” said Rod Aissa, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media.
The “business” of church seems to really be booming, doesn’t it? You can read the rest on Essence.com.
Would you watch this show?
There will always be debates on how to show a man you’re worthy of him keeping you around by doing certain things. I’m not too sure what works and what doesn’t work in terms of making a man stick around and showing him you’re not just wifey material but should be his wife. What I do know is, you should’t knock it until you try it and do what you feel is appropriate because every man– and woman — is different. Check out some of the most notable “make him keep you” advice around. What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?
Does gospel get a bad rap?
If you grew up in a “praying house,” as some call it, chances are you were required to go to church all the time – probably three times during the week and all day on Sunday. At home, the Bible may have been centrally located and the gospel music playing was a constant. Your parents and grandparents played all the goodies like Shirley Caesar, Mississippi Mass Choir, Mahalia Jackson (if you really want to take it back) and James Cleveland – they were the real music stars. So it was church and gospel music. That’s all there was back in the day. That’s it.
But that was then.
Today, gospel is a booming business that goes way beyond praising God in song. Many artists are doing reality shows, making songs that sound really close to secular music and other becoming involved in other business ventures that some may consider attempts to be more mainstream. It’s almost become a gift and a curse.
When it was first revealed that Mary Mary would be getting their own reality show early last year, I admit to being one of the people staunchly opposed to the entire idea. Like, of course, Mary Mary are really just two women who lead very regular lives outside of music but as they are gospel artists, I was nervous about how much they would show of their lives. I, like many others, were worried they’d be “ungodly” in their personal lives and it would turn me off. Sure, I was prejudging them and as judgment is a part of life (despite what many of us might say), I don’t really apologize for it. As it turns out, the show isn’t that bad (aside from the occasional very “angry” moment from one of the sisters) and I enjoy watching. They’ll be on season three soon so I guess so does everyone else.
The music is becoming a little more “interesting” as well. While many of us who know and sometimes enjoy gospel music may recall it being traditional – mostly slow and literally almost just like church – in its sound, a lot of today’s music is quite…hip. Kirk Franklin led that wave in the late 90s with “Stomp.” Artists like Mary Mary, Tye Tribbett and others are continuing the trend. While these artists are continuing to deliver “the word” in song, some feel they’ve gotten too secular (if you recall, “God In Me sounded a lot like “Blame It On The Alcohol”). New artist Lecrae (who actually won a Grammy earlier this year) is a young gospel rapper – and a great one, at that – who grew up with hip-hop music did not initially “know God.” He surrounded himself with a party lifestyle full of drugs, alcohol and women. He finally had an epiphany of sorts and decided to turn his life over to God. But he raps; should he not be allowed to perform his praise in the way he knows how?
The question becomes: Is today’s Gospel just getting bad rap? Are people too uptight and caught up in what gospel artists “should” be? If you think about it, a lot of these artists grew up in not only a hip hop era, but also a media based one. They’re gospel singers, not blind singers who don’t know what’s happening outside of their genre. Shouldn’t they have a right to express themselves in a way they see fit without being disrespectful to their message? It seems like many people who are familiar with gospel would like to see it stay in this “box” that’s full of choir robes and hymns. Admittedly, I’m a person who likes gospel music in spurts and am fairly conservative in what I like. But as I recently watched an episode of “The Sheards” while wondering why they would even bother with reality television, I thought, “They have a right to show their lives too. Stop being so critical.” It may not stop me in full from being critical but I’ll watch with more openness.
Gospel artists seemingly will never catch a break unless they stick to this mold of only singing and speaking about God, heaven and the like. Perhaps that’s too much responsibility and as we know, you can’t please everyone.
What do you think? Are people too hard on the gospel artists or should some gospel artists be more mindful of the product their releasing?
Our country is pretty progressive. After all, we have a black president, have had multiple female Secretary of States, and openly gay people in many areas of leadership. Yet in some parts of our country, some people still seem to be hesitant to appoint women to pastoral positions in the church. What’s up with that?
Women are the backbone of many churches. We attend services regularly and we continually contribute our time and money to an institution that theologically seems to want little to do with us. The church would be non-existent without women, but somehow the powers that be haven’t caught a clue.
I grew up in a small Baptist church where women were expected to be seen and not heard. Women had no business in the pulpit and were often delegated to domestic roles in the church, such as being a caregiver or cooking all of the potluck dinners. None of the women vocalized an issue with their roles, which could be one of the many reasons why the notion that women have little value in high positions in the church still exists.
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with my mom in which she told me she had no desire to have a female pastor over her church. Her statements hurt my feelings since I aspired to be an evangelist and would love to see a strong black woman preach the word, and on more than just Women’s Day and similar events. Sadly, I figured that my mother is not alone in her feelings and that many people are just not enthused by women who hold spiritually authoritative roles. Although I can’t change her views, I can’t help but wonder why my mother and others like her feel that women are spiritually incapable of holding the same leadership roles in the church as men.
There’s a verse in the bible about women being silent in church that everyone likes to misquote to support their views of women being inferior in church matters. It’s in 1 Corinthians 14: 34: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” The problem is that those who like to use this verse to reinforce the opinion that women shouldn’t be pastors don’t take the historical context into consideration. Women didn’t have rights and opportunities we have now, so it was commonplace for women to be silenced in church matters. But we’ve come far, and if we know the word, have studied it, had the proper education and are ready, why should we be held back? I’m also offended by the fact that there are educational institutions like seminaries that readily take money from women knowing full well they will not permit them to be pastors. If women aren’t good enough to lead than our money shouldn’t be good enough either.
In the end, it’s time for the hypocrisy to end so that the church can progress in the right direction once and for all. Men aren’t the only ones who can deliver the word of God in a powerful way, so it’s time for those who still would prefer for us to cook the Sunday dinners, sing in the choir, watch the children run around and do those things only to get with the times.
Long before I ever really knew the true significance of church, I always enjoyed going. The music was good. It was an opportunity to get dressed up. And before I settled in for my standard nap on my mom’s lap, I noticed that some of the people were off the chain. As I got older and stayed awake a little bit longer, I noticed the people at a black church, often fall in one of a few categories. Check them out and let us know if you know someone just like this at your house of worship.
Common was recently interviewed for O Magazine. In the interview, like in his memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Common spoke about how he learned how to speak up for himself. In relationships, in work or about his own abilities, Common took a backseat and let other people make decisions for him, even if they didn’t feel right in the moment. He provided this example of a time when he’d let his girlfriend decide for him:
For example, I like to go to church on New Year’s Eve—to spend that time with God. My ex would always want me to go somewhere with her instead, and when I did, I’d regret it. Now I’ll just say to a woman I’m dating, “I’m going to church—and I’ll meet you right after.”
(Just in case you were wondering that ex he’s talking about is Erykah Badu– but that’s neither here nor there.) Immediately, after I read it, I thought, Yo that exact same thing [almost] happened to me. A couple of years ago, I was in what can best be described as a long distance relationship. I was in school in Missouri. He worked in Illinois. And his parents, whom he was visiting for the holidays, lived in Wisconsin. Needless to say, the time we got to spend with one another was few and far between. But somehow, our schedules aligned and we made arrangements to see each other on New Year’s Eve. He was going to be in Indianapolis. I was going to be in Indianapolis, it would work. Except, the precious hours we’d spend together would have to be cut short because I was planning on going to church. Like Common, being in church on New Year’s Eve is important to me. I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than thanking God for bringing you through the past year and asking Him to bless the upcoming one. There’s a power in that, which I don’t take lightly. So, as much as I wanted to see my friend as soon as he got into town, he’d have to wait a couple of hours. I did invite him to church. He declined. Cool, no problem.
It wasn’t until I discussed my plans with others that I started to rethink them. The day before my friend was supposed to come into town, my family and I were over my aunt’s house eating, lounging chatting it up. The maternal side of my family is Jamaican. I say that to illustrate the type of interactions we have. The conversation is open and brutally honest. American niceties and political correctness are thrown out the window. People will ask you probing questions, offend you out of love and just generally get in your business. Nothing is taboo…nothing. So, I wasn’t surprised when my aunt asked, with a smirk and batted eyelashes, what my friend and I were doing for New Year’s Eve. I told her, we were meeting up after I got out of church. My aunt got quiet and I could see her thinking about what she was going to say next. When she finally did speak, she asked me: “Well, don’t you think you can miss church since he’s coming all this way to see you?”
And for a minute, I thought about it. Was it wrong to make him wait an additional two hours, after he’d just driven 3 to spend time with me? Was I being inconsiderate? But no sooner, than the thought crossed my mind, I heard God’s voice. “This boy will disappoint you. He’ll let you down. I’ll always be there for you.” Well there you have it. Before my aunt had even finished speaking, I had my answer. I told her, “Yeah, I’m still going to go to church.” She shrugged and said ok, still not quite convinced I was making the right decision. But I knew God’s voice was right. I couldn’t put my faith in this or any man. My friend didn’t bring me through the past year, God did. And if I had a crystal ball, I would have seen two years later, he wouldn’t hold the same position in my affections. But God would. How stupid would I have looked choosing someone who could and would leave me over someone who’s never forgotten nor forsaken me?
I went to church and met up with him later, guilt free.
A couple of days after New Year’s, my aunt called me and apologized for suggesting that I skip church to hang out with my friend. She told me, after thinking about it, she realized she was wrong and I’d made the right decision. I knew she’d come around. And though I was happy she agreed with the decision, I didn’t need her approval. I already had directions from myself and a higher power.
But as Common and my other experiences have illustrated, it’s not hard to bend and compromise our core beliefs in life and love. A lot of us spend so much time trying to please others, we forget to honor ourselves and more importantly the higher powers we believe in. That’s dangerous. It’s an age-old lesson, but one that bears repeating: When you know something is right, don’t allow anyone, not a love interest, a trusted family member, not even yourself, to talk you out of your decision.
Club Church: When Did Shorts, Tight Skirts And Revealing Clothing Become Appropriate In The House Of God?
I remember when going to church meant listening to great music, a moving sermon that you could take something away from, and contributing tithes when you had them to give. Those were the simple days. Nowadays, or at least at some of the churches I’ve attended, I’ve noticed that for some people (young and some older), going to church means wearing attire more appropriate for going to the club rather than going to the altar. People are also spending a lot of time in the pews checking out fellow congregants, chattering about insignificant things (like who is wearing and doing what) and doing the absolute most. So what’s happening?
A few years ago, I joined a relatively small church. It was a different denomination than what I grew up in, but the format was similar enough to what I was used to. But I quickly noticed that the girls collecting offerings and serving us for Communion were wearing shorts that looked like they weren’t finished being made, and I even noticed a few wearing halter tops from time to time. They were teenagers, so I tried to chalk their attire up to typical adolescent clothing and the typical way of doing things in this day and age. Even though I had a feeling their clothing choices were inappropriate for church, I assumed that I had caught them on an atypical day and that those revealing clothes were not going to be seen again. I was wrong–it kept happening.
Week after week, the number of young ladies wearing skank-a-fied clothing increased. I was used to seeing non-church clothing on churchgoers as the time of Easter suits and wearing stockings with everything has come and gone for most, but when the skimpy outfits crossed over to those serving in the church more and more, the word inappropriate took on a whole new meaning. Their lack of clothing left me no choice but to consult with one of the elders of the church. I outlined my concerns with the way the girls were dressed, hoping our discussion would spark a change in their outfits. I informed her that their clothes were distracting in service and that they were wrong to wear in the House of the Lord. I could tell that she was uncomfortable with our conversation and offered little insight into curtailing the teenagers’ revealing attire. Once I realized that nothing was going to change, I decided that it was time to switch churches since I didn’t want to continue to feel like I was in a nightclub every Sunday morning.
I loved the next church I visited. The sermons were awesome, the people were friendly, and their choir was one of the best in the city. I think I loved the church so much that it hadn’t dawned on me immediately that the place seemed to resemble the last church in many aspects. Short and too tight clothing were a constant presence at this church as well as people doing the Bankhead Bounce and also some of the new dance crazes. I saw one man moonwalk across the floor, a woman jump so high I wondered if she was listening to Kris Kross’ “Jump” in her head and not “I Will Bless The Lord,” and a man performing a mix of the Cabbage Patch and Tootsie Roll. Their rhythm was so coordinated yet all over the place that I started thinking that folks were high off of more than just the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t just the previous church I had been to after all. It seemed that many congregations were getting a little to relaxed in their attire and behavior.
I used to find these type of antics harmless and somewhat entertaining, but now it’s just sad. Church is one of the only places I go to find peace. I go to church to learn more about and praise God, not to learn about the latest outfit or the latest dance craze. I find it disturbing when people look me up and down to check out my outfit, my hair, or other accessories I may or may not have going on and do that when they should be paying attention to the Word. I expect that type of behavior out in the streets, but not at church. I also find it disheartening to see young women in church dressed similar to something out of a music video. Since elders are supposed to serve in a teaching capacity, it would be nice to see more try to teach others about what’s appropriate vs. what’s inappropriate in a polite manner instead of trying to avoid sticky situations as much as possible and letting people run around and do whatever. Maybe then more people would revert back to appropriate behavior so that church can go back to what it used to be and the focus can stick to God and not the length of somebody’s skirt.
Some of the ladies in Atlanta are definitely in need of religion, as we’ve seen from the Real Housewives and Love & Hip-Hop franchises centered in the southern black mecca. A new show coming to TLC may provide just that as the network has just released a sneak peek view of its new reality show: The Sisterhood.
The show is slated to provide “a candid look into the larger-than-life preacher wives (aka First Ladies) who work to ensure that their families and churches run as smooth as Southern-churned butter,” (so a press release says), and will follow the lives of these saved souls:
Domonique is anything but your typical preacher’s wife. She’s bold, she’s brash, and she’s unapologetically honest. After moving to Atlanta, she met and married Brian, an Evangelical pastor, and they had two daughters together. After years of growing The Good Life Ministry, the couple fell on hard times and were forced to close the church’s doors. They are now looking for new opportunities to fulfill their calling and Domonique is hoping to repair the damage that losing the church caused to her marriage.
When most people think of preacher’s wives, they think of demure ladies in big hats, conservative suits, and strands of pearls. So when people find out Tara is a First Lady, they usually do a double take. She’s fit and fabulous and her wardrobe leaves little to the imagination. Tara and her husband Brian recently relocated their family from Los Angeles to Atlanta so Brian could pastor a new church. However, Brian, who was actually raised Jewish, lost his position at the church after only six weeks. Now the two are struggling to find their footing in a city where new churches… and new friends…are hard to come by.
Most First Ladies do not have a colorful past like Ivy. As one of the members of girl group Xscape, Ivy lived the partying life of a pop star. But since meeting her husband Mark, pastor of the Emanuel Tabernacle Church, Ivy is singing a different tune. She is now a dutiful First Lady, wife, and mother to a one-year old son. However, her not-so-wholesome past helps Ivy relate to and connect with her inner city congregation.
It’s rare that you’ll hear a first lady say, “I’m Dominican and I don’t play!” But Christina often makes it known that she’s a sassy Latina who you don’t want to mess with.
Christina and her husband Anthony run one of the largest and most successful churches in Atlanta called the Oasis Family Life Church. But the success of their church also means they struggle to meet the needs of their ever-growing congregation. And, if that weren’t stressful enough, Christina and Anthony also have to wrangle their two challenging teenage daughters who are just as sassy as their mother.
One look at DeLana singing on stage in her leather pants and spiked heels and you’ll definitely think she’s a rock star. But don’t let her rocker chick exterior fool you – she’s a First Lady through and through. DeLana and her husband Myles pastor the Worship with Wonders Church where music plays a big part in their ministry. They write their own music and perform original songs at every Sunday service. In addition to music, DeLana is passionate about helping children. She has two children of her own and often acts as a surrogate mother to young members of her congregation in need.
I’m sort of on the fence about this show. A lot of people already give members of the church the side-eye, being quick to call members, particularly those in leadership positions, hypocrites when they slip up. Looking at the description for this show which promises that “tensions will run high as the [ladies] faith and relationships are challenged through a dramatic season of disagreements, betrayal, criticism and exposing inner demons,” I can’t help but see the potential for the greater good — like showing christian women actually living christian lives — falling by the wayside. But it wouldn’t be good TV otherwise, right?
“The Sisterhood” is slated to air Tuesday, January 1 at 9 pm on TLC. Check out the trailer for the show on the next page. Will you watch?
Looking for a little more to add to your holiday plans besides the normal tree trimming, stocking stuffing, and gift giving festivities? With a little planning and a just few dollars, you can experience the holidays in many different ways.
So, put away your wallet, pull out your planner, and gather your friends and family, because with these nine cost-effective holiday plans, you’ll be celebrating the season without breaking the bank.
Potluck Dinner/Cocktail Party
Nothing says the holidays more than the extra pounds you gain from eating grandma’s favorite Christmas sides. Spare grandma the extra man hours of cooking for the entire family. Gather her and a few friends for a Christmas potluck-style dinner and cocktail party. Not only is a potluck gathering cost-effective for everyone, but it brings a little variety (and maybe even a little competition!) to the dinner table.
Ask guests to cook their best dish (make sure no one doubles up) and have one designated person to serve as bartender. Grandma would be more than happy about saving her time and money this year!