The show tracks the lives of the Speegles, an unconventional family of preachers, as they leave behind a well-established Florida congregation to open a brand-new church in Madison.
The family sat down with WHNT News 19 for an interview before the premiere and said they felt a deep calling to spread the word of God in the Tennessee Valley. Although Allen and Janice Speegle called central Florida home for more than 20 years, they have family ties in the Madison area. That made it the perfect spot to relocate as they pass the reins of running a church, to eldest daughter Jill and her husband Rod.
The Speegle family first got a taste of fame on the show Family Feud. That’s when a producer in New York took notice of them. Years later, just a few days after deciding to move back to Alabama, the Speegles were contacted about doing a reality show. Ryan Seacrest’s company eventually signed on for production.
“We as a family decided that we’re willing to give up our privacy for the potential to be able to help people see God in a different light,” Allen Speegle said in the interview with WHNT News 19.
The family added that while you may seem some dramatic moments, what you’ll see on the show is real life, not a scripted drama.
“We’re not exactly the cookie cutter pastor look, appearance, or any of that, “Jill Windham said.
“They saw us break down and have fights and you know, be real with each other,” Lori Adgate said of the camera crew. Lori, her husband Seth and their children also feature prominently in the show.
On the show, viewers will see the Speegles starting Movement Church from scratch, recruiting new members, struggling over finances and of course, spreading God’s word. There will be humor and tears.
The family said filming took six weeks over the summer. While it was a grueling schedule, they bonded well with the crew and producers. Juggling the demands of shooting, day jobs and children, on the other hand, was a challenge.
The Speegles haven’t seen the finished product, so they’ll watch the premiere along with the rest of the Tennessee Valley.
They’re hoping the family’s central message is what shines through, one of acceptance and welcome. They’re hoping people will see what life is like for everyday pastors across America, instead of mega-rich leaders of mega-churches.
“We are, to me, the typical pastor of America,” Janice Speegle said. “The typical pastor of America works hard, they love God, they love their people.”
To watch TLC’s promotional clip for “Preaching Alabama” and learn more about the family, click here.
The show premiered Tuesday, October 7 at 9:00 CT.