Did John Gray use sermon to debunk rumor he fathered a child in extramarital affair?

Pastors John and Aventer Gray speak as the new lead pastors of what is now called Relentless Church in South Carolina after founding pastor Ron Carpenter transferred leadership to the Grays, May 6, 2018.
Pastors John and Aventer Gray speak as the new lead pastors of what is now called Relentless Church in South Carolina after founding pastor Ron Carpenter transferred leadership to the Grays, May 6, 2018. | (Screenshot: Redemption Church)

This article has been updated with Pastor Gray's response.

Did Pastor John Gray indirectly respond to rumors that he fathered a child outside of his marriage in a sermon illustration last Sunday, in which he said his two children with his wife, Aventer, were his "only begotten son" and "only begotten daughter"?

Gray recently became pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, after years of preaching at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He recently came under much criticism for gifting his wife with a $200,000 Lamborghini for their eight-year anniversary just months after he confessed to listening to “voices” that lured him away and almost caused the couple to get a divorce.

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Another rumor that surfaced after the public learned that he'd been unfaithful to his wife, was that Gray reportedly had fathered a child with Walls Group member Rhea Walls.

Popular vlogger and former pastor Larry Reid, however, said he had been in contact with the baby's grandfather and that rumors of Gray being the child's father were false.

During his sermon at Relentless Church on Jan. 13, Gray appeared to allude to the rumors when he called up his young son to join him on stage and preached about the generational patterns he's hoping to break.

“This is what God is doing in me, He’s reconciling the little boy that's still inside of this man,” Gray preached. “I need to trade the pain of the little boy that wasn't covered, for the man that's called to cover.”

The 45-year-old said that at times, he still wants to wait on his earthly father but he can’t because he's dead. So Gray believes it's up to him to step up.

“I am now the thing I'm waiting on,” he said. “So I need Him (God) to heal this version of me (pointing at his son) so I can be the most that I'm supposed to be for him (his son).”

“I'm actually fighting devils that weren't scheduled for me; they were scheduled for my dad but because my dad didn't fight them, I'm fighting his and mine. That's why I gotta fight my devils and my dad's, so my son doesn't have to fight mine because I don't need him fighting with three generations of stuff,” Gray added.

The charismatic minister then stood in front of his son and turned the conversation toward the devil.

“I need to get in front of him and say, 'No devil, you can't have him, you can't have my family, you can't have my son, you can't have my seed, you can't have my legacy,” Gray declared.

He then turned to the congregation to set the record straight.

"And this is my son, my only son in whom I'm well pleased," Gray declared as he pointed to his children. "That's my daughter, my only begotten daughter in whom I'm well pleased, period!"

The Christian Post reached out to Relentless Church and Pastor Gray for comment. A spokesperson for Gray contacted The Christian Post on Sunday after publication to say, "officially, yes. Pastor John was speaking on the topic of an alleged child outside of his marriage. He does not have one." 

Last summer, Gray opened up to his church explaining that for about two years he and his wife had been contemplating divorce.

“What they didn’t see is that for the last two years we weren’t sure if we would even make it. This is what the people saw," he said while fake smiling, "but they didn’t see the tears at night. They didn’t see the times when one of us was sleeping on the couch because the argument. We had to keep smiling because even though we were struggling and even though I was failing as a husband, I was already in front of the people and the people can’t receive my brokenness because where do leaders go when they bleed? Because sheep don’t do well with blood so I had to bleed alone,” Gray said.

Despite their problems, the megachurch leaders kept going.

Aventer also addressed the congregation explaining why she chose not to leave her husband despite his unspecified actions.

"So you want me to leave my husband because you spoke to the 16-year-old that couldn’t get a date? And he listened. So I’m supposed to leave my husband because you spoke to a place of brokenness that had not yet been submitted back to the Father? But because I know the tricks of the enemy and I’m learning them every day, I can stand here in boldness for everybody that tried to sneak in, thank you, because I got closer to God because of it. I got in that word … come on devil, you don’t want it with me."

The wife later alluded to a "strange woman."

“I put Scripture on that strange woman," she shouted. "I put Scripture on that strange woman. She don’t want it with me and she don’t want it with y’all, amen!”

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