Jay Haizlip, a former drug addict and professional skater who now pastors The Sanctuary, a nondenominational church in Los Angeles, takes the spotlight again in Preachers of L.A.
The new reality TV show, which debuts today on the Oxygen network, is billed as "a rare glimpse into the lives of six high-profile pastors from Los Angeles." The show drew controversy because of its apparent focus—per promotional clips—on the seemingly ostentatious lifestyles of some of the featured pastors, who sport glitzy jewelry, drive expensive cars, and appear to live in palatial homes.
CT reporter Ruth Moon spoke with Haizlip recently about his time in the spotlight and the effect Preachers of L.A. could have on the church.
Were there any moments where you didn't want that much attention on your personal life?
I'm a very transparent person. Because I'm a professional athlete, I've always been in and around the entertainment world. I've been in a lot of videos, tons of DVDs, and tons of photo shoots. I've been on the covers of magazines—so this isn't unfamiliar territory to me. I had to make sure I was willing to put myself on that platform. I didn't know that production company; I didn't initially know what Oxygen's intention was, either. But as I prayerfully processed, I felt like God gave me the green light and it would be irresponsible of me to not step on this platform and take advantage of this opportunity.
How does your faith affect your view of publicity?
Before, the platform of being in the spotlight was my goal. It was all about me. Now that I'm a Christian, what used to be my goal is my platform. Rather than reaching for it, I stand on it. My ...1