In an effort to recover from his alcohol addiction and start anew, Perry Noble, the former senior pastor of NewSpring Church, has checked himself into rehab and shelved the release of his latest book on dating.
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.
In a statement, NewSpring Church Executive Pastor Shane Duffey revealed that the executive pastors over a period of months confronted Noble about his increased reliance on alcohol, but the pastor failed to take the necessary steps toward correcting his course. Thus, he was "no longer qualified as outlined in I Timothy 3 and the church bylaws to continue as pastor of the NewSpring Church.
In a Facebook video published last month, Noble announced he had begun treatment and is taking "additional steps" to overcome his issues.
"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," he said. "I'm focused on getting better; I'm not bitter. I'm going to get through this."
The pastor also thanked supporters for their prayers and 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."
Recently, it was revealed that the former South Carolina megachurch pastor's latest book, 11 1/2 Questions To Help You Date Without Regret, which had been scheduled for launch on Sept. 27, has been moved to "unscheduled status".
"We plan to review this status at a future date and then evaluate the viability of releasing this book at another time," Margie Watterson, spokeswoman for Tyndale House, told the Independent Mail.
The book description on Tyndale's website reads: "We live in a culture that doesn't see dating as a big deal. Dating is just what you do on the weekend so you don't have to binge-watch shows on Netflix. Popular speaker and pastor Perry Noble knows better."
"How you date and whom you date can literally change the course of your life," the description adds. "Over the years, Perry has met hundreds of people with a lot of questions - and tragically, a lot of regrets - about dating. Today's fast hook-up culture has created a wasteland of emotionally damaged people. This book is written around the eleven questions that can transform your perspective on dating-and a 'half' question that people should be asking but are not."
The book promises to help readers "avoid the pitfalls, traps, and false expectations of today's dating culture."
"You will discover how to guard your heart and find a satisfying, deep, and committed relationship," it adds. "Dating doesn't have to create pain and frustration. Dating can be a joy."
In a statement released last month, NewSpring Church called the firing of Noble "the most difficult and painful decision we have had to make."
"We will continue to love Perry and his family during this difficult time and we are committed to continue to pray for their healing. We are also committed to providing personal support to Perry and his family in the days ahead," the church vowed.