Aventer Gray is to Pastor John Gray as Michelle Obama is to former President Barack Obama. She is the depiction of the Proverbs 31 woman and defines what it means to be a wife and mother for her family in a way that inspires other women.
Aventer hails from the southern city of Dothan, Alabama, where she graduated from Northview High School, with honors. During her childhood, she participated in various competitions from oratorical to pageantry. She attended the illustrious Historical Black College/University (HBCU) Florida A&M University (FAMU) and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Cardiopulmonary Science, and earned her Master’s degree in Health Service Administration from Strayer University.
Aventer has always had a passion for the performing arts. She started dancing in her hometown at the age of three at the Dothan School of Dance under the direction of Tracy Solomon. It was there that she gained her foundation in ballet, jazz, modern, pointe, acro and African dance. At the age of 13 she obtained a teaching apprenticeship at the Dothan School of Dance. During her teen years, she joined the Southeast Alabama Dance Company and Performance Team and preformed with the company for five years. Throughout her time with the dance company she received various awards from the New York City Dance Alliance and Dance Masters of America, Chapter #33. Her love for God was evident as it poured over and ignited her passion for dance. This kindling inspired her to begin her first dance ministry at the age of 14. Since then, she has led several ministries from high school through college. Her unrelenting desire is to bring glory to God through intermingling the technical aspects of dance with the spirit filled manifestation of the Word of God.
When she is not busy hosting many conferences, master classes, and ministry guidance classes around the country; through The Reign Dance Company in Houston, Texas, where she is the founder and director; she is working on curriculum and programs designed to be used as tools for other dance ministries. The company is comprised of people Aventer has met during her life as she has been involved in dance, and that have the same desire to share biblical principles and give meaningful training in dance.
-The Faith Stretch-
Aventer has had her share of faith stretching moments in her life prior to getting married. They began while she was attending FAMU as a freshman. First, her mother was diagnosed with three aneurysms and given a terminal prediction in 2001. It was during that time that Aventer began to mature in her relationship with God by relying on what she had been taught in church, in conjunction with fasting and praying. God performed a miracle through medical care and Aventer’s mother is still alive today. However, this was not the only difficult moment she experienced. During her sophomore year in college, Aventer needed to have an emergency appendectomy procedure. Although this was an obstacle, it did not stop her from keeping up with her course work. The trials continued as she learned that her brother was diagnosed with lung cancer, although he never smoked a day in his life. She was concerned about her brother’s health and traveled back and forth from school to home to check on him and be with her family. She learned on February 10th of her senior year of 2005 in college that her grandmother had passed and two days later, on February 12th her brother as well. Determined to finish school, she persevered and completed her classes. While those hardships are not standard for everyone, Aventer believed her mountains played a major role in the woman she is today. She stood firm that God knew her future and what she would go through to develop her character, not only for herself, but for the qualities that her husband, children and friends would draw to and from as well. She stated, “As a believer, you’re going to be faced with things that will test and try you to see how strong you are and how weighted in the Word you are. With each issue, it makes you go to God even more.”
-Family & Favor-
Some may know of Aventer through the talk show “The Preachers” during the summer of 2016 when the ministers brought their spouses/significant others on for the last episode. Her and her husband John Gray III have been married for 6 years and have two beautiful children, John Gray IV and Theory Aspyn-Sky who are affectionately known as Four and Tutu. The Grays have experienced a whirlwind of opportunities within the last few years. However, they understand the importance of putting in the work and time, yet waiting on God to give direction for their destiny. She commented that, “Anything worth having is worth working for, no matter how long it takes. When you try to shorten or rush the process, there are things that may be necessary for your development that can be lost. There must be trust in God that he is in control and will lead you in the right path. God’s timing is best”.
If you follow Aventer on social media you have had the honor of seeing glimpses of their life, whether it was seeing announcements for Pastor Gray to speak at Lakewood Church or other churches, family moments, or holiday happenings. She speaks highly of her husband and appreciates no matter where she has traveled with him, Pastor Gray is the same regardless of where they go. God uses him in a unique way to reach people and minister to them. She expresses her love for her husband and children on social media from time to time. As like any mama bear, Aventer is very protective of her family as well. Negative comments of her family and dedication to God, will be addressed eloquently, yet unyielding to inform you otherwise, and rightfully so. When asked if sharing their lives on social media has affected the family in a negative way, Aventer responded she believes in sharing with transparency allows the world to see they are not exempt from struggles. “We don’t promote perfection, we promote our love for God and our faith and our hope in him through social media,” said Aventer.
One might say it’s due to the transparency of Pastor Gray and Aventer that they have been blessed with opportunities to minister around the world. Nearly one year ago, Aventer re-posted a photo on Instagram of herself, her husband and the beautiful Oprah Winfrey. The caption mentioned that after filming for the Super Soul Sunday television series the couple shared a conversation with Oprah and the discussion led to a dream coming true for Pastor Gray. By August of 2016 there was an announcement shared on Instagram to submit an email of interest if someone wanted Pastor John Gray to be a mentor and encourager to them and their family. God blessed them with a new platform to be a blessing.
The Gray family was favored to film a docu-series that will be airing on OWN Network April 15th at 10 pm est/9 pm cst. The series is titled “The Book of John Gray.” The series will feature Pastor Gray as he mentors various individuals to overcome difficult moments of their lives. It will also share moments of the Gray family life and how they go through their own situations. You can enjoy the premiere episode now with access through the OWN Network application or through the website link. Be sure to check your local station listings and watch this new series. To keep up with Aventer and the Gray family until then you can follow her on Instagram at grayceeme.