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SC Mega-Church Pastor Is Out




Perry Noble – the founder and senior pastor of South Carolina’s Newspring mega-church – was removed from his position this week by his congregation’s leadership.

The announcement of Noble’s removal – effective July 1 – was made by pastor Shane Knight during a Sunday morning service.

“Perry has made some unfortunate decisions,” Knight told church members, reading from a prepared statement.

As a result, “he is no longer qualified to lead.”

We reported late last week on the drama surrounding Noble – and since then we’ve been bombarded with incoming information related to his status.

In a letter read to congregants, Noble acknowledged alcohol abuse as one of the contributing factors in the decision to remove him.

“In the past year or so, I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol,” Noble said. “This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others. I have no excuse. This is wrong, sinful and I am sorry.”

Noble said he is seeking treatment for his alcoholism.

Two years ago Noble publicly acknowledged that he had been struggling with “mental anxiety” and “suicidal thoughts” – and that he had begun taking anti-depressants in 2012 in an effort to address his condition.

“I’m not ashamed of the fact I am taking an anti-depressant and have done a complete 180 in regards to how I used to feel about them,” Noble said at the time.

Noble, 45, lives in Anderson, S.C. with his wife Lucretia Noble – a medical doctor.

His church is based in Anderson, but has satellite congregations in Aiken, Boiling Springs, Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Northeast Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Hilton Head, Lexington, Myrtle Beach, Powdersville, Sumter, Rock Hill and Spartanburg.

An estimated 33,000 attend Newspring services each Sunday – with another 7,000 watching online.  According to the church’s promotional material, it was the third-fastest growing congregation in America in 2015.

Last week, Leonardo Blair of Christian Post reported that Noble had been fired due to a combination of factors including “a terrible marriage, alcoholism and maybe more.”

We’ve heard similar reports – as well as other allegations involving the colorful religious leader.  Additionally, we are investigating reports of improper conduct involving Noble and the Clemson University football program.

Stay tuned … it appears as though the saga of Perry Noble is just beginning.