Lifetime’s new reality show puts the life of the average teenage, preacher’s daughter under a microscope. With the cameras rolling, 18-year-old Taylor Coleman and her parents Marie and Ken, also the pastor of Joliet, Illinois’ City of Refuge Pentecostal Church, iron out their differences when it comes to freedom, boys and other teenage headaches. ESSENCE.com caught up with the Christian family to talk parenting styles, if Taylor regrets lying to her parents on camera and why they felt the need to open their private lives for all to see.
ESSENCE.com: Why did you decide to put your family on reality TV?
KEN COLEMAN: We wanted people to know that we’re just like every other family. And that we deal with some of the same things. Sometimes people don’t believe that Christian families, pastors and preachers, have these issue that go on.
ESSENCE.com: Now that you’ve seen a few episodes, how do you feel knowing that your daughter has gone behind your back a couple times?
KEN: Laughs We see that Taylor is having a lot of reactions—things that most normal kids have. I see that I have a tight grip on her, and I see that it’s an issue. But we’re learning to work through it.
ESSENCE.com: Ken, what do you have to say to people who may disagree with your parenting style?
KEN: I think you’ve got to have a tight grip. But you’ve got to know limitations. A lot of people don’t know limitations. I have learned limitations. Thank God I learned it. I wish someone had told me before because I would have learned when to let her go somewhere and when not to. But I’m learning.
ESSENCE.com: Ken, you and Marie have another daughter, Kendra, that makes appearances on the show. However, she doesn’t live with you guys. You asked her to leave home at 20 years old after getting pregnant. Why is that?
KEN: My daughter knew my rules in the house. I told her don’t come home pregnant. Don’t do that because there are options for protection. If you’re going to be active, then protect yourself. She came home [pregnant]. So I gave her a Jeep. We never charge our children [to live at home]. She was working. I said save your money so when it’s time for you to leave, you’ll have money to get you an apartment and she did. I told her it was time for you to leave.
ESSENCE.com: Taylor, in the second episode we see you lying about going to a hotel party with boys. Looking back, do you feel guilty about lying?
TAYLOR: Yea, I felt really bad. I don’t like disappointing my parents. It’s not something I pride myself in doing. At the time I wasn’t thinking. I wanted to have fun. When it was all said and done, I felt really bad that I hurt them.
ESSENCE.com: When you’re watching the episodes back and you see yourself making comments about wanting to be a porn star or stripper, what goes through your mind?
TAYLOR: I know a lot of people took it in a totally different way. I meant porn star as in freedom, because they have a lot of freedom.
ESSENCE.com: Ken, how did you feel watching your daughter say she wanted to do those things?
KEN: I was very hurt and upset because I’m thinking: why would you want to pick that to want to be free to? There’s a lot of other things that can show freedom. She said, “Daddy, that just means I just want some freedom. I don’t care what no body thinks. I just want to be me.” Okay, we can be “me” without saying that.
Catch Preachers’ Daughters on Lifetime on Tuesdays at 10 p.m.