Former Newspring pastor Perry Noble took to Facebook video yesterday to address what he called a “gross misrepresentation” of his ministry by Newspring’s leadership team. The 10-minute video—shot in Noble’s characteristically raw, impassioned style—accused the leadership team of slandering him during Newspring’s “Leadership Night” the previous Friday.
“The purpose [of this video] is not just to update you on my life but rather to respond to accusations that were leveraged against me this past Friday night by leadership of Newspring Church,” Noble said. “I feel as if [Newspring Teaching Pastor Clayton King] was completely misleading.”
The leadership night, a video of which was posted to the church’s website, was primarily outlining the church’s new leadership structure: team-led leading without a singular vision-caster or teacher. However, King began the night spending 15 minutes reading a statement drafted by the Newspring leadership team, as that team sat behind him on stage. The statement addressed Noble’s claims that he’d felt abandoned by the Newspring leadership team after being fired, saying many of the people on stage had reached out to him and that King himself had regularly attempted to meet with Noble for the past 13 months with no response.
Noble acknowledged this was true, detailing a long list of dates and times he’d met with different leaders, but saying he didn’t want to meet with King because “he wasn’t ready for that conversation yet.”
The Newspring statement also made it clear that Noble’s wife, Lucretia, was committed to reconciliation with Noble, and that the church had consistently walked with her through that process. Noble did not respond to this in his recent Facebook video, although in a previous video he had said that while his wife had left him and taken their child, Noble was still fighting for reconciliation as well.
Noble’s biggest complaint was over what he called a “gross misinterpretation of my ministry—that it was not about Jesus.” Noble said that “there may be quite a few things I did wrong as the pastor of Newspring, but I preached Jesus every Sunday I had the privilege to speak at Newspring. To have those motives called into question…yes I wanted to reach more people. I believe more people following Jesus is better than less people following Jesus.”
Noble may have been referring to King’s comments on the church’s new leadership model. After explaining the church’s actions toward Perry, King transitioned to saying, “Now it’s time for Newspring to move forward. God is leading us to a new structure where Jesus Christ would be the senior pastor and chief shepherd of our church, where one man would not have the entire weight and responsibility placed on him. This will result in team leadership, teaching and ministry where everyone has a part in connecting people with Jesus and each other.”
Noble seemingly believes King in this statement was criticizing his method and motives of ministry prior to that point, although in context it’s also possible King was saying the church believes the pressure of the prior structure may have contributed to Noble’s personal collapse.
Noble also accused Newspring of a “characterization of me being unqualified [for pastoral ministry] that was a direct assault on other churches who invited me in to speak, which is an attack on my livelihood.”
Noble has recently been invited to speak at several churches including Mission City Church in Largo, Fla., C3 church in Orlando, and for the 11th anniversary of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. At their leadership night, King said he’s been asked why Noble is preaching at other churches but hasn’t been invited to preach at Newspring. After reading Bible passages that detail the moral expectations for someone in pastoral ministry, King said, “We can’t speak for other churches. For us, Perry does not currently meet biblical qualifications.”
Noble ends his video saying, “Hopefully this is the last statement I’m going to make about this because I’m trying my best to move forward and I would encourage EVERYONE involved in the situation to do the same. It’s not me versus them, it’s us versus the world, but once again I felt like what was said about me wasn’t completely honest and I wanted you to hear that from me.”
Twenty-four hours after being posted, Noble’s video has been shared nearly 500 times and has over 1,300 comments that range from encouraging to condemning to concerned. So while both Noble and the Newspring leadership have said their biggest desire is for the church to be unified, the public reaction suggests at this point it is anything but.
An Update On How Things Are Going
Posted by Perry Noble on Monday, July 24, 2017