Kenneth Coleman and his daughter Taylor of "Preachers Daughter" (working title) filming in Lockport, Illinois on October 21, 2012. Photo by Scott Gries

IT doesn’t matter where they are from, all young people endure growing pains. These are simply defined as that time in their lives when they are still trying to “find themselves”, when they are so opinionated they make many mistakes along the way.

Eagerly hoping to guide their offspring are the overly protective parents who do not know where to draw the line. Well, that’s the general set-up. Now throw in a couple of staunch preachers who have teenage daughters. The preachers want to pass on the gospel to their offspring, but with more free thinkers on the rise, these kids are being exposed to all things anti-Christian. Which is why it will be interesting to watch Preachers’ Daughters, a reality TV series airing on Lifetime that explores how these clergy parents relate to their “worldly” kids.

Here is the obvious predicament: parents by their very nature are old-fashioned in their kids’ eyes and today’s teens are raised more by the internet than their parents. The Christian world is very specific on how its believers are supposed to live. The religion all depends on a given set of rules which a member should be seen to practice. So the preachers, as the leaders of their given congregations, must lead by example. This means their conduct has to be beyond reproach. Some actually manage to maintain what appears to be a clean lifestyle, but the Christian yoke does not only belong to them. Their family or friends, by default, have to follow the Christian way of living, too.

While all this sounds feasible, we can’t ignore the fact that being born to religious folks doesn’t auto-matically make you religious. In fact, in most cases, because it’s usually church at church and church at home, for active teens the idea of being a Mommy or Daddy’s boy defeats the purpose of being young and wild.

We will see these challenges on Preachers’ Daughters, a show that is shot as part documentary, part soapie,when the relationships are tested on cameras. We follow a few American families which are comprised of four sets of religious parents and their defiant daughters.

There are the Colemans from Illinois – Ken Coleman is the head of the house and the City of Refuge Pentecostal Church. In the same household resides 18-year-old Taylor who struggles to follow the rules. Her parents are hard on her because they are trying to save her from becoming like her older sister, Kendra, who fell pregnant at 20 and was evicted from the family home.

Then, from Tennessee, we meet 16-year-old Kolby who comes from a broken home. Since her parents are divorced, she has to live between two homes. Nikita, her father, used be a professional wrestler, but then became an evangelist. Her mother is a preacher and a director of various pregnancy centres. Kolby is easily influenced by several factors that come with being raised in a broken home.

From South Carolina we meet the Cassidys. The parents are full-time ministers and their daughter Megan is the good kid – for now. Her brother Zac is in rehab.

The Elliot family hails from Louisiana and the centre of focus for Preachers’ Daughters is Tori, who used to be a cop. She moves back to stay with her religious parents after she is served with an eviction notice.


• Preachers’ Daughters airs every Wednesday at 8pm on Lifetime (DStv channel 131).