Nothing beats a hearty knee slapping laugh. After all, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine.” And Jeremy Williams, founder of Church Of Laugh understands that all too well. So who is this guy? He’s a 27 year old Brooklyn native who loves God, loves people, and can appreciate the power of laugh.
So Divine: It’s obvious that you grew up in the church. What made you decide to start Church of Laugh?
Jeremy Williams: I’m a Pastor’s Kid so I’ve seen it all. I’ve been in church all my life so I know the church culture very well. I grew up doing skits in church and people have always known me to make jokes. I’m always trying to make people laugh and smile and it just made sense. Originally, I’ve been trying to build a live comedy sketch show. I started and did about two shows, but I didn’t have the team that I needed. The first few skits that I put on YouTube didn’t do so well as I expected. It was cool but it wasn’t where I wanted it to be. After it didn’t pull off how I wanted it to, for years I’ve just been writing down ideas. I saw on the internet that memes were getting hot, so I thought it would be cool to do it for church. I built ChurchofLaugh.com to showcase anything funny that would happen in the church. I thought it would be cool to talk about things that go on in church or with church people.
So Divine: As a kid growing up in church and seeing people getting in the spirit, or hearing our pastor speaking a certain way, it would seem funny to some of us because we’re young and we don’t really understand. A lot of times we would get reprimanded by our parents or someone older. How do feel about that, now that we’re older and we do understand, but we still laugh at it?
Jeremy Williams: People laugh at anything that reminds them of an old time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a joke. But if you can relate to it, it might make you laugh. I saw a post [on social media] recently and it said “When you’re in high school and you keep getting up because you have on a fresh outfit.” I remember as a kid when you dress up or got a new outfit, you want to be seen. So it’s not really funny, but you remember doing that. Just being able to place a scene in somebody’s head that can say this happened before. It’s just something that’s relatable. And it’s cool to connect with thousands of people who experienced the same thing.
So Divine: Were you hesitant at all in doing Church of Laugh, knowing that you might experience backlash?
Jeremy Williams: Yeah. Even now with the success of it, sometimes I wonder should I keep doing this. But I know for the most part, that I bring more joy than I bring pain. There have been times when I posted some things that were getting a lot of negative feedback so I took it off. My goal is not to hurt the church. My goal is to give people humor that’s clean, humor that relates to things they’ve been through, and subliminally stop people from doing certain things that they should have stopped by now. For instance I posted a picture about tithes saying, “You came to church in red bottoms, but you don’t have an offering?” People will have money for anything but when tithes come, it’s like ‘Oh I don’t have any money.’ So the next time tithes and offering come around you will probably remember my picture and think ‘Is this me?’ What people don’t know is that a lot of my posts are really thought about with the intent of trying to change the culture, and change the mindset of people who go to church. People may mistake church of laugh for making fun of God. I’m not making fun of God, I’m making fun of church people. The people that go to church. Because we do some funny things.
So Divine: How do you separate what’s humorous from what’s serious?
Jeremy Williams: I definitely think speaking in tongues and the Holy Spirit is a serious thing. I think that people joke around it so much that you don’t even know when it’s real. Faking the Holy Ghost or the emotions of the spirit, it’s tricky. Recently I posted something that said “Shondo” and its definition. I’ve heard people say shondo so much. It’s crazy. We’re not all speaking the same tongues. I did it in a way where I didn’t think it would offend anyone. Also what I don’t joke about is the actual worship environment. Like if I’m in a service and something crazy happens I don’t take out my phone and record it. People do that. All the time. But I can’t speak on what that atmosphere was. It’s up to the person that’s there. Somebody might do some crazy moves. I’ve seen somebody jump rope. In church. Under the spirit. There’s a video. That’s ridiculous. God is not making anybody jump rope in the spirit. Why do you have a jump rope? Or there’s another one where somebody does a flip and he kicks down the sign. Why are you doing flips in church? But I know the power of God is nothing to play about.
So Divine: Is there anything off limits?
Jeremy Williams: There are some things I won’t touch, like you’ll never see posts that all pastors want is money. I don’t believe that’s the truth for the majority of pastors. I don’t post everything. I know some things might be hilarious to me, but it might not be funny to other people. So I have to be very careful with that. I always try to think of the general public. So for anyone who has sent me a picture, and it didn’t’ go up, don’t feel bad. I just try to use wisdom.
So Divine: Do you think sometimes we take church too seriously?
Jeremy Williams: Yeah I definitely think so. But in general I can’t judge how somebody feels about church or how somebody feels about their faith. The thing about faith is that we’re all at different levels. We don’t all go to school and get Bachelors in faith. Some people got saved or became a Christian because they were going through something, or because they’re on their deathbed. So I can’t judge how someone treats their faith. If they don’t want to laugh about it, so be it. What bothers me is if someone writes blasphemy under a picture. That’s not what I’m about. I’m very careful about what I do. God knows what I’m doing and he will deal with me.
So Divine: You have about 100,000 followers on Instagram, and a lot of the things people post, get reposted and thousands of others see it. Do you ever think about non Christians seeing a Church of Laugh post and how they might receive it?
Jeremy Williams: Yeah. I know that everybody who follows me isn’t saved. Some of those people curse under my posts (laughs). If I see it I’ll delete it because I know what it can cause. I think the world views the church in a certain light. I never try to make the church seem like negative place.
So Divine: I’ve seen celebrities repost and hashtag Church of Laugh, Erica Campbell, Michelle Williams…
Jeremy Williams: It’s the dopest feeling.
So Divine: Your audience is defiantly growing and I know it will continue to. Will you be expanding or will you just keep it as is?
Jeremy Williams: Well, this is only 10% of the vision. What I really want to get into is live shows. I would love for Church of Laugh to have its own television network where I’m doing comedy shows and selling products that can relate to the believer and bring humor. I have different ventures that I’m working on. I can’t’ talk about them just yet, But I definitely want to be the comedy source for church.
So Divine: Much continued success to you with Church of Laugh. And keep those posts coming!
Jeremy Williams: Thank you.
Be sure to visit www.churchoflaugh.com