Pastor Mark Couch and his wife, Ivy Couch, stars of TLC’s “The Sisterhood.” Their church, Emmanuel Tabernacle, is right here in Atlanta, and they joined me on my show today to talk about why they chose to do the reality show, their thoughts on some of their fellow castmates, and Ivy addresses the headlines Kandi Burruss made when she said Ivy was never a part of Xscape.
Egypt: I want you to meet two people that you’ll be seeing on television this season. Pastor Mark Couch and First Lady Ivy Couch from Emmanuel Tabernacle right off of Dill Ave right here in Atlanta and they are the cast members of “The Sisterhood.” It was formerly called “The Preacher’s Wives” I heard at one point.
Egypt: Number one, Hi! How are you?
Egypt: Why did they change the name of the show?
Mark: I think it was to eliminate some of the controversy. I don’t know how good of a job they did, but they wanted to take the church out of the equation and use the sisterhood to maybe bring down some of the potential controversy. So, I don’t know if that worked or not.
Egypt: You know there’s a lot of talk out here that this show is a bit scandalous and what not, that you still have some fighting, and there’s some arguing and I heard something about someone- I don’t know if it makes it to the cut- getting pushed in the pool and all kinds of crazy stuff. But we don’t see that from you do we? Ivy, please tell me no.
Ivy: No no I don’t know anything about a pool.
Egypt: I don’t get that from you.
Mark: Nobody got pushed. Nobody’s cussing, nobody’s physically fighting. You’ll see. None of that would be on this show.
Egypt: So your church, probably out of everybody on the show, is probably a little bit more conservative, right?
Mark: Correct. Traditional, with a traditional twist.
Egypt: Traditional. That’s a better word. Why go on a reality show? I’m sure that’s what everybody is wondering.
Ivy: Right, that’s a great question Egypt. I think for us it was definitely an assignment We definitely fasted and prayed for a long time and I feel that God personally came and said, listen I’m really trying to do some unique things and when you put yourself out there, I think we’re in a place now where people want to see the real. They want you to be transparent. You know it’s easy to sit up in church and look perfect and act perfect, but what really goes on? We’re humans. We’re all in process and that’s why I feel honored to be involved in something that shows that.
Mark: And more importantly, we didn’t do the show to appease Christians or to reach out to Christians. The Bible says that those who are well don’t need a physician and so we actually did the show to reach out to those who may be outside of the Body of Christ in hopes that our light will shine and radiate and someone else may be drawn to that light.
Egypt: Very good. But you know, sometimes we go in with good intentions and we come out saying what were we thinking?!?
Pop the hood for more…
Egypt: Pastor Mark Couch and Ivy Couch are in the studio from Emmanuel Tabernacle. They are on the cast of a new show that’s been getting a lot of criticism and it’s called “The Sisterhood.” I got a chance to watch the show myself. I can see why it’s getting some criticism but it’s not a bad…well, thus far, cause we’re only two eps in. It’s not a bad show. You Ivy, you don’t like Pastor Tara, cause you said she quotes the Bible too much.
Ivy: Well no let me correct that. I love Pastor Tara with the love of Christ. First and foremost. I really do love her. She’s funny.
Egypt: Lord, I love ya with the love of Christ, but stay away from me! Okay…
Ivy: What I was trying to convey to Tara was that you know yes the word is the word and Jesus was the word. As a Christian I love the word as well but even Jesus spoke so that everybody could understand Him. And that’s where your anointing comes. When you can simplify the word and just meet them where they are, then everybody can maybe have an opportunity to get to know the Jesus you love.
Egypt: So you think she’s like Bible-toting holier than thou?
Ivy: I think she’s coming from a lofty place.
Egypt: Just go ahead and say it, it’s okay.
Ivy: I said it on the show.
Egypt: Thou shall not be judged. Now your husband had me cracking me. You know what he told me? The church was uber packed this past week. Since the show premiered I’m sure. You have some people coming who say that’s good leadership. I need that word. And then you have some come in because they want to stare at you and they saw that handcuff scene.
Mark: Dig it.
Egypt: Who came into the church this week?
Mark: Well, after the service I did have an older woman…she came up to me after the service and she said, you know baby I sure did like the show and I liked that scene that ya’ll had and I want you to know that I’m coming to join this church. I’m leaving my church this week and I’m coming to join your church baby.
Egypt: Oh goodness. What do ya’ll feel about…cause there’s another cast member…she used to be a prostitute, self proclaimed former crack head and I even saw a scene where she drove by and said that is the first crack house I was at. Pastor Dominique. How is that for you because like I said you have a more traditional church, working so closely with someone who has a past?
Ivy: I mean, I love me some Dominique. Dominique is keep it real. There’s going to be a lot of women that she touches and she blesses. She has a past. She has a story. To me, I don’t want to be friends with anyone who doesn’t have any scars. I have scars. So I love Dominique. I love that she was willing to be as transparent as she was on the show. And she blesses a lot of people. Her story is very deep. And really, from all that she’s been through, she really shouldn’t be where she is now.
Mark: And even more so than that Egypt, where we come from, our church, Dill Ave., was deemed to be the worst street in Atlanta when we got there. Infested, infiltrated with prostitution, drug, violence, gang banging. And that’s what we did in that community over a 10 year span and we’re known for transforming that community. The prostitutes are now active members in society and members of the church. Same thing with the drug dealers and the gang bangers. They’re now productive. They’re no longer menaces to society, they’re productive people in society and people in the church, so we love Dominique for what she brings to the table and her story is going to bless a lot of people.
Egypt: Ivy Couch & Pastor Mark Couch are here and they’re part of the cast of “The Sisterhood.” Before you go, straighten out something for me. Kandi Burruss I guess took exception to the fact that on one of the episodes that you mention that you were a member of Xscape. Remember the group Xscape? Who doesn’t- Tiny, Latasha, I can’t even remember all the sisters now. I didn’t remember you from Xscape.
Ivy: And you wouldn’t.
Egypt: Clear this up for us.
Ivy: First of all I think someone had called in and made it clear that if you’re in a group for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 6 months, a year, you’re in the group. But I want to say this from my heart that I have the ultimate respect for Tiny, Tameka, Tasha, Kandi. What they did- they’re veterans- they did something that I will never be a part of what they did and what they put together. I came on into the group when Kandi left and they were looking for a fourth member. I lived with Tiny for a year, absolutely love her. She took care of me and we toured and we were in the studio and we did some stuff with Jermaine and you know they were looking for another deal and I just was kind of along for the ride.
Egypt: So you were there to replace Kandi when she left and so you’re not saying you were on the albums or anything?
Ivy: Nooo. And I would never try and take you know what they did and put myself there. I just was part of something. It was an honor to be there and I learned a lot.
Egypt: Farrah Fawcett – she can still say she was a member of Destiny’s Child, right? Thank you guys for joining the show. Sincerely.
Ivy: Thank you for having us.
Egypt: Stop by their church- Emmanuel Tabernacle right off of Dill right here in Atlanta. And the show is called “The Sisterhood” on TLC. Tuesday nights, 9pm. Last night was the second episode. I do appreciate you. I wish you the best.
Ivy: Thank you.
Egypt: Ya’ll gotta come back at the end of the season and tell me if you still…if you accomplish what you went into the show to accomplish. Please.
Ivy: We will. Thank you Egypt.
Check out “The Sisterhood” on TLC Tuesday nights at 9pm.