Ten Things I Learned From Watching MergeTV’s ‘Preachers of L.A.’ Reunion Which Was 10 Years in the Making..

Hello World,

I know that I’m a bit late on reporting the recent Preachers of LA reunion, which happened last month. But if the Preachers of LA can take a whole ten years to reunite then I can take my time to react…That being said, I learned 10 things by watching the Preachers of LA reunion…See the official description of the reunion below followed by my list…

Ten years after the immensely popular Preachers of LA show, which aired for two seasons on OXYGEN, Bishop Noel Jones, First Lady Loretta Jones, Bishop Ron Gibson, Pastors Deitrick Haddon and Wayne Chaney are back, on a limited-run series exclusively on MergeTV, streaming on In The Black Network.

Ten years ago, Preachers of LA highlighted not only the amazing work these church leaders do in the community and with their parishioners, but also showcased the dynamic lives these men led when away from the pulpit, including the struggles they face as husbands, fathers and friends. The cast included Bishop Noel Jones, the brother of singer Grace Jones, who leads a church full of celebrities; Pastor Deitrick Haddon who, as the son of a bishop and an evangelist, has been preaching since the age of 11 and conducted the church choir at 13; and Bishop Ron Gibson, who joined a gang by the age of 16 and turned his life around to start a small church that has grown to a congregation of more than 4,000 members.

1.Part of the reason why Bishop Noel Jones took reportedly 28 years to marry his wife Loretta in 2022 is because his first wife (now ex-wife following their divorce) is still alive…I can respect that because it does say in the word, “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 7:39…However, while I respect where he is coming from, if I were in First Lady Loretta’s shoes, I don’t think I could have waited 28 years to marry any particular man for many reasons…

2.The demise of Bishop Jones’ first marriage still gets to him as he nearly teared up while explaining his decision to divorce to Bishop Ron Gibson. He darn near delivered a soliloquy in response…”The question that people like Ron should ask is, ‘What in the world was going on in the house of an individual who knows how he’s going to be viewed, who knows the pain that he’s going to have to deal with, who knows how he’s going to be judged by the majority of the people looking at him? What in the hell is going on in his house that in spite of all he has to face, he decides with his children, with this grandchildren, with the grandparents, with the congregation, with the other pastors, if he moves to divorce, they need to say, Something horrific has to be happening in that household.” Now the nosy part of me wants to know why did Bishop Jones divorce his first wife.

3. While we’re still on the topic of divorce, obviously it was notable that Pastor Wayne was there alone as he and his former wife Myesha Chaney divorced in 2022. He announced the divorce first, noting that the divorce was not caused due to “infidelity, abuse, or any gross immoral act.” Last August, Myesha released “The Untold Story of My Divorce” on her YouTube channel. This is a summary of my reaction to her video: But I will say this: Based on the first few minutes of the video, it doesn’t seem that their marriage had a firm foundation from the beginning. Some people think this is antiquated advice, but older women will advise that a woman should marry a man who loves her a little more than she loves him. She fell in love within days of meeting her former husband while her former husband had to be convinced by God that she was “The One” and even broke up with her for several months before he eventually resumed their relationship and proposed. To read my entire reaction, click HERE. Based on what Pastor Wayne said on the reunion, I’m convinced that my reaction was right. In response to Kym Whitley (who hosted the reunion) asking about whether he was open to marriage again, he said, “This time around, I’m not selecting anyone for the church or the broader community, it has to be for me.”

4. Pastor Wayne is dating. He told Kym Whitley that he is in the second quarter of dating someone…Alright now…of course, the nosy side of me wants to know more…I don’t follow him on social media or anything, but if you do, have you seen a pic of a new love interest? In my pre-twins’ phase, I would have scoured his social media to see if I could see something, but I don’t have time for that…After a quick perusal, I just saw ministry pics and pics with his children…so..

5. If Bishop Ron had a first class plane ticket and a coach plane ticket, his wife, First Lady Lavette would have to ride in the back of the plane…SMH…I can’t recall how they got on this topic, but the way Bishop Ron answered this question was very revealing. His exact words were: “Yeah, she don’t mind sitting in coach. I do. I can’t sit up there like sardines.” First Lady Loretta said, “It’s not whether she minds, it’s inappropriate for a man to sit in first class and put his wife in back.” I agree. Now, my husband hates tight airplane seats, but he wouldn’t nor couldn’t put me in the back…What happened to chivalry?

6. Bishop Ron is seemingly strapped at all times…Bishop Ron, a former Compton Crip, got up and showed that he had a 9 millimeter gun tucked in his pants at the reunion! I guess he thought things could pop off at the reunion or something…He said he carries a gun on him because of Luke 22:38. He also joked that he could carry a 22 or a 38 based on the numbers in the verse…Okaaayyy….

7. Bishop Ron told Bishop Noel that had he been strapped, then First Lady Loretta wouldn’t have been attacked last August…I remember hearing that she had been attacked, but I didn’t know the details…According to L.A. Focus on the Word, here’s what happened: First Lady Loretta Jones was attacked on Sunday in the sanctuary at the conclusion of the morning service at the Gardena-based City of Refuge.  The first lady was punched in the face and knocked unconscious by a woman who—according to one witness—walked up to the first lady as service had just concluded and sucker punched her. Security then grabbed the woman. An ambulance was called and the first lady had to be wheeled out,  “The woman was a big lady too. It was crazy,” said an eyewitness who observed first-hand the commotion. “There was a whole crowd of people near the altar and I believe Bishop had gone to change his clothes and I couldn’t make out what the woman was hollering and yelling as she hit the first lady. Some of the members appeared to be shocked and then you saw this surge of people and people shouting ‘no, no, no’ as security then grabbed the woman and took her into custody.” Read the rest HERE. That is wacko!!!

8. First Lady Loretta stands on business…According to her website, First Lady Loretta is a chef and nutritionist and owns a restaurant. She also travels with a staff, which Pastor Deitrick Haddon called an entourage, that includes a makeup artist, a stylist and a dog watcher. And while she waited for the first part of the reunion, which didn’t include the wives, she was working, she said. “I just can’t sit with idle time. We have to work.”  I know that Balenciaga outfit she was wearing won’t pay for itself so I understand the need to work…When Kym Whitley questioned whether a first lady should travel with an entourage, she said, “You can only do what you can afford to do.” I guess she’s saying, she can do what she wants to do because she can afford it…This reminds me of the recent pic I saw of Mariah Carey after she got off of a roller coaster. Her hair stylist was waiting for her at the conclusion of the ride to redo her hair…With a voice like Mariah has, she can afford to have a hair stylist with her at all times so…But back to First Lady Loretta, I also noticed on the credits that she is a producer of the reunion…I don’t recall seeing any of the other pastor’s wives as producers or pastors for that matter so…

9. Speaking of hair stylists, Bishop Ron has good hair genes… Bishop Ron Jones is still rocking a tight fro and mustache at his big age of 69…And is it just me or does he look like the twins in The Whispers?

10. Pastor Deitrick Haddon and his wife Dominique are unashamed about getting their twerk on in their private time. About this time last year, he was criticized when a video showing his wife twerking on him at his 50th birthday party was released…He said he’s not always in pastor mode and I get that…He explained, “That’s why pastors are public enemy number one right now because we’re being being fake and wearing masks.” I don’t think twerking with your husband or wife is a big deal. That being said, I’m not sure if I would do it in public if I were a first lady. I would say the same thing about former First Lady Michelle Obama. Twerking is a very sexual dance so I would exercise decorum in certain spaces. A house party is one thing and very public party is quite another…

Below are videos of the reunion….

Additionally, the Preachers of LA Wedding Edition is streaming now…See the trailer below…


Here is the official description: The Preachers and First Ladies are back! The long-awaited wedding event of Bishop Noel Jones and Loretta Jones is finally happening and your favorite high-profile Pastors and First Ladies are together again to celebrate–but will they be able lay those long-standing arguments to rest, or resurrect the drama after all these years!

Any thoughts?


The Top 10 Blog Posts and or Magazine Articles for Black Christian Women in December 2020…

Hello World,

Well, if you’re reading this, we’ve crossed over into 2021! Happy New Year! But indulge me just a little bit because  I’m back with my monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine articles for black Christian women. Pandemic or no pandemic, black women still did the doggone thang! Below is my Top 10 monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine/newspaper articles for black Christian women for December, but you don’t have be a black Christian woman to to check them out. As usual, let me know if you like my list! Enjoy and share!

1. “Black Americans Donate a Higher Share of Their Wealth than Whites” by Michelle Singletary

Excerpt: So one day, I took a handful of the anti-inflammatory pills prescribed for my arthritis, stood at the sink in the bathroom and contemplated suicide. It was at this low point that I recalled Psalm 23, from one of the many sermons at the small church I attended with my grandmother in Baltimore: “For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” I let the drugs drop down the drain. It was a moment that never repeated, because of the many ways the church sustained me. At church, I found a community of people who cared about me and checked up on me. At church, premarital counseling helped me work through trust issues that might otherwise have troubled my now-29-year marriage. At church, a women’s group taught me how to forgive my parents. See more at: washingtonpost.com.

2. “Kizzmekia Corbett, an African American woman, is Praised as Key Scientist Behind COVID-19 Vaccine” by

Excerpt: Even before Corbett took on one of the most challenging tasks of her professional career, she was a force to be reckoned with. As a student,she was selected to participate in Project SEED, a program for gifted minority students that allowed her to study chemistry in labs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and eventually landed a full ride to the University of Maryland Baltimore County, according to The Washington Post. Corbett spent her summers at laboratories and earned a summer internship at the NIH, the very place where she would be instrumental in developing a vaccine for the coronavirus. See more at: abcnews.go.com

3. “Clayton County School Names New School for Former First Lady Michelle Obama” by WSBTV.com News Staff

Excerpt: The school, formerly known as Eddie White Elementary School, has been renamed the Michelle Obama STEM Elementary Academy. The name-change process began in May when the county was in the process of building the new STEM school that be based on the Eddie White campus. “We are so excited that the former First lady accepted our request to have her name associated with our school,” said Ms. Marcia Payton-Edwards. “We noted in our request that it was fitting that our school be represented by the name Michelle Obama due to the ancestral connection of her great, great, great grandmother, Melvinia Shields McGruder, who was enslaved on a family farm in the Clayton County community of Rex.” See more at: wsbtv.com.

Excerpt: However, due to the rage over a young Black girl’s insistence on rejecting substandard conditions, her safety was compromised. She was sent to live with family in Montgomery, Alabama, after members of the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross in her yard. After high school where she attended Spelman College and finished her education at  Drexel University in Philadelphia. Johns married Rev. William Powell, and raised five children while working as a librarian in the Philadelphia Public School system. She died in 1991. The removal of Lee’s statue follows a string of actions directed toward Confederate imagery and symbols, signaling a time in America where separate was not equal, but the law. And the wages of activating against the status quo, could result in death. See more at: newsone.com.

5. “Bermuda Swears in Its First Female, Black Governor” by Associated Press

Excerpt: Rena Lalgie has been sworn in as Bermuda’s governor, marking the first time that the British territory in the Atlantic has a Black woman as its leader. The event occurred on Monday, a day after Lalgie arrived in Bermuda, a wealthy financial haven and popular tourist destination. The appointment was announced in June by Queen Elizabeth II. Lalgie previously served as director of the United Kingdom’s Office of Financial Sanction Implementation. See more at: usnews.com.

6. “Miami Herald Names Monica Richardson First Black Executive Editor in Paper’s History” by David Smiley

Excerpt: Monica R. Richardson, currently the senior managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will join the Miami Herald Jan. 1 as its top editor, according to a McClatchy news release. “We are thrilled to welcome Monica to Miami,” Kristin Roberts, McClatchy’s senior vice president of news, said in a statement. “She has a strong record of leadership in local journalism at one of the great metro newsrooms in the country. Now, she brings her commitment to accountability journalism and a track record of successful digital innovation that serves local audiences.”  In an interview, Richardson said she is excited to lead the Miami Herald. Richardson will be the first Black executive editor in the Herald’s 117-year history. See more at: miamiherald.com.

7. “$500K Medical Missions Award Goes to OB-GYN Nun in Uganda” by Stefani McDade

Excerpt: Dr. Priscilla Busingye has a God-given passion to improve maternal health across Uganda, particularly in rural places where women often can’t get specialized care and dignified treatment. For years, Busingye would wake up before 6 a.m. for morning devotions and mass before heading to work at the maternity ward. As a nun and a physician at a rural hospital, her work was both rewarding and rigorous. She would set alarms on her phone to remind herself to pray for strength and energy throughout the day. See more at: christianitytoday.com.

8. “In Quest to Find Birth Family, Woman Makes ‘Life-Altering’ Discovery: She’s a Princess” by Char Adams

Excerpt: Culberson didn’t know much of this history when she began searching for her biological family at 28 years old. She was raised in West Virginia after being adopted by a white family, and later learned that her biological mother died when she was 11 and her father lived in a village in Sierra Leone. Her search for her birth family culminated in a call from her uncle; he delivered the news that changed Culberson’s life forever. See more at: nbcnews.com.

9. “Meet the Self-Published Author Who Negotiated a Deal With Netflix” by Lydia T. Blanco

Excerpt: In September, Booker was the only self-published author to strike and negotiate and deal with Netflix for their original series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices featuring Jill Scott, Common, and Tiffany Haddish. As a part of Netflix’s collaboration with the Black Caucus American Library Association and the Association for Library Services to Children, the Hey Carter! Book Brown Boy Joy was selected by the organizations for being in alignment with the social justice framework used for the show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. “Netflix requested that my book Brown Boy Joy be in the project because it focuses on building self-identity for children 0-5. Without formal representation, I successfully negotiated my contract with Netflix. I didn’t know I was the only self-published author on the show until after the show was released,” said Booker. See more at: forbes.com.

10. “Red Sox Hiring Bianca Smith as First Black Female Pro Baseball Coach” by Justin Tasch

Excerpt: Bianca Smith is making baseball history. The Red Sox are hiring Smith as a minor league coach, according to the Boston Globe. MLB confirmed to the Globe that Smith will be the first black woman ever to coach baseball at the professional level. See more at: nypost.com.

If you know of any black Christian women bloggers and or writers, please e-mail me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com as I’m always interested in expanding my community of black Christian women blog, magazines and websites. As I noted before, while this is a roundup of interesting blog posts and or magazine and newspaper articles for black Christian women, you don’t have to be one to appreciate these pieces  🙂.

Any thoughts?


Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage — My Review

Hello World,

Today marks a year that my debut novel Destination Wedding was released into the world! And God has been so good throughout this year in helping me to get the word out about my book to the world. Just this week, I discovered that the Detroit Public Library  chose my debut novel as one of the best works of fiction for 2019-2020!!! It was mentioned in its 2020 AFRICAN AMERICAN BOOKLIST!!! I’m on the list with the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Victoria Christopher Murray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Jacqueline Woodson & More!!! (Crazy, right?)

Below is the cover of the booklist, which has been published for 52 years, along with my book cover. According to the Detroit Public Library website,  “this bibliography provides a selected list of books by and/or about African Americans. The works of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and young adults were reviewed and recommended by librarians of the Detroit Public Library.” Click HERE if you want to see the entire list.

Along with celebrating my book release anniversary, I also wanted to help spread the word about another important book that validates why I wrote Destination Wedding in the first place. Destination Wedding is my response to a real ABC News Nightline piece “Single, Black, Female and — Plenty of Company” in which it was reported that 42 percent of black women have never been married, which is double the amount of white women who find themselves in that dire predicament.

Obviously, as my book is a novel, the women in my book are fictional; however, this statistic illustrates a very real dilemma. Dr. Dianne M. Stewart, an associate professor of religion and African American studies at Emory University here in Atlanta, writes about this dilemma in her sweeping treatise Black Women, Black Love America’s War on African American Marriage, which was recently released. Dr. Stewart actually interviewed me about my novel last year at my book launch at Auburn Avenue Research Library in downtown Atlanta. Through our discussion, we were able to identify how our works intersect. While I address personal solutions to this dilemma through the lives of my main characters in my novel, Dr. Stewart identifies systemic solutions for what she refers to as “our nation’s most unrecognized civil rights issue” in her nonfiction book.

Similarly, as the ABC News Nightline report was broadcast in December 2009, Dr. Stewart cites that in 2009, 71 percent of Black women in America were unmarried, according to the 2010 US Census. As the ABC News Nightline report was broadcast in 2009, that time period was explored in my novel, but Dr. Stewart starts at slavery. She writes that “endless studies examine racial slavery in America as a reverberating assault upon Black people’s historic and contemporary liberties in perhaps every arena of life but one: romantic love and marriage.” Further down, she writes, “yet from its very beginnings, the transatlantic trade in human cargo, which set the American institution of African bondage in motion, required the disruption of intimate relationships and marriages.”

In Chapter 1 “Jumping the Broom: Racial Slavery and America’s Roots of Forbidden Black Love,” Dr. Stewart writes about a 19-year-old slave Celia who was hanged to death after killing her owner, who repeatedly raped her. Her true love was her boyfriend George, but she was unable to “freely choose a Black man as her lover and life partner.” Additionally, she writes that “less than 1 percent of slaveholders in the South held more than 100 persons in bondage, and by 1860 enslaved persons in the South, on average, lived in groups of 10. For this reason, enslaved women such as Celia were fortunate if they found romantic partners residing on the same properties with them.”

In the next chapter “Slow Violence and White America’s Reign of Terror,” Dr. Stewart writes about how Black love continued to be under assault even after slavery ended. Although they had been married for 22 years,  Atlanta, Georgia resident Carolyn Gilbert’s husband, 42-year-old Henry, was lynched in 1947. Through sharecropping, the  couple had saved enough to buy a 111-acre farm. But reportedly, he was shot and killed for allowing a “young black troublemaker” to hide on their farm. Additionally, a police officer shot Henry claiming the “deacon and treasurer at his small Baptist church ‘drew a chair on me.'”

In the third chapter, “Love and Welfare: Johnnie Tillmon and the Struggle to Preserve Poor Black Families,” Dr. Stewart interweaves pop culture examples in addition to more poignant real life cases of how Black love has been disrupted throughout the decades. I loved the 1974 movie Claudine. Dr. Stewart wrote that the movie “depicted the structural obstacles welfare posed to Black love and marriage and the stark reality that for millions of Black women in America at the time, choosing marital fulfillment (as the main character Claudine eventually does) meant loosing welfare benefits.”

Due to my age, I’m most familiar with the examples presented in the next chapter “Black Love in Captivity: Mass Incarceration and the Depletion of the African American Marriage Market.” And the first sentence in this chapter is particularly arresting. Pun intended. “No other institution has perfected America’s project of forbidding black love better than the contemporary prison industrial complex.” Further down, she writes, “Black men are incarcerated at much higher rates than any other group in the United States, even when convicted for the same crimes.” Did you know that former President Obama was the “first sitting president to actually tour a federal prison in 2015?” Additionally, former President Obama, “actually commuted the sentences of more inmates than his twelve predecessors combined.”

Speaking of Obama, Dr. Stewart writes about the former First Lady Michelle Obama in the chapter “Will Black Women Ever Have it All? Michelle Obama, Kheris Rogers and African Americans’ Shifting Landscapes of Love.” Dr. Stewart cites an article “Dark and Lovely, Michelle” by Vanessa Williams. Williams wrote, “A lot of Black women fell for Barack Obama the moment they saw his wife.” Let me raise my hand because that is true for me as well. While Dr. Stewart provides example after example of how Black love has been under assault by exterior forces, in this chapter, she presents an interior force that has its beginnings in slavery. In slavery, lighter-skinned Black people were treated better than their brothers and sisters of darker hues. And unfortunately, due to colorism, light-skinned Black women have more of a chance of getting married than medium-skinned and dark-skinned Black women, according to Dr. Stewart. Within this chapter, Dr. Stewart presents many solutions that I won’t reveal here because you have to read the book. However, one solution that I will share from her book is addressing colorism in the Black community.

Recently, actress Gabourey Sidibe shared that she got engaged to Brandon Frankel, who also works in entertainment. Sidibe, who is a dark-skinned black woman, has apparently received some criticism from Black men for being engaged to a White man. One YouTube blogger points out that in the past, many Black men have criticized Sidibe for her complexion and deemed her as undesirable and therefore have no standing to critique her coupling choice now. See the commentary HERE. Dr. Stewart writes that “Black women not only confront a shortage of Black men but also wrestle with internalized and interpersonal color consciousness.”

You have to read the book to experience the full breadth of Dr. Stewart’s exhaustive examination of this dilemma, but I hope I’ve provided enough information to make you buy your own copy of Black Women, Black Love America’s War on African American Marriage. It is a must-have resource if you care about Black love. I think employing personal solutions while addressing systemic solutions is the most comprehensive way to win the war on African American marriage.

What say you?

For more information about Dr. Stewart, see her website: DianneMStewart.com.

Any thoughts?