Celebrity Preachers

In his interview, Professor Lerone Martin talked about how the use of tele-evangelism creates a “celebrity preacher” and how they would use their fame to gain fame and luxurious materials. He then mentioned Reverend J.M. Gates, who recorded “Death’s Black Train is Coming”, and discussed how his success in the recording gained him wealth and notoriety, giving him even more authority. Being in this situation might stir them in the preachers in the direction that they once believed was not right. They might value their success in their business more than the words they preach, which might affect their integrity and might lead them into thinking that they are the one and not the words they are preaching.
Although technology makes a strong contribution on the changes in behavior of the preachers,  getting followers in real life. In the film Hallelujah, it shows how after Zeke became a preacher, he was surrounded by lots of people and looked up to by everyone in the community. Even though he did not make any appearance using technology, being an important figure in the community gave him and his family a great authority, for instance when they were riding on the back of the donkey and cart while everyone was cheering on them from the side of the road. This shows how being looked up by many people boosts the pride of the preaches, with or without phonograph.

8 thoughts on “Celebrity Preachers

  1. Hi Rekik, I agree that the fame that preachers get from technology can go to their heads and distract from the initial message. I too find it interesting how that concept was conveyed in the film even without the onset of modern technology, it definitely points to how common it is to put someone on a pedestal because of their actions, job, or lifestyle. I like your picture too!

  2. Hi Rekik, this is an interesting post on how the success of a preacher can impact how they view themselves. My question to you is how do you think the popularity of Zeke and his family changed how they viewed themselves? From my perspective, I feel like the family did not change too much regarding how they viewed and lived by the words they preached, when they achieved success. What do you think? Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Hey Sam, That’s a good question. I noticed that they too were getting more respect after Zeke became a preacher, and a specific scene that stood out to me was when they were passing by the community on a carriage and Chick and Hotshot were trying to bully Zeke for being the guy they tricked back then. When he was trying to fight them, his family gave Chick and Hotshot a dirty look, and it might be because I was expecting them to change that the specific action stood out to me. Thank you!

  3. Hi Rekik, I think you make a great point about the whole parade and cheering crowds being similar to the attention and authority granted to celebrity preachers in modern day. I think the idea of being well known and respected is a interesting contrast to Zeke being dismissed as just a cotton picker at the beginning of the film.

  4. Great post Rekik! You bring up a great point. Celebrity preachers have great power and influence. In what ways do you think they can use this power and influence in a positive manner? And do you know any specific examples of preachers abusing their power?

    • Hey Romeo, I apologize for the late reply. I think once the Preachers have received enough respect from the community, they can use this to lead the people in a positive manner. They can use this power and work toward solving pressing problems as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr did for example in regards to any civil rights movement. I do not specifically know any preachers who’ve abused their powers but I believe there are some.

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