As the leader of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church and a prominent political activist, Pastor David Bullock is used to speaking his mind.
The most outspoken cast ember of Preachers of Detroit has been causing a stir since the show premiered and we couldn’t wait to catch up with him to learn more about his strong feeling about his fellow preachers and plans to help save his city.
“I’m the guy people love to love or love to hate. There’s no in-between. I’m a very polarizing figure on the show and in real life. If people are paying attention that means we’re asking the right questions,” he says.
“My congregation is used to seeing me on TV and they are very supportive of the reality show as well. When they see me on Preachers of Detroit they already know what’s gonna happen. They’re just tickled the world gets to see the same guy they have come to know and love as their pastor.”
Pastor Bullock decided to participate in the reality show to show the world there’s more to ministry than standing in a pulpit.
“Ultimately, I wanted to do the show because it’s a great platform for the city of Detroit and to show the kind of ministry that I’m involved in and the tradition I come from. I wanted to show the world a different kind of church, a different kind of pastor and a different kind of ministry,” he explains.
“I wasn’t worried about the backlash because the Preachers of LA took a lot of the heat off of us already. I really applaud them for being courageous and for taking that heat. If anything I was worried about whether or not fans of that show would give us a chance and tune in.”
When it comes to the ongoing debate between Bishop Corletta Vaughn and Evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole on whether or not women should be bishops, Pastor Bullock has a more progressive view than some of his cast mates.
“I think Bishop Vaughn got it right. I believe women can serve in the same capacity as men. I don’t have a problem with it at all. At the same time I understand where Dorinda Clark-Cole is coming from and I think her position doesn’t mean she’s an empowered woman. She’s just caught int he binds of traditionalism. Ultimately, the church will move to a realm where women are just as free as men to serve God int he same capacity,” he reveals .
“I’m not interested in being a bishop. We really don’t have baptist bishops. That’s something we have seen develop recently. I just want to preach the gospel and spread the word of God and help to make the world a better place. I don’t aspire to be a bishop.”
He also elaborated on his opinion that super wealthy preachers ay pose a problem, a subject that caused a heated debate between him and Bishop-Elect Clarence Langston on the show’s premiere.
“I wanted to raise the question of wealth because you have 50% unemployment in Detroit and my question was how do you minister to members who are living in poverty if you can’t relate and you’re not in touch with what they’re going through,” he says.
“Jesus walked amongst the people. He wasn’t coming in, giving a message and leaving. I also wonder, would jesus drive a Bentley? There comes a point where having things doesn’t make you happier and having things doesn’t make you blessed. In fact, there’s a declining return on happiness wight he more stuff you accumulate. How many houses is enough? How many cars is enough? Do you have to drive a $700,000 car to know that God loves you or can you ride the bus and know that God loves you?”
Ultimately, Pastor Bullock believe preachers who flaunt their wealth may be sending the wrong message.
“I think you can give people the impression that if you don’t have a lot of material things then God is not on your side. I think it’s very important for ministers to not depress their members but to empower them and uplift them. I think we need to be careful about making material possessions a sign of having God’s blessing in your life,” he says.
“I think the city needs religious leaders to make sure the city has the right priorities and is being reborn. As we are re-making Detroit, what image will it be made in? The religious community has a real responsibility to shape the rebirth of the city.”
Preachers of Detroit airs Fridays at 8/7c on Oxygen.