South Carolina

SC pastor’s gesture to widows, single parents and veterans draws international praise

John Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, called widows, single parents and veterans to the altar to take however much money they needed from the collection baskets ‘to make ends meet.’
John Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, called widows, single parents and veterans to the altar to take however much money they needed from the collection baskets ‘to make ends meet.’ Screen grab of Relentless Church video

A South Carolina pastor drew international praise after video showed him inviting widows, veterans and single parents to come forward from the pews and “get what you need” from his church’s Sunday collection.

The video, posted Wednesday on the church’s Facebook page, has drawn 15,000 views and stories on such sites as the Christian Broadcasting Network.

“The role of the church is also to meet the needs of people in the house,” John Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, tells his congregation in the video.

“Any single mothers in here?” Gray continued. “Any widows? Are there any single fathers, any veterans that don’t have what they need to make ends meet? Come to the altar. There’s some money in these baskets.”

To applause from the rest of the congregation, Gray tells those walking forward: “You get what you need for you and the kids to eat and get some gas. We might not be able to do everything, but we can do something.”

“Our church is six months old,” Gray says in the caption for the minute-long video. “We don’t have a war chest of money. We believe God every week for what we need. But God told me after we collected offering to leave at the altar. And then let those who had needs get what they needed-from the offering baskets ...

“I love my church. THIS is church. Book of Acts style. - Pastor John.”

Social media praised the pastor.

“I have been going to church all my life ... NEVER have I seen this done before...just think of the hearts that would return to churches if they were ‘real’ like relentless,” posted Tammy Hogg of Canada.

“Wow!” Deborah Armbrust Colston of Virginia Beach, Va., posted. “What an awesome display of love & sacrifice.”

Wrote South Carolinian Brandon Lilje: “This is Establishing God’s Kingdom here on earth. A church like this will turn the World Upside down.”

Experience the sights and sounds of Christian worship around the Midlands from megachurches to small country chapels to gatherings at the local bar.

In 2017, Cedar Creek United Methodist Church closed after 274 years. Once filled with families weekly attendance fell to only a handful of people.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak
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