Pastor John Gray announced Sunday that he’s brought on a number of seasoned megachurch pastors to act as advisers to guide him as he leads Relentless Church.
The move comes amid a financially rocky first year-and-a-half at Relentless Church that Gray hopes to steady with a move to a new Greenville location in the new year.
Gray told the Relentless congregation during a Sunday service where he laid out the church’s 2020 vision that the pastors would work as a presbytery to help govern the church.
The pastors include Greg Surratt, the founding pastor of Charleston-based Seacoast Church; Dino Rizzo, the executive director of the Association of Related Churches, of which Relentless is a member; and Chris Hodges, the founder and senior pastor of Alabama’s Church of the Highlands.
Gray is an accomplished preacher who has spoken at some of America’s largest churches, and he remains on staff as an associate pastor who preaches Wednesday evenings at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Joel Osteen is the lead pastor. But Relentless is Gray’s first ministry as a senior pastor, and he said he’s needed to learn how to be a pastor, not just a preacher.
Gray said he’s had the heart to pastor since he felt God’s calling him to ministry at age 21, but he’s had to learn the business side of running a church.
That’s why he’s asked other senior pastors for guidance, he said.
“Among them are men with successful churches and ministries behind them, and because we’ve been in personal relationships, I asked them to come in in an official capacity to help oversee the church moving forward,” Gray said in an interview with The Greenville News.
Gray and his wife, Aventer, took over the church in Greenville and renamed it Relentless Church in the summer of 2018 when former Redemption Church pastors Ron and Hope Carpenter left to take a church in San Jose, California. The church property is still owned by the Carpenters’ Redemption Church, and Relentless leases the buildings.
On Nov. 27, after months of negotiations between the two churches, Relentless Church received a letter from attorneys representing Redemption Church that told Relentless to vacate the property by the end of the year or else an eviction notice would be filed in court. The letter said it was ending the churches’ verbal month-to-month lease agreement.
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SOURCE: The Greenville News, Nathaniel Cary