A Knox County teen has built quite the following on YouTube, with over 186,000 subscribers and nearly 34 million channel views on his outdoor life video blogs.
Kendall Gray, whose channel bares the same name, joined the YouTube community two years ago, citing boredom one summer as the catalyst. Never did he imagine his summer project would lead to him becoming a YouTube celebrity, though.
“There wasn’t anything else to do but just go out and make videos. That’s all I did anyway was watch videos so I thought I might as well make them,” said Kendall. “You have to make your own entertainment and find your own things to do.”
In his 358 videos, Kendall focuses on hunting, especially squirrel hunting, and fishing. Brenda Gray, Kendall’s mother, said he has had a love for the outdoors his entire life.
“He’s an outdoor type. He’s not one to sit inside. He’s not a gamer and never watches TV. He’s definitely outdoors all the way,” said Brenda.
Along with everything outdoor life related, religion is also a very important topic that comes up on the channel, with Kendall making time for a verse of the week in his videos.
“God gave me the channel and there’s no other explanation for it. He didn’t give it to me for no reason. He gave me a purpose and I believe that the purpose is the YouTube channel,” said Kendall. “If God made me a promise, there’s no need to worry at all about views or money or any of that. If he promised it, it’s going to happen.”
Along with crediting God for his channel’s success, Kendall said he couldn’t do any of this without his followers, called the GrayGang.
“We are a family. It’s all because of them,” continued Kendall.
Thanks to the help from his over 100,000 subscribers, YouTube sent Kendall a silver play button, a plaque that is part of the creator rewards program that recognizes YouTube’s most popular channels.
They’re not just loyal viewers, however. The GrayGang also sends Kendall fan mail and gifts from across the United States and support him by purchasing merchandise from his store. In October 2017, for example, Gray created a breast cancer awareness shirt and donated a percentage of proceeds of the American Breast Cancer Foundation. Kendall said the GrayGang exceeded his expectations by a lot during that campaign.
As for the future of the channel, Kendall said it’s all in God’s hands.
“I’ll take this channel as far as God wants me to. If he wants me to have a YouTube channel forever, then I guess I’ll have a YouTube channel forever,” said Kendall. “If he changes his mind and says I need to move on to something else, I’ll leave YouTube behind and do whatever he wants me to.”
Wherever he ends up in the future, Brenda is simply proud of the hard work and dedication Kendall has put into his channel.
“I’m just so proud of him,” said Brenda. “As long as he is doing it for the Lord and the right reasons, I support him.”
To watch his videos, search “Kendall Gray” on YouTube or visit kendallgray1.com for more information and to purchase merchandise.