An employee at Relentless Church in Greenville says he resigned Tuesday after things turned hostile at a meeting was held Thursday about the megachurch’s future.
Jacob Johnson was in charge of The Imagine Center, the gym at Relentless Church.
After the church sent a letter responding to the land owner’s notice of termination of a non-residential lease, Johnson and other staff gathered Thursday night for a meeting.
He told WYFF4’s Renée Wunderlich things turned hostile when he asked the pastor whether or not the church was being evicted.
“The room shifted. It shifted tremendously. To a sense to where I no longer felt like I was at a church. I no longer felt like I was safe,” Johnson said. “And, um, I was really concerned about some of the leaders that jumped up and rushed at me, and as well as security that verbally assaulted me.”
We confirmed with Greenville Police that Johnson filed a complaint. Police told WYFF4 that there was not enough evidence to charge anyone.
Johnson tells WYFF4 he still loves his pastors – and hopes his question didn’t offend anyone – he just wants to know the truth.
“Do we know the truth of this situation? And I said, “‘Are you pulling the wool over our eyes?’” said Johnson. “Note that it’s not hard to stand up to somebody that you’ve looked up to, someone that you’ve looked for guidance for. Someone to feed you. It’s very hard to stand up against a man of God… as a young man who my beliefs are very strong.”
WYFF4 first reported Friday night that, according to legal documents, Relentless was served a termination letter — meaning the land’s owner, pastor Ron Carpenter of Redemption, a different megachurch – wanted them out.
But on Sunday, worshipers tell WYFF4 that relentless pastor John Gray told the congregation there was no eviction notice, and that he would announce the future of the church next week.
After WYFF4’s 4 p.m. broadcast, pastor John Gray’s publicist, Holly Baird, told WYFF4 in an email that, “they (Relentless) were served a termination of lease based on a verbal agreement.”
Redemption authorized their legal counsel to issue the following statement to WYFF4:
“Since The Relentless Church began operating on Redemption’s Greenville campus in May 2018, the two churches have worked toward Relentless taking control and ownership of the Greenville property. Despite nearly two years of negotiations, however, the parties have been unable to fully agree on the terms of this transition.
“Because the parties have not been able to agree on a date for Relentless to vacate the property, Redemption has taken steps to protect its property rights by sending a notice of lease termination to Relentless through legal counsel, which requires Relentless to vacate the property by December 31, 2019. If Relentless does not vacate the property by December 31, 2019, Redemption will begin the necessary court process to have Relentless removed from the property in accordance with South Carolina law.
“Redemption is in receipt of the letter to its counsel from J. Stephen Welch on behalf of Relentless dated December 5, 2019. Redemption disagrees with the legal positions taken in the letter and is preparing a response. Redemption does not believe it benefits either party for this legal battle to be waged in the media, however, and instead will look to the court process for resolution.” – Katari D. Buck, Partner at Asiatico Law, PLLC