In his New Year’s Eve sermon, megachurch pastor John Gray revealed the circumstances leading to his recent contemplation of suicide which he attributes to “demonic” forces. Gray, stepping onto the stage of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, he wore wearing all black, which he half-seriously called his “funeral outfit.”

“2018 tried to kill me,” he said, “so I thought I’d dress for the occasion.”

Being totally candid with his congregation, Gray shared that, for him, 2018 was filled with “supernatural demonic attacks.”

“I literally thought about how I could end my life and still get to Heaven and somehow my kids would not be scared but there was no way I could figure out how to do it,” he said. “And I’m not the only person that thought about that. I’m not the only person the devil attacked in that area.” 

In fact, the only thing Gray says held him back from the irreversible decision to commit suicide was the thought of how it would hurt his children.

“The truth is some of the stuff that tried to kill me, I helped,” Gray continued, owning up to issues in his life. “Everybody needs to know some stuff wasn’t the devil, some stuff was you. It would be great if we shout for that too because when you shout for that what you’re saying is I take personal responsibility.”

“I wanted to call it quits. ‘Hey you sound like you need counseling,’” Gray thought. 

Gray acknowledged that Christians tend to suffer in pain or avoid seeking help, thinking that doing so demonstrates a lack of faith in God: “Some stuff you can’t slap oil on your forehead and ask for it to go away.”

Noting that much of his pain stemmed from past issues from long ago, Gray emphasized that if you don’t completely heal from something, it will go dormant only to crop up again in your future: “Some stuff you gon’ have to work out. Some stuff you gon’ have to walk out. And you gonna need some certified Christian counseling and some therapy.”

“There is no perfect pastor and the days of this façade of super perfection from the pulpit is over. I wanted to end it,” Gray proclaimed, vowing to be more transparent as a pastor about his struggles. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or you just need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time, day or night, at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re looking for counseling services in your area, the Association Of Certified Biblical Counselors is just a click away.

Date published: 12/01/2019
Written by: Alyssa Duvall
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