Courtesy of Oxygen Media Left: Deitrick Haddon, the disgraced gospel star trying to make a comeback. Center: Bishop Noel Jones, the megachurch leader with a taste for cars. Right: Clarence McClendon, the guy who thinks God wants you to be rich.
Bishop Noel Jones doesn't consider himself a rich man. His Porsche is only a 1980, he says. His first Mercedes cost him $186 a month. His Ferrari was a steal because the German mark was weak against the dollar.
But Jones is different from you and me, as F. Scott Fitzgerald would say. At one point during an interview with L.A. Weekly, a member of his security detail rushes out to where we are sitting, on a windy stone terrace at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood, to pull a fleece Miami Heat cap down onto Jones' bald head for him. Jones barely flinches. He's friends with Stevie Wonder, Chris Tucker and The Game. His sister is supermodel and singer Grace Jones. He currently is dating the actress LisaRaye McCoy, who appears on VH1's Single Ladies; in the past, he has been romantically linked to X Factor contestant Stacy Francis and Real Housewives of Atlanta alum NeNe Leakes.
Oh, and he runs one of the biggest mega-churches in Los Angeles.
At 63, Jones is perhaps the most prominent of the six local men of God featured on the new reality series Preachers of L.A., which premieres tonight on Oxygen. The 17,000 members of Jones' church, the City of Refuge in Gardena, flock to free Sunday services at 8 a.m. and again at 11, besotted and invigorated by the rhythmic, scripture-light exhortations delivered in his precise Jamaican accent.More »