After spending time in rehab to recover from his alcohol addiction, Perry Noble, the former senior pastor of NewSpring Church, has said he is ready to begin anew, this time as a church and business consultant.
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 blog post titled "My Next Step", Noble announced that four months later, he's ready to move on.
"After much thought, prayer and seeking godly and wise counsel I believe The Lord has clearly shown me I am supposed to step into church and business consulting," he wrote.
"While I had hoped to live out my career at NewSpring Church, that option is no longer available for me...and its been made clear that I can't live in the past but must seek to live for a better future."
The pastor went on to share his qualifications: "I've actually planted and built a great church, and really do believe that what the Lord was gracious enough to teach me in the 16 years I was at NewSpring could be used to encourage, challenge and advance the church/ministry you are wanting to see achieve its maximum potential."
Noble also revealed that at one point during his leadership at NewSpring Church, he managed 425 employees and a budget of $63 million.
"What Jesus taught me I believe can be used to help you as well," he wrote. "For those who are a part of NewSpring Church - please know you will always be in my thoughts and prayers as I spent the best 16 years of my life with you. You will always hold a special place in my heart as no one can ever take away the memories I have of our time together. We truly witnessed Jesus do some amazing things and I am humbled and honored He allowed me to play a part in all of it.
In a statement released in July, 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 shortly thereafter, Noble announced he had begun treatment and is taking "additional steps" to overcome his issues. After leaving rehab, the pastor posted a video on Facebook in which he admitted he was "deceived" by alcohol.
"I chose isolation over community. ... Isolation is where self-doubt dominated my emotions, causing me to believe I just could not carry the weight anymore, and alcohol was necessary for me to make it through another day," he explained.
"I was sick - deceived by sin, alcohol and myself. I justified this by saying I needed it [alcohol] to take the edge off, to help me relax, to help me deal with the pressure at home."
"Honestly, I knew the entire time I was using it as an excuse to zone out at home, thus causing me to neglect my role as a husband and a father. As I look back on making this foolish exchange, waves of self condemnation crash into my soul. I know I've been forgiven for the sin, but I must now deal with the consequences."