SC pas­tor’s ges­ture draws wide praise

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY JOE MARUSAK [email protected]­lot­teob­ some­thing.” Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak

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

“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.”

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