Joel Osteen protege says heaven is paved with gold -- but he has a problem with 'people who pimp the church'
Pastor John Gray (Screenshot)

A pastor who has served under prosperity gospel preacher Joel Osteen insists there is nothing wrong with becoming wealthy thanks to the Christian faith.


"We also understand that the reward in heaven is a mansion, streets paved with gold, gates that are made out of precious stones," Pastor John Gray told The Greenville News.

"We also understand God was the one who gifted Soloman with this wisdom, riches and a long life. He did the same thing with David, and there are times when those who serve God will be blessed to have resources. The key is, are they wise with those resources?"

Gray has served as an associate pastor at Osteen's Lakewood Church. This year, he is set to become the new senior pastor at Redemption Church in South Carolina.

He told The Greenville News that he had a Range Rover and wasn't "going to change what I do or how I live." He said he had recently given away $20,000.

"It’s people who say preachers make too much money and they shouldn’t have this or that," Gray explained. "I understand why and how people get there, but I think they should be very cautious to understand that if the individuals that are serving are honorable and they are committed to serving, if they have saved their money and want to do something nice for their spouse or they want to live in a home, you’ve got one life.

"I do, however, see something wrong with people who will pimp the church and pimp people and manipulate emotions to enrich themselves. That I do have a problem with."

The church Gray will soon be heading has faced some controversy in the past.

The founder of Redemption Church, Pastor Ron Carpenter, last year posted a video apologizing on behalf of his wife after she told protesting NFL players to wait for Jesus to fix racism.