Pastor John Gray said during a recent church sermon that he’s not the same after surviving a terrifying saddle pulmonary embolism.
According to The Christian Post, the 49-year-old pastor returned to his church in Greenville, South Carolina with a testimony. This past Sunday, August 14, the congregation of Relentless Church lit up with excitement, praise, and dance worship to welcome Gray back.
“It’s been close to two months since I’ve stood here. … And I’m not the same; which was the purpose of the season,” Gray began his sermon, per the outlet. He often belted out in song and worship.
Gray had been placed in the CCU suffering with life-threatening blood clots in his pulmonary artery and lungs, according to his wife Aventer Gray. The mother of two announced that he was released from the hospital in late July. She made an Instagram post showing the empty hospital bed of her husband, BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported.
The image was accompanied by a triumphant message from the recovering pastor, saying in part:
“Because of God, this bed is now a testimony. As I wave goodbye to this bed, I say GOD THANK YOU FOR SAVING AND SPARING MY LIFE!”
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While in the hospital, Gray shared with his emotional congregation that he had gained a new perspective on life and his relationship with God, according to Greenville News.
“My goals have become very small,” he said. “Love God. Love my wife. Love my kids. Serve this church.”
Aventer, who has had to be the bearer of good and bad news, shared a word with the congregation during her welcome on Sunday.
“Wherever you are in your life and you feel like it’s over, I need you to understand, it’s not,” she said, per the local news outlet.
Due to his health, Gray is taking action in prioritizing his and his family’s wellbeing. He will no longer be flying from Atlanta to North Carolina to preach an 11:30am sermon, and has instead decided to cut his long hours.
“I feel settled in my soul,” he told the church. “I know that heaven is a real place. It’s one thing to have a theoretical construct of what you believe; it’s another to have a strong internal compass that says it’s real; it’s another to see it with your own consciousness, your own eyes. It solidifies, for me, that what I’ve given my life to is the real thing.”