(Photo: City of Hope International Church)
Sheree Fletcher is a VH1 "Hollywood Exes" reality star, entrepreneur, and the former wife of superstar, Will Smith. But her position as the first lady of a San Diego church alongside her NFL-star-turned-pastor-husband, Terrell Fletcher, is a reputation Sheree upholds despite her link to reality television. The multi-talented businesswoman recently sat down to discuss fame, Christianity and life as a pastor's wife.
"I don't take fame seriously, it's a default kind of thing. I didn't pursue it, it kind of comes with the territory. I feel this is a part of what God has called me to do, this reality show is a part of my journey," said Fletcher, to AmericaPreachers.com
Fletcher's show, "Hollywood Exes," is a docu-series currently in its second season that delves into the lives of women who have endured high-profile divorces from some of Hollywood's prominent actors, but the opportunity to appear on the show was a decision she thought about before jumping on board.
"I liked the concept of the show but I prayed on it, I took it to prayer and I had a peace about it…You know you have to stay prayed up doing a reality show. And even though our reality show is tame in comparison to some that are out there, you still have to keep Him first," said Fletcher.
Initially, she tells America Preachers that her multicultural church, City of Hope International, was supportive of her part in the reality series. However, some members had a few reservations about her entering the limelight.
"They were concerned about me doing a reality show, with being a pastor's wife, having a congregation and being a first lady, and rightfully so because there was nothing out there like the show that we have," said Fletcher.
Despite reservations, she joined the cast and now her life post Will Smith is on full display. She admitted that facing the reality of Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith together was "a hard pill to swallow" after divorcing him when their son, Trey, was three-years-old. Years later and with each a family of their own, Smith and Fletcher remain amicable.
"It takes a village as they say [to raise a child]. It would have been hard for me to do this alone if I didn't have my husband on board and if Will and Jada weren't on board," said Fletcher.
With her son Trey now an adult at 21, Fletcher finds herself focusing on her skin care and online boutique business while tending to her church with her husband. Before becoming his right-hand help, she admits the road to help lead a congregation was unknown and unexpected.
"God prepared me and I didn't even know what I was being prepared for. I didn't make a conscious decision to prepare to be a first lady, I just prepared as a woman of God. I just spent time with God, dove into His word, I was hungry and passionate for the word's truths," said Fletcher.
During that time, Fletcher says she was merely trying to live an honorable life while dating her husband who was a player for the San Diego Chargers. But once he began his ministry, she walked into her role as a first lady without an example to take after.
"I attended a church where the pastor was married but his wife was the co-pastor. It was a mixed church but the pastor and his wife were white so there was no first lady kind of thing, that's part of our culture, so all I could do was go in and be me," said Fletcher.
Prior to her husband's church, she also attended Bishop Noel Jones' church, star of the anticipated "Preachers of L.A." reality show, which she had some concerns about considering the negative backlash the show has already received prior to its fall premiere.
"People that are leadership positions in Christianity – most people know that we are human and that we are going to fall short, but they don't want to see it," said Fletcher. "It might be empowering for some and disappointing for others. I don't know where it's going to land but I'm praying that it's well received and that it helps more than it hurts."
Her uncertainty of the show comes as no surprise since she admits being a Christian in Hollywood is not easy and her advice for any believer aspiring to make it in the entertainment industry is one that comes from a place of experience.
"Why? I'd ask why do you want to enter into Hollywood? Don't ever pursue fame, don't ever pursue riches, do what you feel God has called you to do, walk through the doors you feel God has opened for you and if fame and riches happen to come with it, so be it but don't pursue that," said Fletcher.