Controversial SC megachurch pastor called to #TheJesusChallenge to ‘live minimally’ for 1 year

Published: Apr. 22, 2019 at 7:25 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The controversial pastor of a Greenville, SC, megachurch has been challenged to relinquish his worldly possessions in what a fellow pastor calls #TheJesusChallenge.

Pastor John Gray, of Relentless Church, was challenged by Washington, DC-based Pastor Jomo Johnson, of the House Church for Black Men and Families for the initiative set to begin on May 1.

The challenge came in the form of a Twitter post and YouTube video on Easter Sunday.

“On this Easter Day, I am calling @RealJohnGray and other Church pastors to take #TheJesusChallenge : Live one year minimally. You choose. Starting May 1st, give up one possession per day or week, or per month...until next Easter,” Johnson tweeted.

Gray may have been called to the challenge because of his extravagant gift giving - in 2018, the pastor purchased a $200,000 Lamborgini for his wife as an anniversary gift following claims of his own infidelity, according to media reports. Gray also has a well-documented affinity for high-end sneakers.

Gray said the car was not purchased with church money; his wife, Aventer, defended the purchase as a gift from “a hard-worker” who “worked his whole life and he saved to bless his wife,” according to her Instagram posts as reported by The Houston Chronicle.

Gray formerly a pastor at Joel Osteen’s Houston, TX-based church, according to WSPA, and has show on Oprah Winfrey’s O Network, also said in a YouTube video that he contemplated divorce and other trials and tribulations following the car’s purchase.

Just recently, a fellow pastor, Hope Carpenter threatened a Greenville newspaper reporter in defense of Gray.

“I cut people. I got a knife right here in my pocketbook,” the Washington Post quotes her as saying. “Greenville News, come on. We done went through this. I’m still here, and guess who else is still going to be here?”

She spoke and pointed as Gray and his wife, the newspaper says.

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