"Seattle--Chinese Southern Baptist Cross" by Joe Mabel / CC BY-SA 3.0

‘I cut people,’ a megachurch pastor threatened as she preached. Her target? The local newspaper.

Apr 3, 2019

By Michael Brice-Saddler

Hope Carpenter was met with resounding applause before her monologue at Relentless Church in Greenville, S.C., on Sunday. The crowd was excited about their guest pastor — after all, she’d led the congregation with her husband for nearly three decades before they moved their show to a church in San Jose last year.

In her return, Carpenter delivered a fervent lecture on the importance of “holding fast” to confessions of faith, a message she claimed to have received from God that morning. She appeared fatigued by the end of her soliloquy, using its closing moments to express gratitude toward the church’s new, controversial leaders — pastors John and Aventer Gray — who stood directly behind her.

“I love you Pastor John and Pastor Aventer. I believe in you,” Carpenter said. “I’m praying for you. I’m rooting for you!”

Then, her monologue took an abrupt, violent turn.

“I cut people. I got a knife right in that pocketbook,” Carpenter said, gesturing toward her seat. “Greenville News, come on. We done went through this. I’m still here, and guess who else is still going to be here?” She pointed to John Gray, who nodded in agreement.

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