The first episode of the Preachers of Detroit was on fire as Pastor David Alexander Bullock challenged his cast members on the effectiveness of their ministries. Bullock is not only the pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church but a well-known activist who is serious about bringing change to the city of Detroit. He believes that true ministry takes place outside of the walls of the church and into the streets where the people are. Is the world ready for Pastor David Bullock?
At 37-years-old, Bullock is the youngest cast member and as such many felt his approach was much too confrontational and disrespectful to his “elders” who are highly respected in the Christian community. Those who are acquainted with him were not surprised because he is known to be militant when it comes to justice and is respected as a viable change agent of Detroit. When asked about the confrontational moments which were sure to spark drama Bullock responded by saying:
There will be tense moments, and maybe moments of confrontation because you cannot have reality of life without sometimes having tense and confrontational moments. But regardless of what happens on Preachers of Detroit, ultimately, those moments will create an opportunity for the gospel, great conversation, dialogue, and positive messages to shine through.
The show began on Friday night with Bullock, his brother and friend sitting in a cigar lounge discussing relationships. This set the tone for many dogmatic Christians who could not get past the cigar to hear the wisdom that escaped his lips. Social media lit up with comments about the foolishness of a pastor who would preach the gospel and advocate for the city and still end up in hell because he smokes cigars. This pastor is not moved by those who sit on the sidelines and talk. Instead, it serves as a constant reminder of a verse in the Bible where the Pharisees were heard criticizing Jesus because he did not act as they thought he should.
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! (Luke 7:34)
Bullock is adamant about helping the city regardless of his critics. His city, which at one time was a bright star in the nation, has gone through some tough times. Detroit has made history as the first city to ever declare bankruptcy. The community is poverty-stricken and filled with hurting and depressed people; for this pastor their needs far outweighs any of the cries of his critics.
Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church is located in a very poor community, as opposed to the majority of Bullock’s cast members. This young pastor believes his message is relevant and necessary for the people he desires to empower. For many years Bullock has led countless protests against injustice as he walked the streets with a bullhorn in one hand and a Bible in the other. Bullock is an outspoken and action driven leader who believes the work of a pastor should exceed the pulpit and what takes place during a Sunday service. When speaking of his calling Bullock said:
My ministry is both in the sanctuary and in the streets. I am in the pulpit and on the pavement of Highland Park and Detroit seeking change and demanding justice for my people.
Bullock not only talks about change but actively seeks change. He is the founder and national spokesperson for The Change Agent Consortium, a national union of organizations and individuals that seek social justice and civil rights for middle-to-low income people. As a result of his voice in the community Bullock has been interviewed by MSNBC’s Ed Shultz and Rachel Maddow.
This activist was raised in Detroit but born in Boston. Bullock is no stranger to ministry; he comes from a line of preachers. His father pastors Bethany Baptist Church on the West Side of Detroit, both of his grandfathers were pastors, as is his younger brother and nephew. Bullock said he was aware of his calling to preach at 14-years-old.
Bullock is a highly educated man. He attended Morehouse College at the age of 16 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at age 19. After graduation he attended Wayne State University where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy. In 2005, he accepted the call to preach and began serving as the senior pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church.
Joining this unorthodox preacher on the Preachers of Detroit are fellow cast members Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, Bishop-Elect Clarence Langston, Bishop Corletta Vaughn, Pastor Tim Alden, Pastor Don William Shelby Jr., and Evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole. Viewers will witness these ministers as they navigate issues in their churches, personal lives and the city of Detroit.
The Preachers of Detroit will air on Friday evenings on the Oxygen Network. The first episode turned all the way up as Bullock and his philosophies were introduced. While his fellow cast members might not be thrilled about him, the city of Detroit needs his ministry. The initial question centered on the world’s view of him, but the more appropriate question might be, “Is the church ready for Pastor David Alexander Bullock?”
Opinion by: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Guardian Liberty Voice