Interview: Bishop Noel Jones Isn't Slowing Down

By Oxygen

Last season on Preachers of L.A., Bishop Noel Jones was featured largely in the context of his relationship with Loretta. (Yes, they're still friends, and they're still a source of controversy on Season 2!) But, this season you'll get to know the bishop on a different level: the professional one. We spoke to the Bishop about his international ministry, his modernized view, and his inability to slow down! Watch more of the Bishop's story on Season 2, premiering August 20 at 10/9c! 

Last season you were worried about your health. Have you slowed down?

No I haven’t slowed down. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. You gotta do what you gotta do. When time comes to put the brakes on, I will. Just have some back pains. I did an epidural and I think it’s working somewhat. They say it’s progress. We’ll see what happens!

What was the outcome of Season 1 for you?

It has been very positive. What I was trying to postulate certainly came across: no man is perfect. The show gave people access by screen to an environment that 95% of the viewers never had. People began to see me in a more congenial, personal light. TV has a way of making people feel like they know you.

Is it uncomfortable letting people into your personal life?

It’s not uncomfortable. My problem has always been to try to create more distance from the public!  

Have you gotten negative feedback from Season 1?

I haven’t felt any sort of residual effect or collateral damage. It hasn’t done anything negative as far as I know. Since I have always been the way I am, nobody was shocked or sent into tizzy. Obviously, for those who are more conservative within the culture, they want to see more ministry-oriented things instead of the Loretta/Noel Jones standoff. They would rather see many religious things.

However, at the same time it perks their interest: the inner workings of my mind on a personal level. Even though they want to see ministry things, they are intrigued how a preacher thinks as he relates to women, especially when 60% of the church is women, and the audience is women!

There was a lot of emphasis on your relationship with Loretta last time. Are we going to see a different side of Bishop Noel Jones this time?

Absolutely. There will be a little more of the same, because controversy sells! It would be just another banal show if we didn’t have the sort of excitement that comes from man-woman relationships and curiosity. In this season you will see me do more sensitive ministerial things. It will show my sensitivity and deep love for people in life and death struggles, and show it in poignant, soul-searching way.

You are very experienced in the ministry, and yet you seem to have a pretty modern viewpoint. Should the church modernize?

The church has to relate to every generation that it operates in. Christianity has evolved. There is no way for any of us to be significant in an obsolete system. It’s impossible to continue to touch people if you do not understand the machinations of the minds of younger people, or sync with the cosmopolitan world.

It seems like you disagreed with Bishop Ron Gibson on some of these concepts in the premiere.

You have to be pliable and willing to make changes as they change. That’s why Bishop Gibson comes off as so radical and out of touch, and ridiculous. At end of the day, people will think the church has no meaning or significance, and that it is out of touch.  

What are you looking forward to the most about Season 2?

I’m looking forward to a more comprehensive understanding of what the show is all about and what we represent. The audience already matriculated Season 1, so they will be more prepared for Season 2. I’m looking forward to a show that’s being measured for its merit because it has already proven that it’s not some basket case show.


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