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Overlooked but Not Forgotten

John Gray says many of us are just like King David. David was the least likely of his brothers to become king. He was the eighth out of eight children, and wasn’t even initially considered for kingship. However, God had given him the gifts, ability, humility and passion to be king. John says “Even though people may not see or acknowledge their gifts, that doesn’t mean God didn’t place those gifts in them. They were hidden for a reason and a season, but they were there deep down inside, just beneath the surface.”

David spent most of his time working in the field. John says the field represents the place where we develop by serving God humbly and faithfully. When David was in the field, he tended the sheep and protected them from dangerous animals like lions and bears.  He also spent time with God, and got to know His voice. When we are in “the field,” we develop vital skills that we will need in the future. John says many people dislike the field because it keeps people hidden. While we are developing, we often do work without being recognized. This develops humility.

The number 8 represents new beginnings. When God wants to do something new, fresh, and unexpected, He will often do so through a “Number 8.” People often overlook Number 8s because they seem unqualified. However, God uniquely prepares them for His work.  For instance, Number 8s have specific characteristics. They are worshippers and they love to worship anywhere at any time. As a result of their time in the field, they have developed a close relationship with God. They are also warriors. Many chosen as Number 8s are protectors, intercessors and fighters for others. 

The Book of John Gray is a “dramedy docu-follow hybrid” that focuses on John’s life as a husband, father, and minister.  With his signature humorous approach John helps others such as a woman whose faith is wavering after her home is destroyed after a flood, a father who is concerned about his daughters alcohol addiction, a couple trying to overcome infidelity, and a military vet trying to work through the trauma of sexual abuse. The show also explores some of John’s personal struggles like his battle with diabetes.  John’s wife, Aventer is featured in the series as well, as she comforts a woman battling infertility and mentors a group of teens. The Book of John Gray airs Saturdays at 10/9C on OWN.

John W. Gray III. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. John’s parents divorced when he was very young. His mom raised him as a single mother and made sure he was in church each Sunday.  John accepted Jesus Christ as Savior at seven years old.  John wasn’t very popular growing up, and he spent most of his time serving in the church with his mother. When he graduated high school, John accepted an academic scholarship to The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio where he continued to pursue music and acting. A sudden and devastating illness to John’s beloved grandmother at the beginning of his sophomore year caused John to lose focus on his academics and he subsequently flunked out of school after that semester. John began working at a homeless shelter, where he started to preach. He became known as the “Homeless Preacher.” Not long after, John was asked to be a cast member in a touring stage play starring Grammy Award winning Gospel artist Kirk Franklin and The Family. After touring with Kirk Franklin, he was part of a tour headlined by DC Talk, Out of Eden and The Katinas. Later John became Youth Pastor at The First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. Since then, John has been encouraging youth and young adults with the Word of God through music, comedy and preaching-all at the same time. To this day, John continues to defy description and labels by seamlessly integrating worship, laughter, preaching, exhortation and encouragement into one package.

John currently serves as an Associate Pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas under the leadership of Pastor Joel Osteen. John is quick to acknowledge that although he is grateful for the places God has taken him and the ministries that have opened their doors to him, nothing compares to the joy of his life: his wife, Aventer, their son John W. Gray IV, and their daughter, Theory Aspyn-Sky Gray.

Mentioned in the Video



Guest Info


Associate Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX

Author, I am Number 8 (Hatchette Book Group)

Star, The Book of John Gray on OWN premiered on April 15, 2017

Host, John Gray World, on TBN

Has directed, produced and co-produced award winning films

Released two musical album; has released a comedy DVD

Has appeared on hit T.V. shows Sister, Sister and Tyler Perry’s The House of Payne

Has held ministry positions at The First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey and Northview Christian Church in Dothan, AL.

Has toured with Kirk Franklin and D.C. Talk

Wife, Aventer, son John W. Gray IV, daughter, Theory Aspyn-Sky Gray.


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