Pastor Le’Andria Johnson is ready to bring reality back to reality TV.
The 33-year-old stars in Oxygen’s new hit show, Preachers of Atlanta, and her methods of preaching are unorthodox, to say the least. Last week’s premiere saw Johnson taking her ministry to the streets, preaching to prostitutes -- even handing out condoms and cigarettes.
“It’s not that I do these things every day, but if it’s called for, I will do it,” Johnson tells ETonline.
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“I want to meet them where they are, you know?” Johnson explains. “And the best thing that I can do [is] dress up like them … and start a conversation, create a conversation. By the end of that conversation, then I can be like, ‘OK, let me take this wig off, you know, let me come back. I’m gonna meet you at this place, let me come back and I’m dressed in regular clothes,’ and they gonna be like, ‘Who are you?’ And I’m like, ‘The same girl that was in them shorts and fishnets.’ I’m the same woman.”
Johnson says it comes from a place of respect.
“At the end of the day, that’s their trade,” she adds. “They do what they do. I’m a pastor -- I’m gonna give them a condom. They’re prostitutes, that’s what they do. They’re not gonna have sex? Come on. They gonna have sex, so I’m gonna give you a condom. I’m gonna give you a condom, and talk about Christ.”
“You know, I’m meeting them where they are now, but at the end of the day, hopefully, and prayerfully, that their mind will change,” Johnson continues. “And they’ll know that they don’t have to do what they’re doing just to get a dollar.”
Johnson is no stranger to reality TV. She won season three of BET’s singing competition, Sunday Best, going on to earn a GRAMMY award in 2012.
“There is no such thing as balance in my life,” Johnson says of being so busy. “Every day that I wake up, I’m like, OK, I beat yesterday. I beat it.”
But Preachers of Atlanta is her first go-around with a docuseries, which means showing parts of her life she would normally keep private.
Case in point, this season will follow Johnson and her husband as they confront the possibility that he fathered another woman’s child. On the premiere, viewers saw Johnson tell her husband he needs to step up -- even though the woman wasn’t asking him to do anything.
“I’m sending a message to all of the baby fathers, baby daddies, baby mamas, you know?” Johnson says. “How we deal with the situation, I would love to see that happen throughout, you know, the world. I am not ashamed of it at all. It’s a message that needs to get across.”
“This is our shot,” Johnson says of getting real on the show. “This is our moment to, you know, encourage others through our testimony, through our life, so I’m willing to do that.”
As for what else we can expect this season from Johnson, she tells ETonline to buckle up for a behind-the-scenes look at her “slightly strange method of ministry.”
Preachers of Atlanta airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Oxygen. Check out an exclusive sneak peek of the next episode below.