On any given Sunday morning in the Deep South, it is more than likely that one will run into a group of ladies dressed in fashionable suits and impossibly large hats on their way to their morning church service. These ladies, known as the “first ladies,” are often the wives of church pastors and receive a lot of attention on Sunday mornings. TLC caught wind of one of these exclusive cliques of women in Atlanta. The network’s newest reality show follows five women who are married to preachers. These women are far from reserved and pride themselves on not walking in the shadow of their well-known husbands. These ladies are outrageous, fabulous, and flaunt their faith all over the city. For a weekly dose of down-home drama, tune into The Sisterhood on TLC.
Critics are the first to say that the show takes reality TV one step too far. The Sisterhood does not hold back in exposing personal, intimate, and often unflattering details about the wives of the pastors. In an interview with NPR, Dominique Scott, former first lady of the Good Life Ministry said that, “We definitely believe that God told us to do it.” While the other first ladies also believe that the reality program is a divine assignment from heaven, they also acknowledge that the show may be controversial and sometimes intrusive. Christina Murray, first lady of Oasis Family Life Church is the first to attest to this, as she and her husband had a sex ed talk with their daughters on national television. Murray and her husband then tell embarrassing stories of their past sex lives, including a bout with sexually transmitted diseases.
This honesty does not go without criticism. Many African American church leaders and churchgoers called the program “gossipy” and “base.” Ivy Couch, the first lady at Emmanuel Tabernacle Church justifies their behavior by claiming that the Christian community can readily be judgmental of the pastors and first ladies. Couch says that these struggles are just part of their journeys. Other first ladies featured even discuss their time as prostitutes and crack addicts. They hope that by sharing their struggles it can show how humans can triumph over their unfavorable situations to become successful, happy people. The first ladies acknowledge their gossipy tendencies and admit it is a quality that needs work.
Even though The Sisterhood is far from perfect, it has an element of humanity that shows like Growing Up Gold Coast and Jersey Shore lack. The women all have actually overcome adversities to become upstanding members of their church communities. Although there is no shortage of petty drama, the five first ladies of Atlanta do their best to create a happy and healthy church community. The Sisterhood deserves a three-recliner rating for its catty drama with flecks of class and dignity. Be sure to catch he latest episodes of The Sisterhood Tuesdays at 8/7 Central.