“I just want to say I’m super grateful to be part of this cause,” Bieber, said on the live telecast. “We don’t want you guys to just watch. We want you to be part of this and donate whatever you can, doesn’t have to be much. Just whatever you can possibly give. I’ve got my man here and we’re going to say a quick prayer.”
The prayer was lead by Pastor John Gray, a large, kind-looking 40-something-year-old wearing a black t-shirt with “HoUSton” written on the front. Seeming more like a high school football coach than a traditional religious figure, Pastor John Gray had one arm slung around Bieber’s shoulders, solidifying his place as the singer’s bud, and the other around Jihad Turk, the former director of religious affairs at the Southern California Islamic Center, with Rabbi Ari Lukas standing beside them. As all four men prayed, the pastor ended his sentiments with, “and while we don’t yet understand the purpose of this storm, we know you will guide us through the storms. So we close this prayer not with an ‘amen’, but with a phrase rooted in eternal hope, ‘hallelujah’.”
So just who is this uniting figure so important to the Biebs? Five things to know about Pastor John Gray below.
1. In September 2000, he realized his true calling was to impact youth through music.
“John accepted his first Youth Pastor’s position at The First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey under the leadership of DeForest Soaries,” his website bio says. “It was while youth pastoring in New Jersey that John felt that he had found the call of God on his life: impact youth and young adults with the Word of God through music, comedy and preaching-all at the same time.”
2. He’s been featured in movies
Pastor John Gray has actually acted in multiple feature films, including Sister, Sister and Tyler Perry’s The House of Payne.
THIS IS THE DOPEST POST MY WIFE HAS EVER SHARED. THIS is who I married. Raw. Unfiltered and sexy as FIRE! Lookin like my daughter too. I love you girl. Just you. Always. #Repost @grayceeme ??? NO FILTER, NO MAKE UP, NO EXTRA HAIR Faded Mickey shirt, headache, etc… Are you ok with just you…How many pictures do we delete, filter, adjust, edit, before we share with the world? I had a revelation, I wonder if God is trying to get something to me but can’t “recognize” me because I don’t look like the image he created? It’s a thought! I’m not saying, it’s bad to get beautified, or make up, or add hair, or want to look and feel pretty. I absolutely loved being dolled up. Im just saying, we shouldn’t be overtaken by it so much so, that without those things, we are confused as to who we are and become lost absent of them. Let us not allow ourselves to be defined by just exterior layering. We have to have something inside of us that gives us peace enough to be content either way. Know who you are. If all the filters, highlight, and modification apps went away, will you still be ok with just the you God created? I want to encourage US today, that the particular thing or things we despise, about us, GOD absolutely loves. Let’s sit with that today! Happy Tuesday Loves…
3. He’s not associated with Hillsong Church
Despite rumors and suspicions, Pastor John Gray is not associated with the controversial Hillsong Church that allegedly helped Bieber out of his downward spiral (that pastor’s name is Carl Lentz, who happens to also dress in unsuspecting plaid). John Gray is the Associate Pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
4. He’s a jewelry designer
Pastor John Gray and his wife Aventer Gray launched a collar stay line called “Stay by John Gray”. The $50 matte metal collar stays were designed in partnership with Christian jewelry line Elevare Jewelry and are each engraved with the phrase “Sons Emerge” on one side and “Romans: 8:18-19” on the other.
Hey family, we launched my new collar stay line on Father’s Day and I’ve loved seeing so many friends message me pictures of them receiving their Stays. Join us in wearing these daily and being the men and husbands and fathers and sons we’re called to be. Shop ElevareJewelry.Com and use code “SonsEmerge” for Free Shipping and 10% off! #SonsEmerge #Stay #Elevare #MensFashion @grayceeme
5. Oprah Winfrey loves him so much she gave him his own show
Not only are the aforementioned collar stays marked as one of OWN’s must-haves, but, in a controversial move thanks to the pastor’s homophobic comments, Oprah’s OWN Network picked up the pastor’s reality TV series, The Book of John Gray, with new episodes every Saturday at 10/9 central.