John Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, decried “pulpit pimps” who seek only to make money off their congregations without helping the poor and needy. His remarks came during a sermon about Jesus feeding the multitude in John 6.

“For too long people have stood in the pulpit and told you to give, give, give. Very rarely have I seen churches that stop to say, leave the baskets out. Let the people get what they need. We’ve got too many pulpit pimps [who] want to get fat off of people, [who] don’t want to meet the needs of the poor people. Jesus said that’s who you’re supposed to be taking care of.” 

Getting visibly emotional, Gray continued, “We got widows. We got orphans. We got single moms in here. We might not be able to do everything but we can do something. I wish we could do more, but this is the best we can do right now. Just know as the Lord keeps blessing us, we’re going to do it more and more. We’re going to buy cars for women who are catching the bus. We’re going to buy houses for people who’ve been renting. And we’re going to have more than what we need.”

Gray invited single mothers, single fathers, widows and anyone who “had an orange light in your gas tank when you pulled up” to come to the altar and take money from the just-collected offering baskets to pay for food and gas expenses. 

Gray also prophetically declared an “a season of all-you-can-eat,” which elicited a standing ovation from the crowd.

“I just need to make one quick announcement for those who are casual observers or maybe you are a casual attendee today, I need you to know you’re stepping into a season of all-you-can-eat,” Gray said. “I’ll make that announcement one more time, and the praise that goes with it will be attached to your life for the season you’re about to step into. I said I’m prophetically declaring that you’re stepping into a season of all-you-can-eat. You are stepping into a season of buffet without price. Because it’s already been paid for.”

In May, Ron Carpenter stepped down from his role as senior pastor and installed Gray as the new senior pastor. The church, then called Redemption Church, was rebranded at that time as Relentless Church. Carpenter now leads the Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose, California. 

Gray was also one of the evangelicals who attended a meeting with Donald Trump in August, a meeting which became controversial when some leaders accused the black pastors of racial betrayal.

Date published: 05/12/2018
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