*As the world premiere of “Preachers of Detroit” draws closer to its Friday, February 20 debut (at 8/7c) on television’s Oxygen Network, Pastor David Alexander Bullock, remains cool, calm, but excited about his feature role on the new reality show about Motor City ministers.
Joining Bullock as other featured cast members are Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, Bishop Corletta Vaughn, Bishop-Elect Clarence Langston, Pastor Don William Shelby Jr., evangelist and gospel recording artist Dorinda Clark- Cole, and Pastor Tim Alden.
According to Bullock, Preachers of Detroit, which he prefers to describe as a “docu-drama” versus a reality show, is in the franchise family of Preachers of L.A. Unlike “Preachers of L.A.,” where the city of Los Angeles wasn’t prominently featured, per se, viewers of the Detroit franchise, said Bullock, will see a lot of the Motor City, up close and personal.
“The city of Detroit is highlighted; it’s a cast member,” said Bullock. “The series will show the good and the bad. I’m happy, however, that viewers will see a number of African American-owned restaurants and other types of Black-owned businesses in Detroit. Viewers will also see our churches which are in the city. Viewers will witness what the people of Detroit are battling every day, and how the Preachers of Detroit tackle our own lives, as well as tackle important issues to uplift our people and our city across many spectrums.”
Bullock was asked about drama or confrontational moments on the upcoming program, similar to what happens on most reality shows.
“I think that there will be tense moments, and maybe moments of confrontation because you can’t have reality of life without sometimes having tense and confrontational moments,” Bullock said. “But regardless of what happens on Preachers of Detroit, ultimately, those moments will create an opportunity for the gospel and for great conversation, dialogue, and positive messages to shine through.”
At 37 years old, Bullock is the youngest cast members, but those who know his work as an activist and change agent in Detroit and Highland Park, Mich., caution not to let his young age fool you. As senior pastor of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, an enclave with a population of 16,000 that’s almost surrounded by Detroit, the small city has gone through many tough times, even though it once was home to the world headquarters of Chrysler Corporation.
“My church is probably in the most depressed area when compared to the other ministers’ churches that will be a part of the series,” said Bullock. “I serve a very, very poor community in Highland Park. But, I’m social engaged and socially conscious. I continue to pastor and preach in the Dr. King civil rights, social justice tradition. Therefore, my ministry is both in the sanctuary and in the streets. I’m in the pulpit and on the pavement of Highland Park and Detroit seeking change, demanding justice for my people.”
Over the past decade, Bullock has been seen with the bible in one hand and a bullhorn in the other, as he has led countless protests against poverty and injustice in metro Detroit. He is the founder and national spokesperson for The Change Agent Consortium, a national coalition of individuals and organizations that seek civil rights and social justice for middle-to-low income people.
In Detroit, Bullock, over the past few years, has been an outspoken, action-driven leader that has confronted such issues as the takeover of Detroit by an emergency manager, the attempt to suppress black voting rights in the city, the comeback of Detroit that seems not to include African Americans in many sectors, and more. He has been interviewed by MSNBC’s Ed Shultz and Rachel Maddow, respectively.
Born in Boston, raised in Detroit, Bullock has always known pastors that could preach, but also had social platforms to help elevate the black church and black community. His father is the Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Bullock, Jr., longtime senior pastor of Bethany Baptist Church on Detroit’s west side. Additionally, both of David Bullock’s grandfathers were pastors, as well as a nephew, and younger brother.
According to Bullock, he (David Bullock) was called to preach at the age of 14. When he was 16, he was a freshman at the storied Morehouse College, where he graduated at the age of 19 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He went on to earn a master’s degree in philosophy from Wayne State University in Detroit. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and was working on a Ph.D. when he answered the call in 2005 to preach and serve as senior pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church.
On what he wants viewers to take away from Preachers of Detroit. ”Fundamentally, I want viewers to enjoy Preachers of Detroit, because it will be entertaining,” said Bullock, who is single. “I want viewers to connect with us, but the show is not a bible study. I want people to think, be impacted and ask questions about their own Christian walk of faith with God. I want people to laugh with us and cry with us. Pick a side and tweak about the show, because there is diversity among the ministers that will include two females and a white minister.”
Bullock concluded. “This will be one of the better examples of good, clean entertainment for the entire family to watch together,” he said. “I want viewers to see us as real humans, complete with our flaws, but still love God and compelled to do ministry in the streets of Detroit.”