“The Book of John Gray”
Hollywood by Choice
Gail Choice | 4/13/2017, midnight
I suppose you’re wondering who is John Gray and what is his book about?
If you’re not familiar with Gray, you soon will be. On Saturday, April 15 at 10 p.m. “The Book of John Gray,” will debut on OWN’s Saturday evening lineup, and it will be perhaps the most uplifting and honest unscripted spiritual series on television to date.
John Gray is an associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. If Lakewood Church does not ring a bell, then the name Joel Osteen surely must. Osteen is the most recognized spiritual figure in America today, and Gray plays a very significant role at Lakewood Church.
Pastor Gray delivers the word in such a manner that at one moment you’re laughing and saying, “That boy is silly, look at him running around the stage, and dancing to his own beat.” And just when he’s got your full attention, he hits you with a profound word of God that makes you stop, think, and say, “Uh, he’s right about that.” He challenges your faith, and the word flows out of his mouth so direct that it seems he’s reached into the bottom of your soul, and leaves you with the message, “God’s got your back.”
You may wonder if he’s real, or is just a brilliant pastor with a powerful message, and the rest simply theatrics. His messages are so profound that I made it a point to watch his sermons on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN).
Pastor Gray gives viewers a front row seat to his life beyond the pulpit. He’s the loving father of two young children, a boy and a girl, and a very beautiful and gracious wife, Aventer, who runs the family home, community outreach center as well as anything else she puts her heart and mind to.
I know it appears as if I’m introducing you to the perfect family, but that’s not so. Like everyone else, Pastor John and is family have issues. They are willing to share those issues with us, and we are able to see how they walk through them.
“The Book of John Gray” is not a stylized soap opera, with the kind of pitfalls that render the show overyly dramatic or juicy. The show is an honest and open portrayal of family life in the Gray household.
“There’s a ‘Green Room’ mentality in some churches, where you’re a different person in the Green Room than you are in the pulpit” he explained during an interview. I want to be one person. Therefore, whatever I am away from the pulpit, that’s what I want to be at it. If I’m broken behind the scenes, I’m broken in front of the people. Because this idea, this façade that faith and religion somehow aestheticizes you to pain and real issues is a lie. And I think the people need to see the scars and flaws to understand it’s not men you should be worshiping; it’s God you should be worshipping.”
As viewers watch, we will also see how John and Aventer work with people outside of the church—from a single mom, whose home was destroyed in a flood forcing she and her children to live in a hotel room, to a father who is concerned about his daughter’s addiction to alcohol, to a couple trying to overcome infidelity on their path to the altar.
Aventer mentors a group of African American teens, and helps women with very personal issues regarding their quality of life.
“The Book of John Gray” is the kind of program that is fit for the entire family. The honesty of John and Aventer’s interactions; the love, kindness and directness they show to each other and their children is well worth watching.
“The Book of John Gray” premieres Saturday, April 15 at 10 p.m. on OWN. For more information, visit www.oprah.com/own.