The Rise and Fall (and potential rise again) of Perry Noble

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I have a fascination with megachurch preachers, and I’ve wanted to write a post on Perry Noble for awhile. I didn’t however want to be like all the other writings that simply bash the man. Whether you love him or despise him, his story is quite interesting. He’s a man who rose from early tragedies of abuse and the death of his parents, to pastor the largest church in South Carolina (Newspring Church) and one of the largest ones in America. He attracted people with his “realness” to Christianity and his comfort with bashing all critics as Christian “haters”.

I particularly learned more about him from the writings I read of him at pajamapages.com. Dr. James Duncan wrote many critical pieces about Mr. Noble on his page. He once put a writing in the local Anderson SC paper where the main church is located. Dr. Duncan ended up going through a thorny court battle with Mr. Noble after some people on Mr. Noble’s staff harassed him and attempted to destroy his reputation. If you want to know more about the story, I encourage you to go to his website and see the full story for yourself.

But as Perry Noble’s celebrity in the Christian world grew larger, he courted more and more controversy with his messages. Messages that critics have remarked as a severe lacking of exegesis at best, and at worst a blurry distortion of Christianity. One of the most controversial messages Mr. Noble preached was on the Ten Commandments, as he stood on his stage proclaiming that the ten commandments should now be known as the “ten promises”, and declaring with loud excitement one would convey upon making a new discovery, what each commandment stood for as a promise

In an earthquake shaking announcement many months after that preaching, Newspring Church announced they had fired Perry Noble for alcoholism and marital issues. Mr. Noble checked into a rehab facility and the church moved on with Mr. Noble’s friend Clayton King as interim pastor.

There was a lot of silence in this story after that period. But after a few months, Mr. Noble started communicating more on social media again about how he was sober and healed from his issues. In a move that would surprise the elders at Newspring, he began preaching at other churches again. He also started his own business, lending his experience on growing churches to other pastors for money. Because Mr.Noble had a loyal following that would defend him against all criticism, many people who still went to Newspring questioned why he could preach at other churches but wasn’t allowed to preach at Newspring.

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The thundering uproar from the members led the elders to address the issue in an open church meeting talking about the future direction of Newspring church. In that meeting, the elders declared they still deemed Perry Noble unqualified to preach based on him not fitting the qualifications of preacher listed in scripture. They declared their church would continue with no head pastor, but instead a group of pastors leading the church with Jesus as everyone’s “head pastor”.

Mr. Noble heard about all this still living in the city where the main church was, and responded to the elders on his personal Facebook page. In the video, he claimed the things they said were misleading, and he was disappointed in the elders for the public denouncement of his character. Some of his Facebook followers were disappointed in the response, but many others stood by him and expressed they no longer felt welcome at Newspring Church.

After Mr. Noble announced his decision to divorce his wife, the story of Perry Noble has now risen to a sky high boiling point. Mr. Noble announced within the last month that he planned to start a new church called “Second Chance Church”. He further announced after his first sermon done online this past Sunday, that the church meeting place would be in the same area his former megachurch is headquartered, Anderson SC.

Many questions came to mind when I heard this news. Will many of Mr. Noble’s fans still at Newspring all start going to Second Chance Church? Is it acceptable for a man that’s currently divorcing his wife to become the head pastor of a new church? And one last question came to mind most. Is Mr. Noble starting a new church for the good of reaching people for Christ, or is this a potential Civil War battle brewing between himself and his former megachurch Newspring? As the old idiom used on radio and television goes, stay tuned.

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12 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall (and potential rise again) of Perry Noble

  1. I think we shouldn’t reject pastors just because they’ve done something wrong, we’re all not perfect. Yes the Bible tells us to look for certain qualities in a pastor but I guess if we stick to that strictly, we’ll never have any preachers. Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Sir Albert. Thank you for your comment. I agree, we shouldn’t reject pastors who’ve done something wrong. I guess the question is are the qualifications given of a preacher in scripture meant as merely guidelines to be striven for or instructions to be fully obeyed. I do think perhaps there are preachers who do meet all of those qualifications listed in Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim. 3:1-7, and 1 Peter 5:1-4.

      Peace in Christ

  2. Have you ever read the Wartburg Watch blog? They have quite a lot of commentary on Mr Noble, as well as other pastors of churches, and much advice about how churches should deal with pastors who fall short, as well as about repentance and return to ministry. I agree with the distinction they make between forgiving someone who has repented, and restoring them to leadership or ministry roles. With many pastors, it might be better for both them and their churches were they to give up formal ministry and work in another field for a good long time, until they can show that their repentance has taken root, and that their issues which led them into sin in the first place have been dealt with. Then they can consider ministry once more.

    • Hi Inkyn. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’ve heard of that blog before. I believe I saw it as a pingback on pajamapages.com. I think it was there that I first got knowledge that Noble was starting another church. Things seem to be moving forward in the direction of him setting up a physical location next year at some point, which I presume won’t be too far from Newspring.

      Yes, I thought Newspring did the right thing as well not restoring him to leadership but still forgiving him.
      I believe Dr. Duncan noted in one of his tweets that the dollars they were given went down significantly compared to the year prior when Noble was still around. It’s a shame the evidence that is that most people seemed to be worshiping Noble more than Jesus. I can’t think of any other reason why their numbers would suddenly go down that year.

      But I think the approach you laid out of a pastor coming back to ministry sounds reasonable.

      Peace in Christ

  3. Very interesting post! I’ve never heard of him but there’s a trend of mega church pastors who are wolves in sheeps clothing. This one definetely is. He is showing in his actions that he’s not lead by the Spirit. But some people are too blind to know the difference. He has a spirit to separate & confuse which is rampant nowadays in churches. His reaction to the elders was not wise, it was rebellious. I was actually going to write a post on this very topic because its happening so much. Newspring did the right thing for sure, this guy seems like he has major issues. Theres no way he can lead.

    • Hi Melanie. Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s an unfortunate situation occurring here. I hope and pray he’ll come to reflect on what he’s doing and decide that starting this church is not the best thing he should be doing right now.

      Peace in Christ.

  4. I can certainly understand the concerns shown here but Paul (prophet) wrote in Romans 3:23 NIV, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Paul the prophet was responsible for the murder and persecution of Christians. He wrote a great deal of the Bible. Moses was a murderer Exodus 2:11 NIV, David was a murderer and adulterer 2 Samuel 11 (chapter), and the Bible goes on and on, yet God’s hand was on all of them to perform great works in HIS name. Sometimes God allows trouble in order to work something greater out of us if we will continue to seek HIM.

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