Following a mediation process, megachurch pastors Ron Carpenter and John Gray have finally settled after years of lawsuits between the two.
According to The Christian Post, the two had been fighting after the Carpenters reportedly tried to evict the Grays from the church Carpenter previously pastored, but handed over to Gray when he moved his Redemption Church brand from South Carolina to California in 2018. Gray, who rebranded the Redemption Church to the Relentless Church in South Carolina, fought back.
According to Gray's lawyers, the dispute was really over church membership.
"In essence, this is not a dispute as much about leases and occupancy of church buildings, as much as it is a fight over church members. Pastor Gray has come into Greenville at the urging of Ron Carpenter, even moving to be here before school was out for the summer for his children because Carpenter said he had to leave immediately for California."
However, Carpenter's lawyers asserted that Gray had been "shady" and "dishonest" during the closing procedures for changing hands of the church. However, the agreement allegedly couldn't be concluded anyways because the International Pentecostal Holiness Church technically owned a portion of the property.
The settlement allows Gray to stay until 2021 and then find a new building for his church. In statements made at a joint announcement, Carpenter stated “Just because you intend well don’t mean it always goes well and the fact is people were living in a decision that I made, and I feel very responsible.” He also stated “I’ve known Pastor John Gray for 16 years. We have broke bread together, we have stayed in each other’s houses, we preached together in the same circles and the same conferences. I want all of those fences to be mended.”
Carpenter moved his church brand to San Jose, California, where he took over a 14,000-member church previously called Jubilee Christian Center.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.