The hour-long drama centers on the Greater Hope Baptist Church, and the “lust, greed, and deeply ingrained secrets” of the family at the center of the church, and the community of Cypress, GA.
The series drew 1.3 million viewers for its premiere on March 6 and 1.5 million viewers for its March 13 episode. It’s the #1 highest-rated and most-watched program in Bounce TV history.
EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Haddon ahead of tonight’s episode to chat about his appearance on the show, and his new music video for the show’s theme song “Sinners (Saved by Grace),” featuring Big Boi.
Bounce TV will world premiere the video immediately before the new episode tonight, at 8:55 pm ET/7:55 pm CT. The song is featured on the forthcoming “Saints & Sinners: Original Soundtrack From Season 1” out March 25 via all digital retailers.
READ RELATED STORY: Deitrick Haddon Releases Music Video ‘Be Like Jesus’ (WATCH)
You’re playing yourself in the episode tonight. How did you get involved with the show?
DH: The good people at Bounce are my friends, and they needed somebody to fire it up on this episode, and they said ‘Deitrict, you just come do you.’ So, I’m playing Deitrick Haddon on the show, the gospel singer. The preacher of L.A. It was very real, very easy for me to do, and Bounce TV loved it. It’s exciting to be a part of something that is a hit show on Bounce TV. They even made my song the theme song of the show.
Yes, how did this collaboration with Big Boi come together?
DH: Phil Thornton called me and said, ‘Check your email.’ I check my email, listen to the song, all of a sudden I heard these bars – I heard that voice, and said, ‘That’s Big Boi from Outkast.’ It was huge! I couldn’t believe it. When he heard the song, they said he jumped on it because he felt it was organic. It was real. It moved him. So he just went in the studio and knocked it out. I met Big Boi for the first time on the set for the video. It was amazing to watch an established hip hop icon just work. His work ethic was awesome, and he’s just a nice guy. We sat and talked between scenes – about God and life. That was a wonderful experience for me.
Was there ever a moment in-between filming the episode that the cast asked you to lead them in a prayer circle or bless the set?
DH: (laughs) No, when I come around people, they are very relaxed. They don’t do extra because there’s a gospel singer in the midst. Because I make it my business to make people comfortable, and let them know they don’t have to change who they are because I’m around. You be you, cause I’m gonna be me. So a lot of people are very comfortable around me. Long as you don’t try to make me change from who I am, we’re all good. I only did one day, so they didn’t really stop to try to ask me for prayer. Everyone was laughing and joking and having fun and just enjoying the opportunity. All of us were just grateful for the opportunity. Bounce asked us all do to it and it was an awesome experience.
You’ve launched a new church in Los Angeles, where “real people with real issues” are seeking “a real God.”
DH: The church is called Hill City Church L.A. We’re having services on a Thursday night. It is amazing. I grew up in the church, in a preachers home, and my father’s an established pastor. I’m building this church from the ground up. I’m excited about building something that I can say God used me to do. It’s great when you’re able to build something from the ground up and watch it grow. Every week, people are joining the church, and the church is growing really fast and it’s an amazing thing to see people’s lives changed. We’re able to feed people and be a blessing to people.
How are young folks responding these days to organized religion?
DH: I think when it’s authentic, and when the ministry is real, young people gravitate to it. And young people automatically gravitate to my music, as well as my ministry, cause I’m the same guy. I’m the same guy they see on TV. The same guy they hear in the music, so young people connect really fast.
Have you read these latest studies that say Americans, especially blacks, are shunning away from Christianity?
DH: Absolutely, and people have their reasons for that. People have been victims of bad leadership, down through the years, and not just in Christianity. People make their decisions based on what men do, but I say, you can never judge God for the things that men do because men will always be men. It’s the flesh that we have to deal with – and there’s no perfect man. Once people understand that then they’ll know how to hang in there. The church is there to give you a sense of family, to give you a sense of togetherness, to unite people.
I think that’s a wrong thing to do, to separate yourself from people, or church. That’s not the solution, to walk by yourself and walk alone, because it’s really not good for you to walk alone. It’s good to have people to walk with you, and council you. The bible says there’s safety in the multitude of council, you need somebody to kind of balance you out. When you walk by yourself, it’s a dangerous thing. That’s why Jesus always sends his disciples two by two, so you can cover one another, so the enemy can’t come in and try to distract you from your journey. I say, just find the right leadership, and the right church family where people are not mean and judging you. My church, we’re good people. We embrace people. I’m a good man. I’m not perfect but I love people and I’m here to bring a sense of family and togetherness and give some leadership in the world.
Do you want to use your church and status to help Hollywood introduce more faith-based programming?
DH: I believe that you just spoke prophetically to me, because that is the mission of our church. To gather gifted and talented, anointed young people and call them to be a light and stand bold in the midst of the culture. I believe we’re called to infiltrate and invade Hollywood and produce more inspiration and motivational content for Hollywood. I believe we’re going to take it and get more faith-based content out there, because Hollywood is a satellite to the world, and that’s what we’re called to do. Those are the kinds of people who are flocking to my church; screenwriters, actors, singers – all these talented people. They’re gravitating to the church and I believe we’ve come together for a reason. I believe what you just said was a word to me, to encourage me.
“Saints + Sinners” airs Sundays at 9/8c on Bounce.