Relentless Church has made official plans to move to another location in 2020, says Senior Pastor John Gray.
Gray tells The Greenville News that his megachurch has chosen a new location in Greenville, South Carolina. The pastor didn't give specifics regarding where the location was but said leadership would reveal more details during a church announcement on New Year's Eve.
Relentless has been leasing the building belonging to Redemption Church ever since Redemption's former pastors, Ron and Hope Carpenter, handed the church building and congregation over to Gray. Gray rebranded Redemption as Relentless while the Carpenters moved their ministry—Redemption World Outreach Center—to San Jose, California.
But now the Carpenters have allegedly terminated Relentless' lease on the building and is asking the church to leave by the end of the year.
Gray's lawyer, James Stephen Welch, wrote a letter claiming that the Grays and Relentless have kept up with their regular payments. Welch argues that "it is Ron Carpenter and Relentless Church who could not comply with the transfer of agreement."
The letter appears to be a response to the Carpenters' "30-Day Notice of Termination of Non-Residential Lease to Relentless Church," dated Nov. 27.
Welch also alleges that Hope Carpenter wrote direct messages on Facebook to members of Relentless Church. Welch says the messages contained "serious defamatory statements" about Gray, including calling him a "shady man" and "dishonest."
Redemption's legal counsel, Katari D. Buck of Asiatico Law, released the following statement:
Since The Relentless Church began operating on Redemption's Greenville campus in May 2018, the two churches have worked toward Relentless taking control and ownership of the Greenville property. Despite nearly two years of negotiations, however, the parties have been unable to fully agree on the terms of this transition.
Because the parties have not been able to agree on a date for Relentless to vacate the property, Redemption has taken steps to protect its property rights by sending a notice of lease termination to Relentless through legal counsel, which requires Relentless to vacate the property by December 31, 2019. If Relentless does not vacate the property by December 31, 2019, Redemption will begin the necessary court process to have Relentless removed from the property in accordance with South Carolina law.
Redemption is in receipt of the letter to its counsel from J. Stephen Welch on behalf of Relentless dated December 5, 2019. Redemption disagrees with the legal positions taken in the letter and is preparing a response. Redemption does not believe it benefits either party for this legal battle to be waged in the media, however, and instead will look to the court process for resolution.
Charisma News reached out to Gray and Ron and Hope Carpenter for comment but received no response.
Gray publicly announced Relentless' plan to move locations in 2020 during a church service, according to a video released Dec. 15. During his announcement, Gray revealed a video of plans for the new building.
After several minutes of loud applause, Gray said, "That's where we're going. To the 16 families that gave up the safety and comfort of their jobs. Took their kids out of school. Left safety and walked with us through hell and high water. To the elders and leaders, to the members. Thank you. That's where we're going in 2020."
He then announced Relentless planned to open a new campus in Atlanta in fall of 2020. He played another video introducing the new campus.
"Relentless, Greenville. Relentless, Atlanta. Fall of 2020. The first interest meeting will be in January," Gray said.
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