(Photo: Facebook/Christy Smith Haizlip)
Christy Haizlip, whose husband Jay stars in the Oxygen network reality show, "Preachers of LA" and leads The Sanctuary, a megachurch in Huntington Beach, Calif., says she hopes the show will be an outreach method for non-churchgoers, despite the controversy that the docu-series has stirred.
"Our number one goal was to represent Christ in a positive way and to maybe reach that person that maybe doesn't go to church, but will watch reality TV," said Haizlip, reports Alabama-based Gadsden Times.
"Preachers of LA" debuted its first season earlier this month and began drawing negative attention from the moment its trailer was released due to the portrayal of the lavish lifestyles led by six Southern California pastors.
Jay Haizlip, a former skateboarder turned pastor, also shared the same sentiment as his wife in an exclusive interview with The Christian Post, prior to the show's first episode.
"My desire, number one, is that there's gonna be millions of people who watch this show that would never go to any church anywhere," said Jay.
Christy was shown in a recent episode being candid about the loneliness that pastor's wives oftentimes face during the course of their husband's ministry. She also said her portrayal throughout the show's season will demonstrate "a healthy way to go through trials and issues" while being able to come to a peaceful resolve.
"I hope that we on the show, our part on the show, is to shine a light for Jesus Christ," said Haizlip. "I want the world to see, learn a bit or have a little bit of a deeper understanding of what it is to answer the call of God in your life."
One of the issues Haizlip opened up about on the show was her lack of having friends that she could truly be herself with and not be seen just as a pastor's wife. She also addressed the topic of the sacrifices pastors in general have to give up for their calling.
"They've always got to show the best of God's character in all situations," said Haizlip. "They're under a lot of pressure…they're normal people just like you and I, and they're not perfect."
The Haizlips, both Alabama natives, have been married for 27 years, have three children and reside in Huntington Beach, Calif.
"Preachers of LA" airs Wednesday nights on Oxygen Network at 10 p.m. ET