Hope Carpenter, co-founder of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina, which was rebranded Relentless Church last year, briefly spoke at a worship service in March where she defended the congregation’s new pastor, John Gray, amid a scandal.
But in a letter released Thursday, James Stephen Welch, a lawyer retained by Gray from the firm McGowan, Hood and Felder, LLC, revealed that the relationship has now soured and Hope Carpenter has allegedly told members of Relentless Church that Gray is a “shady man” and “dishonest,” and that she and her husband, Ron, will soon be taking back their church.
Welch, in his letter to John R. Devlin, an attorney for the Carpenters, noted that on Nov. 27, Gray was served a 30-day notice of termination for the church building they had apparently been leasing from the Carpenters.
He further cited social media messages allegedly from Hope Carpenter to members of Relentless Church explaining why they want their church back.
“We are asking them to vacate our building because everything is still in our name and they are 3 to 4 months behind on all the bills that are in Redemption’s name. We have tried so hard to make it work with them but he is a shady man. Very dishonest! We will be taking our church back and we will make it a campus. We will be live one Sunday a month and the rest we will stream!!! We are very excited to have our campus back but we are very sad that John Gray has not lived up to his end of the agreement. Please don’t say anything we will make a public announcement soon,” the alleged message from Hope Carpenter to Relentless Church members said.
Welch argued that it isn’t Gray and Relentless Church that failed to honor the agreement between the parties.
“As you may be aware, Redemption Church and Ron Carpenter could not follow through will [sic] all the terms of the original transition agreement related to property when Relentless moved in. Subsequently, two leases were negotiated to allow Relentless to lease the properties (which you list in your letter) until Relentless exercised its option under those leases to obtain the properties. Based on those lease terms, Relentless has paid and is current on both leases, and possibly has overpaid based on rent increases by Ron Carpenter and Redemption,” Welch stated.
He also called on the Carpenters to cease and desist with direct messages and other correspondence to Relentless Church members and specifically referenced the alleged message from Hope Carpenter as being “very serious defamatory statements.”
“Pastor Gray and…