Pastor Jay Haizlip is a naturally transparent man, but being on Preachers of L.A. has tested his absolute limits when it comes to letting people in. This season, he plans to reveal even more about himself, his flaws, and his family. We spoke to him about the upcoming season, and we learned some amazing things about the impact of Season 1 on his church...including the time a woman put "meeting Pastor Jay and his wife Christy" on her bucket list after contracting a terminal illness. Scroll down for the Q&A!
What made you want to be part of the show?
From the very beginning, I felt like I was supposed to be on the show. I prayed about it, Christy prayed about it, and God gave us the green light. Season 1 had a very powerful impact.
Can you give an example of the powerful impact of Season 1?
There was one woman who had some type of terminal disease and she was mentally handicapped. She grew up in an extremely abusive environment physically and emotionally, and she was dying. A woman in her community had her make a bucket list, and set out to make everything on her list come true. One of the items on her list was to meet me and my wife Christy. She was flown out to our church and we met her. We stopped a whole church service and everybody prayed for her. Two weeks later, she passed away and went to heaven. That is why I’m on this show. That’s just one of many beautiful stories.
That’s beautiful. Would you say the positive has outweighed the negative?
Whether you’re a preacher or not, with success comes a tax, but as Christians, we should know how to process that part properly and not to take the negative comments so personally. There are people who come to the church because of our show. That fact outweighs any negative.
What was it like to put your life out there like that?
Season 1 was a huge step of faith. Our church was exploding, and it had grown 500%. It took me 24 years to build who I am. I give all the credit and glory to God. Now, my reputation, my character – I’ve placed it into the hands of other people I don’t even know, to Oxygen, to a production company. They could have destroyed what took me 24 years to do. If the editing was manipulated in a way that didn’t properly show me, in an hour’s time there could have been damage done to me that would have taken years to repair.
But, I learned that I could trust them and go a little deeper, and allow people to come into my personal life and experience it at a level that they didn’t get to go in the first season. You’re going to see me deal with some very personal issues. I’m a very transparent person in general, and it’s important to show that I’m not perfect, and to use my experience to help other people.
Man Cave was pretty heated! Seems like Bishop Gibson was trying to get you on his side about the shacking issue. How did you feel about all that?
It takes a lot more for me to emotionally explode. I really try to think about what I need to say before I say it. I love those guys. I love Deitrick, I love Bishop Jones, Bishop McClendon, Bishop Gibson, Pastor Chaney…I love all those guys. They all have different personalities. We all have flaws. There are probably certain little things about me that get under their skin. I did think they got a little crazy that day! I didn’t want to get into the middle of a battle. If the only option for communication is to get heated and argue, I’m not going to engage that. I’m not going to jump in between two people. To me that’s pointless.
What should people look forward to the most in Season 2?
I think Season 2 is richer. People are going to be able to identify with it. To me, being on Preachers of L.A. is a lot like reading Matthew, Luke, or John. They didn’t have TV back then, they were journaling their experience. This reality show is allowing people to see my struggles and things that my family goes through. Plus, it’s interesting! People have so many preconceived ideas about what a preacher is. We’re already blowing these things out of the water, and to me I think that’s very healthy overall, even though you see some unhealthy situations in the show. I’m excited about it.
What are your plans for premiere night?
My family and I may barricade our house and see if it’s okay to come out after it airs! Just kidding! A lot of people from our church getting together all going to be watching it, but I’m not entirely sure where I’ll be.
Watch a Sneak Peek of Pastor Jay's journey in Season 2!