The Rev. Perry Noble, who started NewSpring Church nearly 20 years ago, is no longer its senior pastor.
Early in Sunday’s 9:15 a.m. service, Executive Pastor Shane Duffey announced that Noble had been removed as pastor on July 1, after the NewSpring board of directors had “made a difficult and painful decision” to make a change.
Duffey said the termination by the state’s largest and richest church came after Noble “had made unfortunate choices,” and that the board members had confronted Noble on numerous occasions regarding his use of alcohol.
The announcement came three days after a closed-door, unscheduled meeting of church officials that fueled rumors throughout the community that the 45-year-old Noble was at odds with church hierarchy.
Noble, in a statement read by Duffey, said “I wish this were a joke, and part of a sermon illustration, but it is true.”
He also confirmed an “overuse of alcohol,” in the statement, adding that he has “come to depend on alcohol instead of Jesus.” He also said that there was no infidelity or abuse in his marriage.
“No one is more disappointment in me than I am in myself,” said Noble, the only senior pastor in the 16-year history of the church.
Let’s pray for Perry Noble and for NewSpring. https://t.co/VwdfkwOcMu
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) July 10, 2016
.@perrynoble I’m grateful for you & I love and appreciate you. Prayers for you, your family & NewSpring.
— Byron Bledsoe (@byronbledsoe) July 10, 2016
At each event I did with @perrynoble he was the kindest, most gracious person in the building.Praying for NewSpring & the Noble family today
— Jon Acuff (@JonAcuff) July 10, 2016
I love you @perrynoble. With so much depth. If you look behind you, He’s there. And so am I.
— Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit) July 10, 2016
Jesus help your servant @perrynoble today.
— Matt Chandler (@MattChandler74) July 10, 2016
I love you @perrynoble you have pioneered an incredible church and have been so generous to the cause of missions. Forever my friend!
— Matthew Barnett (@MatthewBarnett) July 10, 2016
I am praying for God’s absolute best over @perrynoble and his family in there decisions. May God bless you in going forward brother.
— Johnny Hunt (@johnnymhunt) July 10, 2016
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