by Robert Earl Houston
It’s not fair of anyone to be judged on a one day incident for the rest of their mortal lives. With that thought in mind, it’s only fair of me to revisit my original opinion about the Real Preachers of L.A. and offer this post game analysis now that the show has concluded season 1. I have no doubt that there will be a season 2 of some sort.
After the season is now completed, I want to say that nothing earth shattering has occurred. The moon has not turned into blood. The sky did not fall. Droves of people did not leave the church nor did droves of people join the church after watching these pastors and spouses. Many people, including myself, believed that it would have had an impact, but after that first “hook” episode, it settled down quickly and moreso focused on the relationships that the preachers had with their wives or significant others.
I have to say that I was on Team Jay Hayzlip, Team Clarence McClendon, and Team Ron Gibson throughout the series. I really believed that they wanted to present the gospel and ministry in a positive light. I was ambivalent about Team Chaney – and they are a team, for sure. However, I was saddened by the story of Noel Jones. To me, he looked very tired toward the end of the series and I hope that he really finds some personal relationship happiness. I’m rooting for him.
I was not a fan of Team Haddon and I was confused throughout but not surprised by some of the anti-establishment rants by this young preacher that unfortunately is echoed by some young preachers/pastors that I see today, who does not respect authority. I have never worn the tag “Angry Preacher” as an associate or pastor, and I just believe that many of the episodes that featured him could be used in a teaching setting with young associates.
So, bottom line – I call this a draw. It wasn’t earth-shattering and it wasn’t that boring. It looks like the producers have the making of a spin-off – Team Haddon would make a series unto themselves. I think the world and the church could tolerate another season – but if you really want to see the strength (or lack thereof) of this show – put it on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. and it will go off the air immediately.
Overseer William O’Neal transitioned peacefully, quietly and with great dignity at his home Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He fought a good fight; he finished his course and, above all, he kept the faith.
Celebration of life: 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Christ Cathedral Church, 3201 Purington Ave., Fort Worth, Apostle Sherman C. Gee Allen, eulogist. Bishop L.A Kennedy, officiant. Interment: Wisconsin Memorial Park, Brookfield, Wis.
Visitation: Noon to 9 p.m. Friday at Gregory W. Spencer Funeral Directors, 4000 Miller Ave., Fort Worth. Friends and family are asked to gather on the grounds of Christ Catherdral Church at 10 a.m. to receive Overseer O’Neal in the “Spencer White Chariot.”
Overseer O’Neal was preceded in death by his stepfather, Dewey Smith Sr.; grandparents, William and Lucille Crawford; and two aunts, Lois Stribling and Lucy Smith. Survivors: He leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife, Laura O’Neal; his loving mother, Gertrude Smith of Milwaukee, Wis.; daughters, LaTanya O’Neal, Sheree O’Neal and Deneice Cobb of Arlington; sons, Barry Jackson and Dennis Jackson of Arlington; siblings, Carma Teasley (Steven), Gary Glispie, Fred O’Neal, Debbie Nance and Dewey Smith Jr., all of Milwaukee, Wis.; eight grandchildren; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. His family would not be complete without mentioning the New Life in Christ Ministries Church.
William O’Neal was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He was called into ministry at the age of 10 and preached his first sermon at age 11 under the leadership of Rev. William Reed, the Pastor of Jordan Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee.
O’Neal attended North Division High School, Milwaukee Institute of Theology and the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Throughout his education he was popular and active in the A & B Choir, Gospel Chorus, Student Council, wrestling, basketball, photography and yearbook staff.
He has worked professionally as a Drug Abuse and Alcohol Counselor for the Social Development Commission, as well as a Nutrition Counselor for WIC. He has also served as a Counselor and Director for multiple Youth programs and initiatives, to include serving as Program Director for the Salvation Army-sponsored program “Bring a Brother to Christ” in Milwaukee.
William O’Neal left Milwaukee, WI for Dallas, TX in 1986 with five dollars and five suitcases. Since, he has been in Dallas, he has served as the Associate Pastor at True Love Baptist Church. He later became the Pastor at First Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Later, he started New Life In Christ Ministries, a non-denomination church in Irving, Texas. At New Life, the focus is less on tradition and is geared more toward building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In addition, to volunteering and community service outreach, O’Neal’s hobbies include comedy, sports and photography. His most recent endeavors include the implementation of his radio show production, Keep It Real O’Neal (KIRO). Broadcasting primarily from Irving, TX, KIRO Radio will be taping off site in multiple locations throughout the nation starting October 2007.
Celebrating over 40 years in ministry, William O’Neal is known for “Keeping It Real” and “Making It Plain.” He is a gifted musician, powerful educator, a dynamic seminar speaker, a charismatic talk show host and above all – an exceptional pastor.