John Gray III, associate pastor at Houston mega-church Lakewood Church, recently announced he will be stepping down to take a position as senior pastor at a church in South Carolina in 2018.
Gray, who starred in his own reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), will take over as the senior pastor of Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina, in May.
Gray will reportedly replace Ron Carpenter, Jr., who is said to be taking the lead at a church in San Jose, California, to replace their church’s retiring pastor.
Reports indicate Redemption Church will also be changing its name when Gray takes over, as well as closing its satellite churches in two other South Carolina cities.
Gray served as the associate pastor at Lakewood under mega-church leader Joel Osteen since 2012, where he led many of the church’s Wednesday night services, as well as “opened” for Osteen during the church’s televised Sunday services, featured below.
He will reportedly split his duties between Lakewood and Redemption until he takes over the South Carolina mega-church full-time.
“It is with tremendous gratitude in our hearts for the past and expectancy for the future, that we are honored to share that we have said yes to God’s next assignment for our lives,” Gray wrote on social media to announce his move.
Osteen and Lakewood officials faced criticism this summer for their alleged failure to respond to victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Both Osteen and Gray defended the initial decision to keep the church closed to flood victims, stating the building to be inaccessible due to flooded streets and closed due to lack of instruction from the city, but, eventually, the facility, capable of holding thousands, opened as a temporary shelter.
Good luck to Pastor Gray!