Home Christian News Pastor John Gray’s No Good, Very Bad Year

Pastor John Gray’s No Good, Very Bad Year

Lawsuits Hang Over Gray and Relentless

Since 2018, Relentless has been leasing facilities of the former Redemption Church, which left Greenville for San Jose, California. Redemption’s pastors, Ron and Hope Carpenter, now accuse Gray of being “shady” and “dishonest,” and gave Relentless a 30-day eviction notice at the end of November. Relentless, in turn, says it is current on payments and is fighting the eviction. Gray insists he leads his church “with honor and integrity.”

At New Year’s Eve services last month, Gray was expected to announce a new Greenville location for Relentless, as well as a new congregation in Atlanta. But any plans to move from the church’s current location appear to be on hold, pending litigation. On January 2, Redemption filed an “application for ejectment,” a lawsuit requesting a court order to remove Relentless from the 17-acre Greenville property.

Mid-December, Gray displayed architectural renderings of a new facility. But during New Year’s Eve worship, he focused instead on the Old Testament account of Queen Jezebel seeking out the prophet Elijah—but not doing so face to face. “Don’t write a letter; don’t send a text,” Gray preached. “Jezebel talks, but she can’t walk.”

According to Relentless, Hope Carpenter has been contacting its members with messages indicating that they’re “taking our church back” and plan to make the Greenville campus a satellite location for Redemption.

In a statement, Relentless says it has “dealt honorably” with its landlord and tried to resolve the differences. “We will continue to serve the Lord, reach the lost, and serve the community” during legal proceedings, the church says. “This unfortunate issue will not hinder the vision, work, functionality, or heart of this church. We invite the media and the public to do their own due diligence.”

Last week, legal troubles mounted for Relentless when a former employee filed suit against the church. Richard Travis Hayes, the church’s former chief operating officer, is suing Relentless and Gray for more than $75,000 in unpaid money he says is owed to him. That amount includes unpaid wages, vacation time, and a promised salary increase.

Hayes says that when Relentless assigned him to a different job position, Gray told him his pay would stay the same. In his lawsuit, Hayes says Gray agreed to pay him what was owed but didn’t have enough funds available at the time; later, church officials allegedly told Hayes, who resigned last month, that no payment would be forthcoming because no contract was in place.

Paul Porter, the attorney for Hayes, says his client “was very thoughtful in bringing this lawsuit” against a church. “We did not want to end up in litigation in this situation,” he says. “We’ll be sure to give [Relentless] a fair shake through the discovery process, and we’re confident in our side.”

Pastor John Gray’s TV Show Isn’t Being Renewed

Gray, 46, received more bad news last week, when the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) confirmed to the Greenville News that it’s cancelling The Book of John Gray after three seasons. Previously, Gray had indicated he was already at work producing season four. A spokesperson for the Grays says they have been considering other media opportunities, in both television and film.

OWN describes The Book of John Gray as “a dramedy docu-follow hybrid about the life of John Gray and his uniquely humorous way of helping people.” Gray gives viewers “unprecedented and intimate access into his church and home life.” During the episodes, the network says, “John uses his deep convictions, hard-earned wisdom, and famous sense of humor to help people overcome their greatest challenges, all while facing his own everyday struggles as a husband and father.”

Last November, John Gray posted a family portrait (with each member dressed in Givenchy gear) and wrote: “This has been the most necessary, painful, growth inducing, man-making, flesh stripping, battle filled year of my life.” Gray thanked his wife, adding: “With God a three fold chord is not easily broken. I defy the devil and any attempt at killing what God has predestined for our lives.”

At the Relentless New Year’s Eve services last month, both John and Aventer Gray referred to the tumult of 2019. “It wasn’t the happiest year,” Aventer Gray said. “It wasn’t fun, but it was necessary.” John Gray added, “After all the hell that I’ve been through, I still got my praise.”