EXCLUSIVE: "Pistol Packin' Preacher" walks away from reality TV - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

EXCLUSIVE: "Pistol Packin' Preacher" walks away from reality TV show

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Pastor James McAbee of Lighthouse Worship Center was excited to star in an upcoming reality TV show based on his life. The show, titled "Pistol Packin' Preacher", was set to air on the Discovery Channel. A production crew has been in Beaumont for the past 9 months filming a promotional piece for the show.

"The storyline was going great at first," McAbee told 12News in an exclusive interview Friday.

"I thought the show was going to be about me, my past with the law, and getting in trouble, redeeming myself, working with troubled teens and teaching people concealed handgun licensing," he said.

But McAbee says a few months into production, things changed.

"It changed to make me into this monster preacher," he said.

He says producers made him read sermons they had written for him, and started asking him to do things he was not comfortable doing.

"Kicking in doors... getting physical with a supposed 'drug dealer' and roughing him up... using crude language."

McAbee even received an email where producers wrote to him, "Brother, they want a kick-a** preacher telling people to go to hell and punching mother f*****s... here and there maybe you got a lady on the side with big t**s you grab on."

"They were wanting me to do stuff that I couldn't imagine any man of the cloth would do. They told me without shock value it wouldn't sell."

It was too much for McAbee.

He says the show had turned into something vastly different than he what he had signed on for. He said goodbye to a lot of money, and let his contract expire on December 19.
"Coincidentally the situation with 'Duck Dynasty' came out the same day... after seeing what happened to Phil Robertson, it made me raise my shoulders a little bit more saying 'Hey punks, you're not going to force people to do something they don't want to do'... money's not everything.... my soul's not for sale."

McAbee already has plans to meet with a different production company in January to discuss working on another TV show.


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