TV One Offers Original Holiday Movies ‘Merry Wishmas’ & ‘Coins For Christmas’ Starring David & Tamela Mann, Kim Fields & More…

Hello World,

TV One brings the holiday spirit with premieres of two new original movies MERRY WISHMAS, debuting Sunday, December 2 at 7 p.m. and  COINS FOR CHRISTMAS, premiering  Sunday, December 16  at  7 p.m./6C!

MERRY WISHMAS , starring  Tamela Mann (The Manns), David Mann (The Manns), Kim Fields (Living Single), Towanda Braxton (Braxton Family Values), Chrystale Wilson (The Players Club) and  Elizabeth Omilami (Madea’s Family Reunion), revolves around successful businesswoman Kenni (Tamela Mann) who hasn’t returned home to the quaint town of Columbia, South Carolina in years. She’s hoping for a peaceful visit when she finally returns home, but unresolved family issues threaten to make the Christmas holiday not so bright. She’s reacquainted with Jessie (David Mann), an old high school friend with a fledgling wellness facility – the Beverly Living Center. She’s instantly thrown into the lives of the center’s residents and meets a host of colorful characters. When Jessie is faced with losing the Beverly Living Center, Kenni steps in to try and help save it. Family conflicts and relationship woes, however, threaten Kenni’s efforts. It looks like only a miracle can save the center and mend broken relationships in time for Christmas.

MERRY WISHMAS  is directed by veteran actress Terri J. Vaughn and features a cameo appearance by rap artist  Yung Joc , best known for popular singles “It’s Goin’ Down” and “I Know You See It.”

“Having the opportunity to direct my friends David and Tamala Mann was a huge blessing. The rewarding part was their willingness to challenge themselves to go deeper and I’m excited for viewers to see them in the more dramatic moments,” said Vaughn. “The other blessing on this project was being able to direct my mentor and friend, Kim Fields. It was a very rewarding, full circle moment for us. I can’t wait for the world to see!”

Y’all, I was actually on set for one day of filming MERRY WISHMAS and was able to interview some of the members of the cast and writers behind the movie! See that post here:  David & Tamela Mann, Kim Fields, Towanda Braxton & More Star in TV One’s Christmas movie ‘Merry Wish-mas!’

Below is a trailer for MERRY WISHMAS:

COINS FOR CHRISTMAS  stars  Stephen Bishop  (Being Mary Jane) (Remember he was on one episode of OWN’s Greenleaf this season as well?),  Essence Atkins (Marlon),  TC Carson  (Living Single),  Kelly Price  (Saints and Sinners) and  Karlie Redd (Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta). The film chronicles single mom Madison (Atkins) who’s saved all year to make sure her teenage kids have the best Christmas ever. That is until she gets fired from the bookstore she manages and comes home to find that the IRS has frozen her bank account due to delinquent taxes her ex-husband failed to pay. Desperate to pay bills and buy gifts for her children, Madison jumps into the ever-popular “gig economy.” That’s when she meets and eventually gets hired by arrogant, sidelined former professional football player Alec Darby (Bishop), who is also secretly on the verge of going broke. This odd couple butts heads time and time again but can the Christmas spirit help these two get past their bickering, learn from each and ultimately forge a lasting friendship?

Below is a trailer for COINS FOR CHRISTMAS:

MERRY WISHMAS and COINS FOR CHRISTMAS will be featured programming during TV One’s Holiday Movie Marathon on December 24-25. TV One will also air Christmas movies every Sunday until December 23.

Written by Cas Sigers-Beedles, MERRY WISHMAS is executive produced for TV One by Roger Bobb, Angi Bones (Bobbcat Films), Terri J. Vaughn and Cas Sigers-Beedles (Nina Holiday Entertainment). David and Tamela Mann also serve as Executive Producers. George Pierre serves as Casting Director. For TV One, Tia A. Smith is Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene-Arrington is Head of Original Programming and Production.

COINS FOR CHRISTMAS is written by Rhonda F. Baraka and directed by Jamal Hill, with casting by Leah Daniels-Butler and George Pierre. The film was produced by Swirl Films, with Eric Tomosunas serving as Executive Producer. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson, Keith Neal and Darien Baldwin serve as producers. For TV One, Karen Peterkin is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene-Arrington is Head of Original Programming and Production.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram  and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tags #MERRYWISHMAS#COINSFORCHRISTMAS,and #REPRESENT.

Any thoughts?

Should Divorced Men Such as Dr. Jamal Bryant, Newly Named New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor, Be Allowed in the Pulpit?

Hello World,

Now that Season 3 of OWN’s “Greenleaf” is over until next season, I’m back to finding my religious drama and intrigue in real life! LOL.

Last week, Atlanta was abuzz with the news that Dr. Jamal Bryant, founding pastor of Empowerment Temple, an A.M.E.  megachurch of about 10,000 members in Baltimore, Maryland was leaving his church to be the new pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which also has about 10,000 members, in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. He will preach is first sermon at New Birth on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The announcement has people talking for many reasons. One of those reasons is that Bryant’s tenure comes after the death of the controversial church founder Bishop Eddie L. Long, who passed away in January 2017 after battling cancer. Prior to his death, he wrote about his life in his memoir “The Untold Story – The Story of Adversity, Pain, and Resilience.”  In a previous blog post about this memoir, I wrote, “Is Bishop Long going to address what really happened with those young men who accused him of sexual misconduct as their claims were settled out of court and why he settled? That’s all people want to know at this point!” What is ironic about that post, which I wrote in 2016, is that the post was about Bishop Long AND Pastor Jamal Bryant. Here is a link to the post “Bishop Eddie Long Releases New Book ‘The Untold Story’ While Pastor Jamal Bryant Sidesteps Paternity Claim Today… What Are The Biblical Requirements for a Pastor?” I had no idea that two years later that these two men who be forever linked by last week’s announcement.

And that blog post brings me to another reason why people are talking about Bryant being named pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Even without all of the Bishop Long controversy, Pastor Bryant has enough controversy that he can claim on his own – from a fairly recent out-of-wedlock paternity allegation to the admission of infidelity in his previous marriage to Gizelle Bryant, one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” He was dating R&B singer Tweet but I guess they have broken up because I haven’t heard anything about them still being together. He referred to her as his “Last Lady” in the clip.

Below are a few comments I saw on New Birth’s Facebook page following the announcement last week:

“New Birth still has members?”

“WoW I’m shocked they gave it to Jamal with all the scandals he been through…but no man is perfect and I wish him the best.”

“Facts: No pastor wants the debt associated with NB! It will take a name to fill the seats & ‘encourage’ people to give! We are all flawed & human! However, for the church’s sake, i pray there’s real accountability worked into his contract! Literally, he just left court on stalking charges! There’s a pattern of poor judgment! I’m just gonna pray!”

 “Plenty of women to choose from.”

“Wow, I can’t believe these are Christians on the church website with this garbage. Talking about men of God like we are talking about Love and Hip Hop! Messy!!! Truly I wish that Pastor Bryant would not even go down there in this mess. Because he is loved and wanted at Empowerment Temple and ALL over the country. Half of the people on here don’t support the church financially or spirituality. The way our world is today we better, get our lives together. We don’t know when the Lord’s going to call us home. Please stop being so quick to point out what we think is somebody else faults and get our own selves in order. NB congregation on your new appointed Pastor. Pastor Jamal, love you! I will be praying for you and supporting you the same as I did at ET. I believe in you and the God we serve.”

“Episode of Greenleaf Coming!!!!”

“So he switching denominations!?”

See ALL of the 538 comments and counting HERE.

All of this chatter has got me thinking about being a pastor as a single divorced man. If real life is stranger than fiction (like what went down on OWN’s “Greenleaf” following the divorce of Bishop & Lady Mae), what should be expected from the pastorate of single divorced man? And should single divorced men be allowed to be pastors at all? Years ago, Atlanta-based but known worldwide pastor Dr. Charles Stanley, who is one of my favorite pastors, caused a lot of controversy when he decided to remain pastor of his church, First Baptist Church of Atlanta, following his divorce. His stance was particularly controversial when he previously said he would step down if he ever divorced.

Do you think divorced single men should be pastors? Below are three views on this topic:

  • While many in the Southern Baptist Convention called on him to step down over his divorce, Stanley refused to give up his role as senior pastor. ‘God said you keep doing what I called you to until I tell you to do something else,’ he told CNN. “I got that straight from the Lord. … I was simply obeying God.’ He added: ‘If somebody doesn’t love you and doesn’t want to live with you, you can’t — nowhere in the Scripture does it say that you’re to preach the gospel until someone does this or that.'” excerpted from “Charles Stanley Names Successor but Will Remain Sr. Pastor, Says Retirement Is Unbiblical” by Leonardo Blair
  • “In the end, it remains the choice of the congregation whom they call to be a pastor. If a man was divorced prior to becoming a Christian, then 2 Corinthians 5:17 comes into play: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” A divorced man’s pre-Christian life is certainly part of the “old things” that pass away. Life in Christ warrants for all believers a “new lease” on life. Congregations may also, legitimately, conclude that a divorce for a Christian man was so long ago in the past that it should not hinder his witness or his work in the pastorate. There are no hard and fast rules; only principles, to guide a man in the ministry or a congregation seeking a pastor. ” excerpted from “The Divorced Pastor: Is He the Husband of One Wife?” by Michael F. Ross
  • “I really think we need to look at it on a case by case basis, especially if the man was divorced for one of the two biblical exceptions: the wife’s infidelity (Matthew 5:32) or an unbelieving wife divorcing him (1 Corinthians 7:15). Although I respect an autonomous church’s right to set whatever policies it deems appropriate (as long as those policies don’t violate Scripture), I, personally, don’t think it’s right to deny a man the office due to his wife’s sin that he had no control over and may have done everything in his power to prevent.” excerpted from “The Mailbag: Can a Divorced Man Be a Pastor?” by Michelle Lesley

If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Bryant altogether, here is a brief bio from the AJC. Boston-born Bryant, a third generation pastor, is a graduate of Morehouse College, Duke University and Graduate Theological Foundation. As he failed the 11th grade and received a GED, he started at Morehouse College, which is in Atlanta, on probation. He is the father of 5 daughters. Also, his sister Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a relationship counselor for Pastor Chad Johnson and his fiancée Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny’s Child, on their OWN reality show “Chad Loves Michelle.” (I am really enjoying this show by the way.)

I listened to Dr. Jamal Bryant being interviewed on a local radio station V-103 last week, and he is very personable and upfront about the fact that he has not been a perfect shepherd. And I especially loved how he closed out the interview with this prayer “Lord, Your Will. Nothing More, Nothing Less & Nothing Else.” The first time I heard that prayer was from Bishop Greenleaf, my favorite fictional pastor! LOL. I don’t mean to be cavalier here because we’re talking about real lives and the saving of souls, but art is inspired by real life…

Anywho, any thoughts Saints?

 

Greenleaf Recap Season 3 Episode 12: Day of Reckoning…

Hello World,

From the moment a “Day of Reckoning” began until the very last second, it was a non-stop thrill ride so I won’t waste another instant in beginning this Greenleaf Recap Season 3 Episode 12: Day of Reckoning…

The Cold Light of Day…

This week’s episode begins where last week’s episode ended. Grace follows her mother, the only definite parent she can claim at this point, outside the sanctuary and continues to question her. “Is Lionel my father or not?” “I told you I don’t know,” Lady Mae screeches. Then in classic Lady Mae fashion rather than owning up to her wrongdoing, the Greenleaf matriarch gets indignant and asks her daughter if she is going to out her at some appointed time in the future. She implores Grace to reveal the secret now rather than have her wait in agony. “Scream it down the halls and save me the circus,” she says. When her daughter tells that she does not intend to out her, she then gives her a command. “I never want to speak about this again.”

Wow, it must be nice to live in Lady Mae’s head! She is incapable it seems of feeling guilt and even responsible for her misdeeds. She has just revealed that she doesn’t know the identity of the father of the daughter she has spurned since she was born it seems and now she is giving that same daughter directives!

In the next scene, we witness another troubled pair – this time it’s Jacob and Kerissa. After Jacob’s showdown with Basie last week, he is frantically trying to call him, mainly to find out if Tasha is safe and get her on their side after the FBI raid also last week. Basie is so unhinged at this point that even his wife would not be spared from his wrath. Kerissa says, “Stop calling Basie and call Tasha.” Jacob replies, “He has has her phone.” As Kerissa watches her husband fret about another woman, she is starting to lose it as well. “One thing you haven’t done since you came home is hug me.” Jacob tries to calm Kerissa down by telling her that he doesn’t care about Tasha that way. “Tasha is our only way out of this. “

The Three Musketeers, Basie, Rochelle & Tasha, are at Tasha’s home (I guess Basie’s home too…at least it used to be before he up and left) discussing what they’ve done so far and their plans now that the Greenleafs are aware of their plans. “I think he half believes he hit this,” Rochelle says with laughter. During last week’s episode, she tried to convince Bishop he slept with her when he knows that he did not. She is a gaslighter of gargantuan proportions. But Basie knows this is not the moment to play. In fact, it’s time to pack. Tasha says, “I’m not going anywhere.” He asks his sister to pack a bag for her. That would be sweet if they weren’t criminals trying to escape from the consequences of their crimes. He opens a suitcase and it’s chock full of money. “Is that the money you were supposed to invest for Bishop?” Tasha asks Rochelle. Basie says they will escape by crossing the border to Mexico. He tells his sister and Tasha to meet him later at a place by the Raceway. “We will be there,” Rochelle says.

Back at the Greenleaf estate, Lady Mae and Maxine are getting prepared for “A Day With Lady Mae” by getting in-house spa services. Clothed in terry cloth bathrobes, they discuss what happened with Grace earlier. “What is she tells Bishop?” Lady Mae says. “What is that old sinner going to do,” says Maxine before she cackles. Lady Mae laughs as well. They sure are smug about sin, right?

Speaking of Grace, she calls Aaron and asks him if he would be willing to take a paternity test. One of the things that I appreciate about Grace is that she is always seeking the truth…even when it could hurt…

Eternity and a Day…

Now that Bishop finally knows that Rochelle is as sinister as a snake, he is finally in position to fight this IRS debacle with his whits about himself or is he? Bishop, Grace and Grace’s attorney friend meet to discuss his options considering that he is up against bank fraud and wire fraud charges. The attorney says that he should claim cognitive dysfunction or in another word senility. Y’all know Bishop aine tryin’ to hear that. He gets up and says that he is about to do a service. “If you haven’t noticed, I don’t have my book of prayer with me,” he says, “because I’ve got the whole service up there.” He points to his head. I get what Bishop is saying. No one wants to claim senility at the age where it really could be a possibility. That’s kind of how I feel about the gray hair craze. It’s cute on girls younger than me. And another thing. Bishop aine tryin’ to give Lady Mae any more ammunition than she already has. “I’m keeping my church. I’m not losing it to my ex-wife.” And thirdly, Bishop does have a direct conduit to his Creator and He told him that everything will be alright in the end. “The Lord gave me a vision of my last moment of life, and it wasn’t in a prison.” When Grace asks him to tell her about the vision in more detail, he asks her does she believe in visions. When she admits that she doesn’t, he says, “I can’t tell you because you wouldn’t believe me anyway.” Do you believe in visions? I do…

Speaking of visions, Zora is finally seeing the light! She tells Isaiah about a promo video she has made for Isaiah’s tour and rather than be appreciative of her efforts, Isaiah seems disinterested. “I shouldn’t care about your tour more than you do.” Instead of addressing what she said, he asks her to pack his clothes for his tour. Since she has performed in so many roles for his profession and was prevented from going to Spelman College, she says, “I want an official title.” He says her title is “my girl.” Bwoi stop. I hope she is hatching a getaway plan like Basie and nem.

Rochelle is trying implement their getaway plan when Coralie Hunter calls her. She is ready to get her children out of foster care and doesn’t want to wait until after her court date. “They are not safe,” she says. She also tells Rochelle that she needs money. That is all Rochelle needs to hear to spring into action as she was once a poor foster child herself.

Back at Calvary, Bishop doesn’t only have to worry about nonbelievers. He has to worry about backstabbers as well. He encounters Deaconness Connie who is meeting with another bishop in charge of Harmony & Hope Ministries. “We have churches in over 100 countries,” he says. “Our next stop is North Korea.” But it’s obvious, he is checking out Calvary too. He questions Bishop’s title at Calvary. “It’s still Bishop and I don’t see that changing any time soon.” He goes on to say “I will leave you two to conspire.” When Bishop Greenleaf walks away, the Harmony & Hope bishop says, “That’s a man who knows his days are numbered.”

Across town, Grace and Jacob are staking out Coralie’s house where they hope to see Rochelle. While in the car, Jacob admits that he kissed Tasha once. “When are you going to grow up?” Grace asks her brother. She asks him if he loves Kerissa. He has to think about it and then says that he does. He describes a bone in her cheek that he feels when he kisses her “Good Morning.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be with a man who has think about if he loves me.

Finally Rochelle along with Tasha show up at Coralie’s house! When the doorbell rings and Grace and Jacob come inside, Rochelle realizes that Coralie set her up. “Grace told me what you did to her family,” Coralie says. Now that her true character has been revealed, Rochelle is no longer holding anything back. She accuses Grace of hypocrisy. “I know that I’m a sinner deserving of hell.” Then she yells, “I know what you did in Phoenix.” Wait. Hold.The.Phone. What did Grace do in Phoenix? Was Faith’s funeral the only reason she came back to Memphis or was she running away from something as well? Y’all know? If so, tell me.

At any rate, Tasha and Jacob go outside by themselves as Grace asked to speak with Coralie alone now that Rochelle has left the building. Tasha refused to go with her by the way. He tells Tasha that their extramarital exploits are over. “I’m a married man, but I hope you will still help us clear this thing up.”

Meanwhile, Zora finally realizes, like Jacob, that her heart is really with her family. “I’m going back to Memphis,” she tells Isaiah. She is tired of the “side chick crap” and all of the other grunt work that she has been doing for Isaiah without getting paid for it. Of course, he attacks her, but this time, she fights back, even knocking him to the floor! And when he gets up and comes at her again, she uses her phone to film what he is doing so he stops. Go girl! Sophia picks up her cousin at the airport. Finally, the prodigal daughter has returned…

Where the Day Takes You…

The time has almost come for a “Day With Lady Mae,” but first Bishop updates Lady Mae on what has been going on. He tells her about Deaconness Connie’s meeting with the Harmony & Hope Ministries Bishop. I think his name is Philip Demars or something like that. But at this point, Lady Mae only has a one-track mind as she is so close to the brass ring that she has been reaching for nearly all of her life. She has a perfect solution that she offers to Bishop. “Why don’t you seal the day with a public announcement that I will be co-pastor.” But Bishop knows his wife.   “I will not be weighed down by you. You are just another sinner. Tell me everything you did.” When Lady Mae acts like she doesn’t know what he is talking about, Bishop says, “Pride goeth before a fall.”

Lady Mae doesn’t have time to consider Bishop’s warning as the time for “A Day With Lady Mae” has finally come. We’ve been hearing about this coming out party I mean service almost since Episode 1 right?! This better be good. Charity and Maxine (Ms. Patti baby) start off the service with a beautiful selection “Change.” (Man, I would be sooo nervous if I had to sing with Patti The LaBelle!!!) Even Cunning Connie, our favorite deaconness, is moved. With the backdrop of photographs of Lady Mae, the duo introduce Lady Mae. “I call her Mama,” Charity says. “And starting today, I call her Pastor Greenleaf,” Maxine says. Looking like a fuchsia flower in bloom, Lady Mae swishes onto the stage. I thought she would be in a power suit to appear more like a pastor, but later on, I realize a feminine dress is most appropriate for her message.

Grace is in the room but she is standing at the back. Just then, she gets the results of the paternity test that she took with Aaron on her phone. She doesn’t look at the results though.  She leaves the service and goes to see Bishop. To make matters worse, Bishop is having a moment. I think it finally hit him that he is in deep trouble and he dug his way there. Grace had his back from the very beginning, although he is just now realizing it. “You never stopped fighting to save us all, and I thank you,” he says. “I treasure you and all you’ve done for me my precious daughter.” He tears up then. Awww, this is going to hurt if Gigi is not Bishop’s baby.

By now, Lady Mae is preaching and has no idea what is going on outside of the sanctuary. She preaches about the “dreaded day of reckoning” she heard about from preachers when she was growing up. Even though she was a little girl who had done no more than stolen a chocolate cookie at that age, she was still convinced that she deserved hell. She said that unlike a male preacher, a female preacher would have spoken about the “undying love of my Lord.” “I’m going to replace all of that fear with love.”

Speaking of love, Jacob, now back with Kerissa at home, tells his wife that he loves her. He says he truly realized it when he was with Gigi the night before. But Kerissa has finally reached her limit. “It’s too late,” she says. “I want a divorce, Jacob.” But before the conversation can continue, Zora shows up! Jacob grabs his daughter and hugs her.

A happy ending is not what Basie has in mind when he shows up in Bishop’s office and points a gun at him. “I didn’t mean to kill your daddy,” Bishop says. He tries to convince Basie to put down the gun, reminding him that he has lost his church, wife and if he kills Bishop, his soul.

And then we are back in the sanctuary with Lady Mae. “The day of reckoning is today. It’s any day that you step out on faith, say thank you Jesus and take what’s yours.”

Basie must have heard that message all the way in Bishop’s office because he is ready to take Bishop’s life. “You’re going to burn just like my daddy.”

And that cliffhanger is where the episode ends…smh…wow…

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 3 Episode 12: Day of Reckoning and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?