A new reality show set to air on TLC this month will feature the lives of a family who move from Florida to launch a new congregation in the Bible Belt that preaches “unconditional love and tolerance.”
“Preaching Alabama,” produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, will launch next Tuesday, October 7th at 10 p.m. following the Duggar family broadcast “19 Kids and Counting.” The program will follow the lives of retired 20-year “unconventional preachers” Allen and Janice Speegle and their adult children, who move to Alabama to plant a new congregation called Movement Church that seeks to “spread love and acceptance no matter your background.”
“But with some family members sporting piercings and tattoos, these aren’t your everyday preachers,” TLC states in its announcement of the show.
However, men wearing earrings isn’t the only aspect that makes this “preaching” family out of the norm.
“Even in church, sex entices,” Janice Speegle explains in a preview trailer for the reality show.
“They created a Viagra pill just for that, for crying out loud!” a brief clip shows her exclaiming from the pulpit, while others show embarrassment yet begin laughing. “Praise the Lord!”
The Speegles were featured on “Family Feud” with Steve Harvey a few years ago, and in one episode of the game show, won points for being able to name every place that people have sex other than in bed.
“Welcoming any and all members of society—even those that many churches have traditionally turned away—this family is determined to create an open-hearted non-denominational Christian church in the thick of the Bible Belt,” the network explains in its press release. “Called to serve God and others, this fun-loving family is ready to inject a lot of faith and freethinking into Northern Alabama.”
The Speegles told AL.com in June that their goal with the program is to demonstrate “a different side of Christianity than what has been portrayed.”
“Jesus didn’t reject people and we don’t, either,” Allen stated. “Anybody can come to church. We want to show God in a different light without being preachy or over the top, and yet sticking to principles.”
“Not every Christian is running around with a sign in their hand telling people they’re going to Hell,” he continued. “We preach a very positive, non-condemning message and it really opens the door toward people who are unchurched or burned out on God and religion.”
Reaction to the broadcast has been mixed.
“Wow! This is gonna be great! Can’t wait to watch it!” one commenter wrote.
“After their Family Feud appearance, I will probably tune into their pilot episode,” another stated.
“I might avoid this show,” a third said, gaining a number of likes in agreement with his comment.
“Preaching Alabama” is among a string of controversial faith-themed reality shows to be released in recent years. As previously reported, “Preachers of LA” was launched on the Oxygen Network last fall, and follows the lives of six Los Angeles area megachurch ministers, many of whom live large as prosperity preachers. “The Sisterhood,” a program featuring five provocative preachers’ wives from Georgia. was not renewed for a second season after its launch in January 2013, as Christians nationwide expressed disgust and ratings fell below what was hoped for the broadcast.
2 Timothy 4:3 warns that in the last days many “will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”