Pastor John Gray is the Lead Pastor at Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina and associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston.
A native of Cincinnatti, Ohio, Gray is also a gospel recording artist, comedian, television host, reality television show personality, producer and book author.
Appearing on the Orox Leather #STAYSCOOPED segment via Instagram Live, Pastor Gray and I discussed everything from Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Steph Curry and how many should stay encouraged during the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Interview Here:
Check out snippets from our dialogue below:
Pastor John Gray on the ‘Last Dance’ Chicago Bulls documentary and his feelings on MJ’s Shot over Craig Ehlo:
“I didn’t hate Michael for it. I was sad for Cleveland. I have a lot of family in Cleveland and so when Michael hit that shot – it’s not the shot but it’s the way that Craig Ehlo fell to the ground. He was so defeated; which is funny but not funny and I was a Cleveland Cavaliers fan… Craig Ehlo, Mark Price, Brad Dougherty, Larry Nance…I remember that team. Ron Harper…Ron Harper went to University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. Don’t play with me! I know! So when he hit that shot, I didn’t hate him. I was mad at him, but I actually loved Jordan and I loved trancendant personalities because there’s something in me that believed God wants me to leave a mark for the kingdom like that. I studied sports figures and history makers and multiple disciplnes and I’ve always been fascinated at the Jerry Krauses and the Bob Myers – the people who create the team, who builds the teams. Because if you’re going to be a leader in the kingdom, you can’t be self-serving. You have to be a team builder.”
Pastor John Gray on Michael Jordan and his greatness:
“There will NEVER be anyone greater than Michael Jordan. I love LeBron. LeBron is the best specimen we’ve ever seen. But Jordan is the BEST player we’ve ever seen, because the rules are different. You can’t hand check anymore. Michael Jordan was the best because he was a killer. Every night he was trying to kill you and he was going to give you his best. What I take from Jordan is every time I preach; it might be my last one. So I’m giving it everything and I don’t hold anything back. That’s why my voice is bloody when I’m done!”
Pastor John Gray on meeting Oprah Winfrey:
“Let me tell you something about Oprah. I haven’t met many people who absolutely know who they are and what they carry. She knws who she is, she knows what her place is in the world, she has a profound spiritual center and when we talked about God and the things of God, she absolutely KNOWS who the Lord is and she gives Him credit for it all. It’s very profound and that was her personal faith journey. But that was very striking to me that she wasn’t like, “Look at what I did or look what I built…” We were in her ‘tea house’. The woman has a tea house and we were in her tea house drinking the best tea that I’ve ever had in my life and she said, “Tell me why I should give you a show…” and I was like, “Ummm my mama said” and we had this conversation and I just spoke from the heart and when we were finished there was really this profound moment and there was someone else in the room with us and she said, “Alright. Let’s do it!” And it was the most unbelievable thing because I had done some sessions before and this time she invited me to her home. Now when Oprah invites you to her home there’s a couple of things that you DON’T do: You don’t talk and you don’t take pictures. Because that’s her personal space. I mean, she’s very loving and very accommodating, but it’s a respect thing. That’s her safe space. You don’t need to be taking pictures of people’s homes. It was something that was internalized for me. The first self-made African American female billionaire was a life change, that she believed in us enough for us to have 3 seasons and our contract was completed. We shifted, I became pastor, but the idea that we were on TV, on Oprah Winfrey’s network, being able to have spent time with her, she is as gracious and as loving and let me tell you something – Don’t play games. She knows her business. She’s not some goofy muse that other people can control. She knows EVERYTHING that is going on with her business!!”