The South Carolina megachurch pastor who drew criticism when he bought his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini as an anniversary present in December, admitted the couple almost got a divorce.
John Gray, whose Relentless Church is based out of Greenville, said he failed his wife, Aventer, before giving her the expensive car, a video on YouTube shows.
“For the last two years we weren’t even sure if we were going to make it. This is what the people saw,” said Gray, who smiled along with his wife as she stood at his side during a church service. “This is what the people saw, but they didn’t see the tears at night, they didn’t see the times when one of us was sleeping on the couch.”
Gray said he was “failing as a husband,” but he and Aventer continued to smile in public even though “nobody knew that we were getting ready to get a divorce,” the video shows.
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In the video, Gray said the couple contemplated divorce because he “started listening to the wrong voices, and let some people get too close. And she found out, and she set it off, just like a good wife should.”
At that point in the service, video shows Aventer taking the microphone and offering her perspective on the marital problems. She said somebody preyed on Gray’s insecurities, whispering to the “16-year-old who couldn’t get a date.”
“The devil is alive. I’m standing with my husband and you can go back to the pits of Hell where you came from,” Aventer exclaimed in the video. “Was I upset? Yes. Was I heartbroken? Yes, but you better learn how to get into there for, what’s the vows? For better and worse. When the worse shows up you don’t run away.”
Aventer then claimed the devil was challenging the Grays in an effort to undermine their congregation, according to the video.
“I see you devil, but you don’t want it with me,” Aventer said in the video before shifting her focus to the person who threatened her marriage. “I put scripture on that strange woman. I put scripture on that strange woman. She don’t want it with me.”
In another service on Dec. 30, Gray said he contemplated ending more than his marriage. He admitting to being suicidal, a video posted to YouTube shows.
“I literally thought about how I could end my life and still get to heaven and somehow my kids would not be scarred, but there was no way I could figure out how to do it,” Gray said in the video, later adding “2018 was the worst year of my life.”
Another YouTube video shows Gray attending a service led by Bishop TD Jakes, who put his hands on Gray’s head and called out “the spirit of suicide (which) hangs around your house.” Gray laid on the ground until Jakes ordered him back on to his feet.
In the Dec. 30 service, Gray told his congregation he was wearing his “funeral outfit” because “2018 tried to kill me.” In that video he goes on to say that he takes responsibility for some of his actions. He also said he was targeted by “a supernatural demonic attack.”
Again, he said one of the things that made 2018 so difficult was the possibility of divorce.
I was “talking to my wife, saying I don’t think it’s going to work out. I think we need to go our separate ways,” Gray said in the video. “For the haters watching online, hoping that it was the end, we’re still together.”
Not only is the couple still married, they are going to host a relationship conference. It is for anyone regardless if they are “single, married, divorced or something in between,” according to an Instagram post.
They will be joined by other speakers, including four couples, during the conference Feb. 7-9.
Gray previously was a pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Texas, WSPA reported. He also is the star of a reality TV show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, according to its website.
In addition to being criticized for giving his wife a Lamborghini, Gray also had to defend himself for attending a White House meeting of black religious leaders where he sat next to President Donald Trump, The State reported.