U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Pastor threatens Greenville News during sermon

Incident Details

April 2, 2019

Pastor Hope Carpenter appeared to threaten Greenville News during a sermon at a South Carolina church on April 2, 2019.

Toward the end of Carpenter's monologue at Relentless Church in Greenville, she expressed gratitude to the church leadership before targeting Greenville News.

"I cut people. I got a knife right in that pocketbook," Carpenter told the congregation, according to the Washington Post. "Greenville News, come on. We done went through this. I'm still here, and guess who else is still going to be here?" Carpenter ended, pointing to controversial pastor John Gray.

Relentless Church's new leaders, pastors John and Aventer Gray, had recently been the subjects of investigative reporting by Greenville News, which wrote in January 2019 how John Gray lives in a nearly $2 million home funded by the church. In another piece, Greenville News covered lavish personal purchases he made for his wife.

Carpenter did not respond to request by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker for comment.

"The Greenville News strives to cover every organization in our community in a fair and unbiased way and also aggressively and comprehensively,” said Greenville News Executive Editor Katrice Hardy. “Our robust coverage of Relentless church has included stories ranging from the church's assistance in helping launch an emergency homeless shelter in Pickens County to the way that the church has used its resources."

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].