Two weeks after drawing praise for allowing congregants in need to take cash directly from his offering baskets, Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, is drawing flak for gifting his wife a Lamborghini Urus for their eighth wedding anniversary celebration that left her screaming on Saturday.
The Urus, with prices starting at about $200,000 in 2017, according to Fortune, has a 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo engine that produces 650 horsepower. It also boasts an automatic eight-speed transmission, can travel 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 189 mph.
In a clip of the moment posted on Instagram by Sue Mayweather, Gray is shown leading his wife, Aventer, to the luxury vehicle and once she realizes what the gift is, she breaks out in screams. Her husband is seen holding her hand before declaring to the crowd “Lamborghini Urus.” Mayweather noted that Gray’s wife also gifted him the “‘green box’ Rolex,” a term used to describe the Rolex Explorer II which comes with a price of approximately $8,000.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, singer Tyrese who attended the celebration wrote: “Honored to have been there to see and witness every moment…..Pastor John Gray and his beautiful First Lady renewed their vows after 8 years of marriage….fairy tail grace and magic….Honored and honored again to have been in the room and apart of you guys magical evening. From the #Gibsons to the #Grays May God KEEP you covered in his blood…//Amen!!!”
While some people praised the preacher for splurging on his wife, others were angry that a preacher would indulge in such display of opulence.
Reacting to the criticism being leveled at her husband including some who suggested that he may have used church funds to purchase the gift, Aventer Gray made it clear that her husband had been working hard for a long time and saved his money to “bless his wife.”
She also pointed to several sources of income outside of his work as a pastor, including as a songwriter and movie producer.
“MY HUBBY IS A HARD-WORKER, HE WORKED HIS WHOLE LIFE AND HE SAVED TO BLESS HIS WIFE!!! REALJOHNGRAY AUTHOR X2, SILENT ENDORSEMENTS (YOU KNOW BECAUSE EVERYONE DOESN’T HAVE TO BRAG ABOUT WHO THEY ARE SIGNED TO) 6 TV SHOWS, MOVIE PRODUCER, SONG WRITER, TOURS,” she wrote.
“Gives away cars, full houses of furniture, coats off his back…checks before pastoring and tithes that in its entirety between 2 churches AND those he feels lead to at any given moment…BEEN WORKING FOR YEARS…GET OUTTA HERE,” she continued.
She also urged critics to back off criticizing her husband, noting that no one gets upset if basketball players drive expensive cars.
“I don’t see anyone screaming about how basketball players drive what they do while you paying $$$ to see them play in arenas and on fields. We don’t live for people! We live for God! Back to my regularly scheduled grocery store trip!!! Happy Sunday!” she ended.
Pastor Gray’s display of wealth comes just weeks after he criticized "pulpit pimps" who only ask churchgoers to “give, give, give,” then allowed needy church members who barely had enough gas to attend his church and food for their families to take what they needed from cash in his church’s offering baskets.
He also revealed at the time that his young church wasn’t yet financially secure.
“These people don’t know what it took for me to do this. We are a six-month-old church with no savings account. We believe God every week but the Lord told me to do this because if I trust Him, whatever is left over would have to be enough,” he said.
He then explained that as God blesses the church they will make it their mission to continue blessing those in need.
“Just know as the Lord keeps blessing us, we’re going to do it more and more. We’re going to start buying cars for women who are catching the bus. We’re going to buy houses for people who’ve been renting. We’re going to have more than what we need and God’s going to raise up entrepreneurs and they’re going to have so much that they’re going to sow into the vision. And we won’t have to worry about offering. Offering will be extra,” he said.