We don’t know who thought it would be a great idea to put “Preachers of LA” on TV, but now the country’s preachers are in the national spotlight. Unfortunately, they don’t all stand up to scrutiny. We’re always surprised at how many “men of God” turn out to be suspect, low-down or down-right devious. Here are our picks for 15 of the most suspect preachers around.
For a preacher, Deitrick has a lot of trouble keeping it in his pants. He opened up about getting his fiancee Dominique pregnant before his divorce was finalized on “Preachers of LA”. But he’s kept quiet about Simone Lewis, the woman who came forward with e-mails and nude pictures to prove they were dating while he was still married. And has anyone noticed how defensive he gets anytime someone calls him out on his stuff?
First Omarosa was the main villain on the apprentice. And that image is hard to shake. When her fiance died, people accused her of everything from killing him to changing his will to selling his funeral to the paparazzi. Now that she’s a minister, people still think her motives are suspect. The world just isn’t ready for Rev. Manigault.
The 700 Club Host has a closet full of skeletons. He’s made controversial statements against homosexuality, women’s rights and minorities. But there are signs that he’s more than just a controversial figure. The multi-millionaire senator’s son has been caught with financial ties to dirty politicians and African despots.
Mase isn’t the first rapper turned minister. But he may be the first rapper turned minister turned rapper turned minister turned rapper. Now Mase is rapping and preaching at the same time. But he’s flip-flopped so many times, we bet a lot of people are having trouble taking his ministry seriously.
Al Sharpton spends so much time meddling in the media spotlight, people wonder if his message has more to do with vanity and PR than the Bible and Christian values.
Everybody laughed at Harold Camping when he predicted that May 21st, 2011 would be the end of the world. But Harold laughed all the way to the bank. Turns out, he’d convinced his parishioners to give him all of their money since the world was over anyway. By the time May 21st came and went, Reverend Camping had reportedly raked in a cool $80 million.
If the dirty details in the TLC movie are even a little bit true, then preacher Prophetess Sister Perri falls way short of saintly.
A lot of people believed in Creflo Dollar; at least enough to give him enough tithes to afford a Rolls-Royces, a private jet, a million-dollar home, and a $2.5 million apartment in New York City. They were all shocked when they found out that Creflo strangled his 15-year-old daughter and beat her with a shoe for staying out late.
Pastor Long was famous for his sermons on the “sin” of homosexuality so we were all surprised when, in 2010, four boys came forward to accuse him of molesting them. The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church denied the 2010 allegations, but he settled out of court with five complainants anyway.
When Pastor Hornbuckle started out in 1986, he certainly seemed like a man of God. He raised his congregation from just 15 members to thousands in just six years. But it all came crashing down when he was accused and convicted of drugging and raping three women. He won’t be released from prison until 2020.
Henry “Deacon” Lyons
Back in 1994, Deacon Lyons was the highly-respected president of the National Baptist Convention. So when he was arrested for embezzlement, his supporters believed him when he said it was just the white man out to bring him down. Unfortunately, the accusations turned out to be true. Henry had stolen more than $4 million from the organization’s 10 million members during the few years that he was president.
Reverend Gaston Smith was known for three things: his expensive gators, his fashionable clothing and his work helping Miami’s poor. Unfortunately, the Florida preacher was financing the first two through the third. Instead of helping low-income families with the money he raised, he spent it on himself. And when he was convicted in 2009, the congregation was forced to take on the debt and pay back the money themselves.
Thomas Wesley Weeks Jr.
The world watched when popular televangelist Bishop Weeks married pastor Juanita Bynum in a million-dollar ceremony in 2002. And they were just as shocked when Weeks was caught beating, stomping and choking Juanita in the parking lot of a hotel just five years later. But the scandal wasn’t over yet. Two years after the incident, Juanita announced that she was a lesbian who had had many affairs with women while she was a pastor.
Pastor Swaggart was one of the biggest names in televangialism. His empire had 10,000 employees and brought in over $12 million a year. Then in 1988, he was caught with a prostitute in a motel — and when he tearfully repented on television, his fans forgave him. That is until two years later when he was caught sleeping with another prostitute. Sex scandals, lawsuits and a lien by the IRS eventually brought his empire crashing down around him.
Ted Haggard was the leader of Colorado’s largest megachurch. Then in 2006, a male prostitute outed him by saying they spent several sex and drug fueled nights together. Haggard admitted getting a massage from the man and buying meth from him. But then he said he threw the meth away and kept it in his pants. Unfortunately, no one believed him and he was fired from the church for “sexually immoral conduct”.