A megachurch pastor threatened the local newspaper on Sunday for their coverage of the spending habits of pastors of her church.
Hope Carpenter and her husband, Ron, led the Relentless Church (Redemption Church while under the Carpenters) in Greenville, South Carolina for nearly thirty years. Then they moved to San Jose to lead a congregation there.
Hope made a guest appearance at her old church on Sunday and it was quite the event. "Come on, Relentless Church! Ain't God Good," Hope opines during her sermon.
Towards the end of her address towards the congregation, Hope thanked the new pastors of the church, John and Aventer Gray.
Then things took a turn when Hope said, “I cut people. I got a knife right in that pocketbook! Greenville News, come on. We done went through this. I’m still here, and guess who else is still going to be here?” She then pointed to John Gray, who nodded in agreement.
Hope Carpenter's threat towards Greenville News apparently stems from critical stories they ran about the Grays. In December they covered John Gray's gift of a $200,000 Lamborghini to his wife, Aventer. In January they covered the $1.8 million home the church bought for the Grays.
Last week, Greenville News wrote about John Gray's plea to the congregation for $250,000 to cover repairs to the church's roof.
All of this scrutiny over pastors John and Aventer Gray and their spending habits has apparently brought out Hope Carpenter's Old Testament side.
In a statement, Holly Baird, spokesperson for Relentless Church, said, “Neither our pastors or anyone in our leadership would agree with any type of communication that would encourage or incite violence against another individual or entity. While we believe Pastor Hope was joking, we completely understand how her comments could be received in today’s climate. There is no place in our society for words that could fan the flames of discord.”
Right, because, "I cut people. I got a knife," is not violent at all. Thanks, Holly.
In any case, despite the criticism of Hope's choice of words, and the coverage in the press, members of the church will keep showing up and putting money in the collection plates. But something tells me that we probably will not have to wait too long for the Grays or Carpenters to make headlines again.