Now entering their second season on Oprah Winfrey Networks — “The Book Of John Gray” — which premiered March 13—hosted a VIP dinner at New York City’s London Hotel. The assembled journalists, bloggers and influencers chowed down on an elegant dinner with John Gray III and his wife, Aventer Gray.  The intimate gathering was just the right touch to discuss what’s in store for the second season.


Described as a dramedy docu the popular show follows the life of Gray III focusing in on his uniquely humorous way of helping people. He is a minister and was an associate pastor at Houston’s famous Lakewood Church under megachurch leader Pastor Joel Osteen.  Stepping into his own level of success and known for his very loud, hilarious, unconventional ways, John and his family (father of two) gave season one viewers an unprecedented and intimate access into his church and home life.


Gray feels called to the ministry and began preaching at 21. He also toured as a singer with Grammy Award-winning gospel recording artist Kirk Franklin.


In Season 1, the show followed Gray as he guided a number of people, in serious need including a woman whose home was destroyed after a flood, a father concerned about his daughter’s addiction to alcohol and a military veteran trying to work through the trauma of sexual abuse, which brings up demons from Gray’s own painful past.


The clips from season two of “The Book Of John Gray” highlighted a heart-wrenching scene where Gray’s battle with diabetes and the health-related issues that arise because of this disease are brought to the forefront. 


“We both are very open to discussing our health challenges,” his wife, Aventer Gray said. “And we’re making incremental changes with our health, but the cold turkey thing of X-ing out all of our favorite things to eat doesn’t work. We’ll do good for seven days, and then after that, we’re back to celebrating something with something like soda which he had (just one) today because we are celebrating."


Here is a very brief excerpt from the intimate dinner with John Gray III and his wife, Aventer Gray. 


L.A. Watts Times (LAWT): In the clip from Season two of your show “The Book Of John Gray” (now playing on Oprah Winfrey Networks), you share that you are battling diabetes and it’s very serious. My grandmother and my mother died from diabetes. It’s a tricky and horrible disease. I got so angry watching the show's clip because, to me, it appeared that you weren’t willing to change your eating habits.  It also appeared to me because you're not willing to change, to save your life, that you don’t really love your wife not if you are willing to put your health at such risk.  I’m sorry. I had to speak my mind.


And a hush went over the room...


John Gray III (JGIII): Having diabetes is an invitation to discipline. I can be the miracle by not eating certain things and taking care of myself. It’s called growing up.


Aventer Gray: He’s doing better but he’s, we are only human. As humans, we are not perfect.  We never said that we are perfect.  It’s a process and we pray over this situation, and it’s getting better.


JGIII: [Managing diabetes] It's a process and I am learning.  In season two I am open about the fact that I don’t take my medicine like I should; I don’t eat the things I should or exercise. That was then. My father died in a diabetic coma. I know that diabetes is a threshold kind of thing and it can all go downhill at the same time.


LAWT: Thank you for your honest answers.  You have a unique opportunity to really help others who are also suffering from diabetes, and I hope you use the show accordingly.


JGIII: Absolutely. You are right.


Later that night as a parting “nightcap” John Gray III left the assembled in the room with these heartfelt words opening with quoting a scripture from the Bible; Psalm 139:16,  “All my days were written when as yet there was none of them. All my days were written in your book how precious are your thoughts toward me o God, how precious are the sum of them.  I couldn’t number them if I tried,” shared Gray III.  “You are not looking at a television star, you’re not looking at a media personality. You are looking at the product of a divorced home. A father and a mother whose marriage didn’t make it…four years old and my father walked out the door, never to return. And I had a mother who loved God and who raised me to know who Jesus was. 


“I was five-years-old and she asked God ‘who am I raising?’ and she said that God told her that “you’re raising a leader.”  One night I was watching Walter Cronkite [American broadcast journalist] on the World News and while I was watching that instead of cartoons [I heard] God said ‘you’re raising a world leader so train him and develop him as such.’  So, my single mother who was going to college at night while working full time, during the day, raised me, prayed for me and fought for me so that I wouldn’t become one of the statistics of my neighborhood.  I say all that to say [that] television can be very illusionary in that it shows the best and hides the rest.  What Aventer and I were determined to do is to show every page in the book.  The good and the bad. To show the flaws. To show the scars because real life is where miracles happen. 


For each person in this room, we all have a destiny we all have a purpose. Each of you has a calling, a gift a fingerprint that will never be seen again in the history of the planet and has never been seen before.”

Category: Cover Stories