The ministry of John Gray seems to be getting messier and messier considering some new allegations about the pastor’s business practices that came as he and his church were facing a possible eviction over what court documents claim is unpaid debt.
According to Greenville News, the former chief operating officer of Gray’s Relentless Church is suing the church and Gray, saying that the pastor has refused to pay him tens of thousands of dollars in wages earned before his resignation last month. Travis Hayes left the church on Dec. 5, according to the lawsuit filed in Greenville County this week. Since then, he says Relentless Church hasn’t paid him more than $75,000 that he claimed he’s owed.
Hayes spent 20 years being the chief financial officer for Ron and Hope Carpenter’s Redemption Church, and he stayed in Greenville when the Carpenters relocated to California to take over a church in San Jose. According to the lawsuit, he became the chief financial officer for Relentless and was promoted to chief operating officer back in March or April of 2019.
Just this past November, Hayes said he was reassigned to be the director of special projects and that Gray explained that his pay would remain the same. However, Hayes said he decided to resign “on his observation of certain going-ons at Relentless which caused him material ethical and business concerns,” his lawsuit says.
Hayes’ attorney said the issues his client referred to weren’t illegal but related to personnel situations.
“That’s Relentless’ business, and it’s up to them to sort out their personnel matters,” Paul Porter said. “We didn’t want it to come to this,” Porter continued. “Travis cares a lot about the church family and its members. Hopefully everything will work out in the end for all involved.”
Gray, an internationally known preacher and T.V. personality, has continually found himself in controversy over the past couple of years. In one instance, he was criticized for buying his wife, Aventer, a $200,000 Lamborghini for their anniversary. Meanwhile, the Relentless Church bought him a $1.8 million home. He also talked about an “emotional affair” he had with another woman on national T.V. Not to mention, he’s also been slammed for associating himself with Donald Trump.
Relentless is currently involved in a dispute with the Carpenters and Redemption, the former of which owns the Greenville property where Relentless Church is housed. They want the church to be evicted from the building over alleged unpaid amounts surrounding its lease. So far, Gray has vehemently suggested that he intends to stay in the building despite any eviction attempts.
In Hayes’ lawsuit, he said he was paid $200,000 a year at Redemption and that Gray said he wanted to give him a $25,000 raise when Gray took over the church.
When Hayes left Relentless, he said he was owed nearly $40,000 in unpaid compensation, plus nearly $13,000 in accrued vacation days and $23,000 from a promised raise that he has yet to receive.
In the lawsuit, Hayes said that on or after Dec. 5, Relentless sent him a letter saying he was fired on Dec. 4 for violating Relentless’ confidentiality policy. However, Hayes said he doesn’t have a clue what sort of policy violation Relentless was referring to and he explained that he was separated from employment without cause and is entitled to his pay.
“I think if you look at the timeline, he resigned and then they fired him,” Porter said. “It was kind of a tit-for-tat.”