Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina made big headlines in 2018.
In February of last year, Gray, who served as a pastor at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, took over as pastor of Redemption Church, which he renamed Relentless.
Then in August, Gray faced backlash for attending a meeting with President Trump. Gray and several other black ministers attended the meeting at the White House to work on issues such as criminal justice reform – an effort which Trump then signed into law in December.
And recently Gray was criticized for buying his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini. But all those big headlines and controversies were nothing compared to what was going on inside his heart.
In his church's New Year's Eve 2018 service, Gray announced 2018 was the worst year of his life and that he had battled suicidal thoughts.
"I literally thought about how I could end my life and still get to Heaven and somehow my kids would not be scarred but there was no way I could figure out how to do it," said Gray. "And I'm not the only person that thought about that. I'm not the only person the devil attacked in that area."
Gray went on to reveal that he sought counseling for problems he has been experiencing, stemming from his past and his childhood, and that he and his wife, Aventer, almost ended their marriage.
"Nobody knew that we were ready to get a divorce," he says in a video from a previous service at his church. "Because as long as I was producing, nobody cared what was happening at home."
He added, "I started listening to the wrong voices and let some people get too close."
"I wanted to call it quits," he explained on New Year's Eve.
On Jan. 5, while attending a pastor's leadership conference, Gray received special prayer from Bishop T.D. Jakes, who rebuked the spirit of suicide from the megachurch pastor.
"There's too much anointing in this room to minister to everybody else and leave you sitting over there festering, and festering, and festering, especially, you said it in a joking way, but especially when the spirit of suicide hangs around your house, trying to get you back," Jakes says in a prayer over Gray in a video of the service. "I call it out."
Gray fell to the floor weeping during the prayer.
"You don't get to run," Jakes continued speaking over Gray. "You don't get to hide. You don't get to quit, you don't get to faint. You don't get to do any of that. Cause it's not a stage you prayed for. It's not a building that you prayed for. It's not an opportunity you prayed for. You've always wanted God to make a man out of you. And he's using the stage to make a man out of you. He's using the building to make a man out of you. He's using the opportunity to make a man out of you."
Jakes concluded the prayer by speaking prophetically over Gray, "You're gifted," he said. "You're anointed. You've always been gifted because you've been broken. You've always been gifted because you've been broken. And you know how to flow and you know how to bless everybody and everybody got your gift but nobody got you. Nobody got you. Nobody got you. They got your gift, but they never got you. And God is touching you. He's using it to touch you. He's going to make a man out of you."
Meanwhile, in his sermon on New Year's Eve, Gray made it clear that pastors are people with problems just like everyone else.
"There is no perfect pastor and the days of this façade of super perfection from the pulpit is over. I wanted to end it," he said.