Former NewSpring Church senior pastor Perry Noble broke his silence Wednesday, in a live video message on Facebook.
Noble, the church’s founder, started the message by acknowledging his unusual social media silence. A prolific social media user, it was his first Facebook post in more than two weeks.
He wasted no time in the three-minute twenty-one second message, quickly telling people he bore no ill will after being dismissed from the church he founded.
“I. Still. Love. My. Church,” Noble said, pausing after each word for emphasis. “I wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for the unbelievable support that you guys have shown me on Twitter.”
The 45-year-old pastor was removed from his spot as the church’s senior pastor effective July 1, but the congregation first learned about the decision last Sunday in a church announcement that cited his alcohol dependency.
Noble said the church’s leaders made the right decision.
“God has gotten my attention. I’m focused on getting better. I’m not bitter,” he said. “My dependency on alcohol, I ran to it instead of Jesus and I was wrong and I am going to do whatever it takes to make it right.”
Noble said he will be entering a treatment facility, but did not elaborate further.
His online message was seen more than 350,000 times as of Wednesday evening and drew more than 5,000 comments, overwhelmingly in support of him.
NewSpring is the largest church in South Carolina, and one of the nation’s largest, with 17 campuses in the state and a weekly attendance of more than 30,000.
NewSpring’s roots go back to a 1998 Bible study group in Noble’s apartment and its first official service was in January 2000. The church had an income of $64 million in 2015, according to an annual report on the church’s website.
In his video on Wednesday, Noble encouraged anyone who had considered abandoning NewSpring because of his ouster to stay with the church.
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SOURCE: Greenville Online – Mike Ellis