By Nigel Boys
Although the reality TV show “Preachers of L.A.” has been criticized for showing the glamorous lifestyles of its preachers, the copious amounts of money they freely spend on worldly goods and even been accused of leading people away from Christ, a new season begins on August 20.
Defending his lifestyle and that of the other Oxygen network ministers is Bishop Noel Jones, senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church, Gardena, California, which has around 17,000 members.
According to Jones, churches make vast amounts of money from the personality of their ministers, but it’s not important how much money they acquire, it’s how they spend those resources.
Jones goes on to say that the preacher of the church is the front for the whole congregation and you must push this image in order to reach the masses. He adds that nowadays preachers are into everything that will get their message across to the people, including selling books and DVD’s, making movies and even appearing on reality TV shows like “Preachers of L.A.
“Now what happens is because it reaches and touches people, people respond. That’s where the mass of wealth comes from,” states Jones. He continues, “It’s how you manage it and what you do with it as a CEO or as a chairman of the board that becomes critical.”
The JamaicaN-born, sixty-four-year old, Jones certainly brings home the bacon with his multiple income sources from book sales, CD and DVD sales, and speaking engagements, not to mention tithes from his large congregation and appearance on Oxygen’s reality show.
When he took over his congregation, formerly the Greater Bethany Community Church from Bishop Robert W. McMurray in 1994, the church had around 1,000 members, but with his flamboyant preaching, it has now multiplied over 17 times.
Jones has also pushed the choir of his church, the City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, to make a debut album in 2007 titled “Welcome to the City,” which made number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart.
Jones also believes that there is nothing wrong with pastors making huge amounts of money and flaunting it as they please, because they work hard at what they do and even Jesus used the money of others to further His ministry. Although he doesn’t go into detail about exactly what Jesus did to obtain money or who he got it from.