Pastor Keion Henderson and his wife, Basketball Wives producer and entrepreneur Shaunie Henderson, recently launched a podcast called The Groow Zone. The couple released the first episode, which was about how the pastor managed to woo a reality TV mogul, or “heathen,” as Shaunie joked during the chat.
“I think it’s kind of funny,” she said. “Because I’m not a heathen and because nobody thinks I’ve ever stepped in a church before I met you.”
Shaunie would go on to narrate how she ended up connecting with her now husband, who she met through a mutual friend in 2020. According to the TV personality, it started with an impromptu date. Henderson initially invited her to watch him preach in San Bernardino, but the drive was too far for her. Instead, they met up at his hotel lobby in LA and went down to a restaurant to grab a bite.
“We had this great conversation that ended up being five or six hours to where we got kicked out of the regular restaurant into the lobby,” she said.
Shaunie said she ordered two cocktails to test the pastor and see if he’d judge her as she likes a drink every now and then. Keion passed the test, as he wasn’t judgmental.
The mother of five wasn’t sure if they would talk after their initial date because the dating pool “has pee in it,” so she didn’t have high expectations. She added that growing up in the church and seeing how some pastors could be contributed to her feeling that they wouldn’t hit it off. But they did.
“You were not like I thought you would be at all,” she said. “I’ve never dated a pastor before or preacher. First of all, I thought it was going to be really boring. I didn’t think that you would be fun. I didn’t think that your lifestyle really allowed you to be the kind of fun that I like. I want to go dance with my friends at The Dime. I just thought that you’d be like, ‘Oh no, that’s of the world.’”
Pastor Keion responded by explaining what he was looking for in a partner at the time they met, especially as a pastor. Thankfully, they ended up being what each other wanted and needed.
“I actually wanted someone who understood that my whole life wasn’t lived in a sanctuary. Somebody who could let me access that side of me without feeling judged. So, meeting you helped me to actually be balanced and be ok with balance,” he said.
The pastor then added that he’s realized people are looking for balanced leaders who can uphold their Christian values but be human too. He praised his wife for being consistent despite people online feeling like she changed after meeting him.
“I want people to know your path was always in that direction,” he said. “Just because you have commercials that promoted what you did for a living, it doesn’t take away what you live to do, which is to serve God, and I found you right in that place. And so, for me, it was a match made in heaven.”
He continued, “You always give me a lot of credit for allowing you to be, but I don’t think that you do anything different from when I met you. You’re actually just showing the world who you already were.”
Shaunie was previously married to former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal and they share four children together. She also has another child from a previous relationship. Henderson was previously married and has a young daughter from that relationship. Keion is the CEO and senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church & Ministries, a church community headquartered in Houston. After getting engaged in November 2021, Shaunie and Keion got married May 28, 2022 on the island of Anguilla.