Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET
Relentless Church pastor John Gray’s television show The Book of John Gray has reportedly been cancelled by the Oprah Winfrey Network.
The church currently faces two separate lawsuits, including one that seeks to evict him and his congregation from facilities owned by megachurch pastors Ron and Hope Carpenter.
The Greenville News reports that OWN has no plans to air new episodes after three seasons with Gray. Holly Baird, a spokesperson for Gray and his wife, Aventer, told the news outlet they were already considering other TV and film endeavors.
The reported cancellation follows controversy surrounding Pastor Gray, who received bad publicity after he gifted his wife a Lamborghini Urus, worth upwards of $200,000 for their eighth wedding anniversary in 2018. At the time, he defended his purchase, claiming the husband-side of him purchased the extravagant gift.
“First of all, it wasn’t a pastor that bought the car. It was a husband that bought the car. Get that in your spirit,” he said. “I’m a husband first. Don’t confuse what I do with who I am. What I do is I pastor God’s people. Who I am is a husband and a father. And I’ll do anything to honor them. And I won’t ask permission from anybody to do it. No man should.”
In November, the Carpenters, who co-founded the Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina, served Gray with a lease termination notice due to their business relationship souring. They claim he had been “shady” and “dishonest” in executing an agreement with the Carpenters following them handing over the reins of their Redemption Church to him in 2018.
This week, according to WYFF-4, Richard Travis Hayes, a former chief operating officer for Relentless Church, filed a lawsuit against Gray and his church for more than $75,000 in back pay.
"This is a church and Travis was very thoughtful in bringing this lawsuit," Hayes' attorney, Paul Porter, said in a statement. "We did not want to end up in litigation in this situation. We’ll be sure to give (Relentless) a fair shake through the discovery process and we’re confident in our side but we’ll have to prove that to the court, which is what we intend to do.”
Earlier this month, Pastor Gray reacted to the news that his church faces closure. In an email received by NewsOne, a representative for the church claims Relentless “have and will continue” to make payments to Redemption despite the court filing claiming otherwise.
“We will address this matter through the appropriate legal channels,” the statement read part. “We stand behind our original statement and are confident that the payment amounts required under the leases referenced in the complaint have and will continue to be paid. Our efforts at mediation and with wise counsel to present every detail absent of legal have proven fruitless on their end multiple times.
It added: “To the Relentless Church family please note, we have dealt honorably and have utilized every possible measure to resolve these differences to date. We will continue to serve the Lord, reach the lost, and serve the community. 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. There will be no further comment at this time as we allow our legal team to proceed accordingly.”
The original report released by Greenville News claimed Redemption filed for eviction against The Relentless Church in Greenville on Thursday (January 2) “over a month after Redemption terminated its lease agreement with the megachurch run by Pastor John Gray and told the church to vacate the property owned by Redemption by the end of the year.”
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