Controversy just can’t stay away from John Gray, the Trump-supporting Black pastor who is fresh off a number of scandals including an apparent extra-marital affair. This time around, though, he and his church in South Carolina are facing eviction over some unpaid bills that the landlord has alleged in court documents, the Greenville News reported on Thursday.
Gray’s Relentless Church, which rents property in Greenville from Redemption Church, reportedly ignored an order to vacate the premises by the end of the year, prompting the eviction process’ formal start on Thursday, the first official business day of the year.
“The court filing asks for an application of ejectment and says Relentless breached its lease agreement because it failed to make all payments to cover the costs of the sanctuary and The Imagine Center, the sports and fitness facility operated on the church campus,” the Greenville News wrote in its report. Redemption also said that it had to take over the debt for the Imagine Center to avoid going into foreclosure.
The Greenville News reported that Gray apparently tried to finagle his way into new leasing agreements that never worked out, leaving Relentless Church on a month-to-month lease that expired as soon as it turned 2020.
A statement sent to NewsOne on behalf of Gray following the publication of this story said Relentless Church had not been served eviction papers and instead was served a notice of filing.
“We will address this matter through the appropriate legal channels,” the statement, sent on Thursday evening, said in 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. 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.”
There was no indication of how much money was owed, but in the recent past, Gray has gone to extreme lengths to maintain an air of wealth and show that cash isn’t an issue for him. That seemed to be true when he was called out in April for wearing a pair of expensive Nike Air Yeezys, which retail in the area of about $4,000 and higher.
And in December of 2018, Gray defended an even bigger extravagance. He bought his wife a Lamborghini Urus, which is priced around $200,000, for their eight-year anniversary. He posted a video of him gifting his wife the luxury vehicle. In the video, you can hear Gray say to his wife, “You light my fire. Let this Lamborghini light your fire, baby!”
He also denied plundering money from the church treasury to purchase the vehicle.
Gray, whose net worth is estimated to be about $7 million, also lives in a home that was purchased by Relentless Church for $1.8 million.
The drama in Gray’s life hasn’t been limited to money. In case you missed it, Gray told the women of “The Real” in March, “Over a year ago, my wife and I were in a very difficult place in our marriage, and in that time, I began to converse with someone — other than a counselor, other than a pastoral leader, which is where I should have taken my issues and challenges — and began to converse, and I was even in the presence of that person one time. But being in the presence of someone is not the same as sleeping with them. I did not sleep with anyone.”
If Gray was worried about the future of his church, there was no indication of any anxiety on his social media channels. The pastor who has vehemently defended his association with Donald Trump posted a video on New Year Eve inviting people to worship with him at Relentless Church.
“If God has done anything for you, thank Him and start your year off right,” Gray wrote on Instagram.
If Redemption Church is right, Gray may need to practice what he preaches.
CORRECTION: The headline to the original version of this story incorrectly said that John Gray’s Relentless Church was being evicted. The church has instead only been served a notice of the filing that Redemption Church intends to seek eviction. The headline has been updated to reflect this correction.