Oxygen’s controversial reality series “Preachers of LA” is only one week in and apparently, one of its stars is having second thoughts about his participation on the show. In a video message that was posted online, Bishop Clarence McClendon tells supporters that what he signed on to do is not what the show has become.
“First of all, when I was approached with it, they said it wasn’t a reality show, they said it was a docu-series. Again, I was not involved in the genesis of the project. I’ve had a number of things come to me like this, a number of people come to me with certain opportunities and I’ve turned them down,” he explained, as he stood in what appears to be the foyer of his home.
The 53-year-old preacher, who often refers to himself in third person, said he knew the producers involved with the show – L. Plummer Media in association with Relevé Entertainment – and trusted that their relationship with God would govern their approach to developing this series.
“I believed the people, the producers involved were Christian people, people that I know, people full of the holy spirit who really wanted to do something significant as it relates to Hollywood. That’s the production level. The network level they make decisions and sometimes things get lost in the translation. Initially I believed and trusted that we would be able to accomplish something with this relative to some things that the Lord had said to me,” he continued.
McClendon, who has been preaching since he was 15-years-old, said that he is a low-key person who has never sought stardom.
“I’m primarily a private person. I certainly am not after fame. I’m more known than I actually want to be,” he offered. McClendon added that he’s a “bridge builder and a peacemaker,” and that “sometimes when you build bridges, you get walked on.”
In a heated scene on “Preachers of LA” with Gospel recording artist and former pastor Deitrick Haddon, McClendon and Haddon argued over preachers having entourages and honorariums. The debate got so tense that McClendon ultimately walked out of the house where they were all gathered.
“When the situation got heated, I recognized that I was getting into what the Bible calls ‘an ignorant and foolish dispute.’ What I recognize now is that I was set up to be put in crossfire. I am not going to allow people to abuse that or malign that for the sake of television,” said McClendon. He went on to reference a Bible verse, 2 Timothy 2: 23.
“It tells the man of God to avoid and ignorant and foolish disputes because they lead to strife,” McClendon explained. “I have spent 15, 16 years traveling the globe and I’ve cultivated a ministry of integrity around the world. I’m not going to allow people to abuse that for the sake of television.”
Additionally, Decatur, Illinois-bred minister said he was “set up to be put in a crossfire” in the man cave scene because he “wasn’t supposed to be there.”
McClendon detailed how he landed at the airport and producers asked could they send him a car to pick him up so that he could make the shoot. When he arrived at the residence, you see him with his son, his assistant who traveled with him and the driver that the producers sent. It gave the impression that McClendon only travels with a large entourage, which ultimately became part of the debate with Haddon.
As it pertained to honorariums for preaching – Haddon’s point was that the Gospel should be delivered without cost – McClendon said he never charges a “set honorarium.” He explained that he gets upwards of 200 to 300 requests to preach a year, and his team makes an evaluation of each opportunity.
“We’ve never denied anyone access to this ministry because they couldn’t afford my team,” he affirmed.
Though on “Preachers of LA” first episode Haddon was adamant that no place in the Bible does it say ministers of the Gospel should charge, AlwaysAList.com placed a call to his longtime booking agent Faith Management to inquire about his current rate. We were told that depending on the specifics of the request, Haddon’s booking fee ranges from $15,000 to $25,000. That’s a long way from free!
Regardless, McClendon requests viewers watch “Preachers of LA” and “make up your own mind.”
He closed: “Pray for me and pray for all of us involved that God would be glorified.”
VIDEO: Watch Bishop Clarence McClendon explain his challenges with the “Preachers of LA.”