The Gospel Guru Interviews Pastor Anthony Murray (The Sisterhood)
Ever since TLC’s tv smash The Sisterhood blazed onto our screens last week, it has has remained an ever-present hot topic among many!
Pastor of the Oasis Family Life Church in Atlanta, Georgia Anthony Murray and his wife Christina Murray made their small screen debut on TLC’s new reality series The Sisterhood. The new reality show shines the light on five devout and feisty Atlanta first ladies–the show drew in close to 1 million viewers upon its debut!
The Gospel Guru recently caught up with reality star, Pastor Anthony Murray who dished on season 1 of the new series, the infamous ‘banana talk’, and the backlash concerning The Sisterhood.
The Gospel Guru: Hey Pastor Murray! How are you?
Pastor Murray: I’m good…excited! How are you?
The Gospel Guru: I’m well! Congratulations on the success of The Sisterhood thus far!
Pastor Murray: Thank you so much.
The Gospel Guru: Are you and first lady Murray enjoying the new found success?
Pastor Murray: Yea we are–we really are! I’m excited about the platform that has been given.We had a HUGE turn-out Sunday at church too as a result of it. So i’m very excited about it.
The Gospel Guru: Well, it’s no secret that The Sisterhood has a lot of people talking! How are you guys handling the controversy that’s attached to the show?
Pastor Murray: You know…it’s funny. I’ve always been a controversial Pastor, more people are just knowing about it now. In youth ministry I was controversial…doing different things trying to win young people that didn’t want to go to church or didn’t like church. Just trying to be creative. I’m excited because I feel like I’m reaching my generation, and I have the platform to reach my generation. That’s the biggest thing.
The Gospel Guru: Some have even gone as far as to start a petition to get the show canceled, what do you have to say to those people? Or what are your thoughts concerning that?
Pastor Murray: I say we should honor them because a lot of the people that’s saying that they sacrificed a lot to get us this far, and of course they’re not going to understand what I’m trying to do. I can’t speak for everybody, but I know what I’m trying to do in terms of making a positive mark on this world. So I just honor them and I understand that they don’t really understand what I’m trying to do as a Pastor and what my wife is trying to do as a first lady. So I don’t have any negative thing to say, I’m just willing to take the hits and hope one day they see the result of what I’m trying to do…what we’re trying to do.
The Gospel Guru: Ok. Well, the first season is underway. What can we expect from season 1? Will we just get more acquainted with the ladies, or will we see more of the husbands as well…what can we expect?
Pastor Murray: Yea, you’re gonna see a lot more of the husbands as well. A lot of things they cut it up and they edit so to be honest a lot of it I’ll be seeing with you guys. But with me you’ll see a lot of interaction with my wife and my girls, i think that’s the biggest thing you’re gonna see. My kids are funny, and we’re funny. We have a different way of loving on each other, teaching the girls, and spending time with each other so I think that’s gonna be very very interesting. And you know when you put a bunch of ladies together there’s gonna be a little drama and a little controversy whether you’re a first lady or not. Just ladies coming together sometimes like that sometime there will be a little tension.
The Gospel Guru: You mention your girls, so I have to hit on this…the infamous ‘banana talk’…lol.
Pastor Murray: Hahaha.
The Gospel Guru: So many felt that you could have presented that in a better way. How difficult was it to have that conversation?
Pastor Murray: Yea man. I’m a dad, and I’m scared…I want them to do well. What I’m talking to them about is reality! Could it have been done different? Maybe, hey i’m taking suggestions you know…I’m just doing the best I can wanting my girls to be abstinent. But if not I want them to know you can die out here having sex, you can really mess your life up, and being girls especially! I don’t have any issues with what people are saying, I’m just a dad trying to do the best I can to make sure my girls are going to be ok, and they’re going into the world with their eyes wide open. And not just tell them to pray about it.
The Gospel Guru: We’ve all seen how reality tv can tear family and marriages apart. Did you and your wife have any apprehensions about moving into the world of reality tv?
Pastor Murray: Well, first let me say we’ve been married for 17 years…going on 17 years. So of course. I turned it down at first to be honest because of that. But we hope that our marriage is solid enough to withstand the things that’s gonna come…a lot of the marriages you see are new marriages, but we grew up together–we’ve been married a looong time. It’s gonna take a lot more than a TV show, and people’s opinions of us to break up. We’ve been through enough storms already, and made it!
The Gospel Guru: Some feel that The Sisterhood is an inaccurate depiction of first ladies. What do you have to say to that? Is this really your reality that we watch on television?
Pastor Murray: Yea it is. I would ask them well what is the actual reality? Everybody’s reality is different, everybody’s life is different. We’re real people with extraordinary calls to do something that we fell God has called us to do for people. But we’re still people. So i’d just ask them the question back..you show us what’s different. Everybody’s story is different! For instance, I think it’s incredible for someone like Dominique to have survived the streets, drugs, and still made it. And then care enough for other people to at least be trying to reach out and help someone else. What’s not real about me and my wife being young, having kids, having a church, and having a life! What should we do pray all day, for 23 hours a day? What is reality is what I would ask them. We’re trying to reach un-churched people. I’m not really trying to reach the religious people that already know God. I’m trying to get a platform where I can speak to people who are not saved yet, and don’t know God…I think them seeing us being real and still loving God and doing the best we can even though it may be turning some of the religious people off.
The Gospel Guru: It seems like you and your wife’s ministry is really flourishing. How long have you been in ministry?
Pastor Murray: On the 16th of January it’ll make 7 years. Listen man, we started our I had 1500 dollars and 12 people 7 years ago. This thing is exploding…we had people in the gym, in the over flow room…we’re building on and it’s gonna be too small. This thing is growing soo fast! We had over a 1000 people for years in.
The Gospel Guru: So who’s your favorite couple on the show aside from you and your wife?
Pastor Murray: I really don’t have a favorite..I like ’em all. But i’m different you have to remember i’m looking at their history and background. I admire the fact that all of them have the fortitude to put it all out there, and whatever their issues are they’re trying to make some kind of positive change in the world. So I don’t have a favorite, but I respect them all.
The Gospel Guru: Are there any other reality shows that you like to watch?
Pastor Murray: Yea. I watch all kind of stuff man…I watch Atlanta Housewives, Storage Wars, Pawn Stars…I watched Honey Boo Boo one time…LOL. I watch Love & Hip Hop, any of the mainstream ones I’ll check out because I’m always studying how I can reach them, and like to see how they view life. So i’m always watching from a different perspective. But of course I am entertained…imma be honest. But i’m always looking like how would I reach T.I., how can I reach Kim Kardashian, how can I reach K. Michelle? So when I’m looking at that stuff it’s kinda training for me to preach. So i’m very interested in it.
The Gospel Guru: Earlier you spoke on how amazing this platform is. How do you plan to build your brand moving forward?
Pastor Murray: Well, first I want to speak…first and foremost I’m a Pastor because that’s what God has called me to do. I’m a gifted business person because you have to have some business skills to run an organization that’s grown this fast. But man I want to be able to reach people, that’s what turned me on. I want to get non-religious speaking opportunities. I would like to go to fortune 500 companies and speak to them about dreaming big. I have a new book out called “What Happened to Your Dreams” and I believe if you have you got people that work for you in a company that dream then we’ll invent things, we’ll change the economy,etc.. If I can do something right now I’d go and do that.
The Gospel Guru: Lastly, tell me about your relationship with your wife…we know that she’s Dominican and you’re African-American how has that been moving forward since you guys formed a union?
Pastor Murray: That’s a dope question! Being married to my wife shaped my whole perspective on kingdom and the difference in culture. I learned so much from her culture, it made me more well rounded as a man to see the beauty of a culture I didn’t understand. And to understand that everybody is different and everybody has things we can take and learned from. Her family is so loving it just made me want to multi-cultural. When people call us a black church… I’m like we’re not a black church. I’m a black Pastor with a multi-cultural church. Being married to her is what made me want to have a more global ministry. So it just gave me a beautiful outlook on life.
Watch ‘The Sisterhood’ on TLC every Tuesday night at 9/8c.