“You light my fire, let this Lamborghini light your fire, baby.” So said Pastor John Gray when he gave his wife a Lamborghini Urus last Sunday — a gesture that sparked some criticism of his spending habits, the Houston Chronicle reports.
But Gray, an associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Greenville, SC, is defending the $200,000 buy.
“God helped me to make my wife’s dream come true,” he wrote on Instagram, per the Chronicle. “Why not? She’s made mine come true!”
In a Facebook Live video, he also denied using any church funds, saying a reality TV show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, savings and investments, and book deals paid for the flashy vehicle.
“The stories that I hear, and I’ve tried to not listen to it, but one of them is, ‘pastor buys his wife, you know, this expensive car,'” says Gray. “First of all, it wasn’t a pastor that bought the car. It was a husband that bought the car.”
Not to mention that he preaches about God’s desire for human beings to get wealthy and give to the church — and that his wife has his back: “MY HUBBY IS A HARD-WORKER, HE WORKED HIS WHOLE LIFE AND HE SAVED TO BLESS HIS WIFE!!!” writes Aventer Gray on Instagram.
So-called “prosperity preachers” like Osteen (who lives in a $10.5 million mansion) have taken heat for their lavish lifestyles, but Gray tells the Greenville News that “if you work hard and pay your taxes, then you should be able to live where you are able to afford.” (One televangelist told followers to help him buy a $45 million jet.)