In an emotional, yet defiant response to critics, Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church, has defended lavishing $200K to purchase a Lamborghini Urus for his wife Aventer, as they celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary.
Pastor John Gray referenced the book of Ephesians as part of the reason why he lavished his wife with the expensive gift.
He also assured supporters and critics that he’s not a “pulpit pimp” or “prosperity preacher.”
He said it was God who made the acquisition possible after he made a “faith deposit” on the vehicle in February.
“Here’s the truth, husbands love your wives like Christ loves the Church. Even giving himself a ransom. That means give everything. Sow everything. Give the best of everything. And that’s where I’m at,” Gray said, quoting from Ephesians 5 near the end of a 23-minute monologue broadcast on Facebook Live outside his church in Greenville, South Carolina, on Thursday.
He explained that he was inspired to get the posh SUV for his wife in February, after they saw a presentation for it at their hotel while attending the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles, California.
“I saw my wife’s eyes light up,” he said. “She said, ‘This would be a dream,’ and that’s all she had to say.”
After gifting his wife the SUV in a lavish celebration last Saturday that left her screaming, many critics raised concerns about the optics of a pastor indulging in such opulence and wondered if he had used church funds to finance it.
“Not a nickel, not a penny from this church, Relentless Church, went toward the gift that I gave my wife. That matters. That’s the only thing that matters. ‘Cause I know like you know, there are some pulpit pimps out here, who take church money and do the wrong thing. But I work hard for my family and I tithe and I sow and I’ve done it my whole life, and I’ll continue to do it,” Gray said, apologizing for getting emotional in his defense.
He also noted that when he made the purchase, he didn’t make it as a pastor but as a husband.
“First of all, it wasn’t a pastor that bought the car. It was a husband that bought the car. Get that in your spirit. I’m a husband first. Don’t confuse what I do with who I am. What I do is I pastor God’s people. Who I am is a husband and a father. And I’ll do anything to honor them. And I won’t ask permission from anybody to do it. No man should,” he said.
In the monologue, Gray explained that he was still paying for the Lamborghini after making a deposit on it in February. He also reiterated a statement made earlier by his wife that he worked very hard and saved from a variety of income streams including his second book deal and his Oprah Winfrey Network reality TV show “The Book of John Gray,” which is in its fourth season, to pay for the Lamborghini.
“God take my life on this live feed if I did [use church money to buy the Lamborghini]. For those who don’t know, me and my wife have a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network. We working on season 4 right now. Shhh, don’t tell anybody. That’s four seasons. And I’m not an actor on it, I’m a producer of it. Get that straight!” he said, exclaiming his point with a close-up to the camera.
“Oh, by the way, I just signed my second book deal. … The book deal comes with resources, the TV show comes with resources, I also have other streams and I’ve also been wise with my savings and investments. I’m not going into details but the point is this, I have created and been patient my whole life for this moment,” he continued.
Gray, who remains an associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, also gave a nod to Osteen’s 2004 book, Your Best Life Now, to explain that he has chosen to live life richly as if there is no tomorrow. And his best life, he said, is seeing his wife happy.
“I’m 45. I’m supposed to wait ‘til I’m 70 to live my best life? My best life is seeing my wife happy. It’s not like I’m sitting up trying to do something for me. I want my wife to be happy and every man should be able to do whatever is in his ability to do,” he said.