After being fired from his position as senior pastor of NewSpring Church, Perry Noble has publicly apologized for "running to alcohol" instead of Jesus and promised he is "taking steps" to overcome his issues.
"I'm sorry that I allowed a dependency on alcohol. I ran to it instead of Jesus for my comfort, and that was wrong, and I am sorry, and I am going to do whatever it takes to make it right," Noble said in a Facebook Live video shared earlier this week. "I'm checking into a treatment facility and I'm going to work with some excellent people who are going to help me take my next steps...I'm focused on getting better; I'm not bitter. I'm going to get through this."
"I'm serious about fighting for my wife and my daughter, and I'm serious about following Jesus, and that has not changed," he added.
As earlier reported, Noble, who founded the 30,000 member-church in 1998, was asked to step down from the pulpit due to alcohol abuse and other undisclosed issues.
"Perry has made some unfortunate choices and decisions that have caused us much concern," the church said in a statement. "Over the course of several months our Executive Pastors met with and discussed at length with Perry these concerns regarding his personal behavior and spiritual walk. Perry's posture towards his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors, were of continual concern."
The church website revealed that Clayton King, a "friend to NewSpring since the very beginning," will step in as Interim Senior Pastor.
In continuing his Facebook Live video, Noble expressed gratitude for the thousands of people who have been praying for him: "I want you to know I've felt those prayers. I have felt encouraged, and I am taking steps to get better."
The pastor also addressed those who have expressed anger over his termination, encouraging them to continue to attend NewSpring despite his absence.
"If you love me, be at NewSpring this Sunday, and the next Sunday, and the next Sunday. I love my church, and I still love my church," he said. "I fully endorse their decision to bring Clayton King on as the interim pastor; he is a great man of God, a godly father and godly husband...Newspring is still my church, I still love my church."
His online message was seen more than 718,000 times as of Friday morning and drew more than 6,500 comments, overwhelmingly in support of him.
"An encouraging and humble response. Thanks Perry for being a true leader even during this time. Looking forward to everything," wrote Jamie Costa.
"Praying for you. Believing the best is yet to come. Your story is far from over. It's just getting started. Their will be doubters and haters but the story of the Gospel confirms Gods grace is bigger than the doubters. They want to crucify you...but resurrection power is still freely available! Can't wait to see you rise again!" added Pastor Joe Wood.