Oxygen Network has expanded one of its most popular franchises to Georgia with the new reality series “Preachers of Atlanta.” The show features a group of young, vibrant pastors who use unconventional methods for preaching the Gospel. This season’s cast includes police officer Corey Hambrick; recording artist Le’Andria Johnson; life coach and mentor Kimberly Jones-Pothier; traveling evangelist Judah Swilley; and perhaps the most controversial of them all, rapper, songwriter and producer Canton Jones. These five may have a ton of side hustles, but they all share the commonality of pastoring a church full time.
“Preachers of Atlanta” is set to air Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 10 p.m. EST on Oxygen. Rolling out caught up with cast member Canton Jones to discuss his new age preaching style, how he balances multiple careers with his personal life and his latest musical projects.
What does it mean personally for you to join the cast?
I felt like we had a lot to say and give our perspective on like church, Christianity, pastoring and taking care of family, etc. Being a Black man and loving God in this country gives a different perspective, so I wanted to show that.
Were you apprehensive about joining the show after seeing the backlash the cast members on “Preachers of L.A.” received?
At first, I said no. I didn’t say no because of the backlash, though. I have been doing hip-hop and RnB sounding gospel music all my career so I was already used to the backlash. I turned it down initially because of the time it would take and the unwanted exposure it would bring to my family and my kids. We decided to it and I have no regrets. I am pleased with my decision.
What was your congregation’s response to your decision to do the show?
I pretty much spoke to my wife and, of course, spoke to God. I felt like God wanted me to do it. Our church family is fairly new and we are new pastors so our people are wild anyway, so they were completely on board. We are a wild bunch. Everyone is really excited about the show.
How did you have time to start a rap career in addition to being a pastor?
I have been pastoring for a few months. I have been preaching for years, but this is my first year being a pastor. I have been doing music all my life. I started singing in my dad’s quartet group and later began producing for a group of guys who were local in the area. I came to Atlanta to strictly focus on my music. I went to Morehouse and traveled with the chorus there to get a different perspective on music and learned many different things. The music of Canton Jones popped off first. We have a lot of music premiering during the show. In the first epsiode, we are doing a release for my single called “I am Justice.”
How are managing life as a producer, rapper, pastor, husband and father?
I have what you call a “wife-ager.” My wife handles everything and makes sure that my schedule is straight. She makes sure that I don’t miss anything from a church meeting to a basketball game with our kids. It is really important to me to make sure that I don’t miss anything. God has blessed me with a wife who can handle my business. She has been doing it for fifteen years. As long as it hits the calendar, it is going to happen.
What is your relationship like with some of the other cast members?
I only knew Le’Andria before the show, but now I am familiar with everybody. They are great people and I had an amazing time working with them even though we don’t agree with all views you still fall in love with the person.
What have you discovered about yourself while filming the show?
I have wanted to do this my whole life. What I did learn is that my wife is the star. When the cameras come on she did her thing so I was very happy to see that. She was pregnant during the show but she kept it cool the whole time. She really is a star and now after all her years of supporting me she now has her time to shine. I just want people to learn from me that I am genuine in what I think and believe. Our perspectives are going to be different and people are going to be turned off. There are people that will enjoy what we do and there are people who won’t. You can’t make everyone happy.