Perry Noble, the former senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, announced in his sermon last Sunday that he needs the members of his current church to help raise $2 million so they can move into a new building. Noble told the congregation of Second Chance Church (launched online in December of 2017), that there are those who will accuse him of simply wanting to build another big church building, a claim he flatly denies.
“I’ve seen the Christian celebrity side,” Noble said. “The book deals, the conference circuit, the magazine articles, churches being written up and talked about and bragged about. You know what? I don’t care if I ever see that again. The thing to me that is the most important is individual people meeting Jesus and finding hope again.” Christian celebrity culture, he said, “left me empty. What fills my cup is seeing people who feel like they’ve been lost and abandoned by God find hope again.”
Second Chance Church Is Growing
Noble based his sermon on 2 Kings 6:1-7, using the passage to frame his explanation of why Second Chance Church needs to pursue a building in Anderson, South Carolina, that is coming up for lease in April 2021. Noble began by reading 2 Kings 6:1, which says, “The company of the prophets said to Elisha, ‘Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.’”
“They had what you call ‘growth problems,’” said Noble and went on to state that the building where Second Chance Church is currently meeting is too small. He added, “Nobody’s more shocked about this than me.”
The church opened with two services, then went to three, and is currently averaging 950 people per Sunday every week. Noble said he can’t do an “invite your friend” message because if everyone brought a friend, there would not be room for all the people who would come.
In many ways, Noble acknowledged, it would be more comfortable for the congregation to stay where it is. But just as it took a willingness to step out of their comfort zones to move from being an online church into their present location, they should be willing to risk discomfort again to pursue a space that would allow their church to continue to grow.
“This place has been a source of hope and a source of healing for so many people,” said Noble. “There have been people in this room that have met Christ. There have been people that, if this environment would not have been created, you wouldn’t have made it through.”
What Is the New Building Like?
The building the church is considering used to be a Walmart years ago. Noble said there are 28,000 square feet available for them to lease, which would allow them to build an auditorium that would seat 700 and therefore double their current seating capacity. The new building would also allow Second Chance Church to expand its children’s ministry, news the congregation responded to with enthusiasm.
The only problem is the church does not currently have the $2 million it needs to pursue the new building. And so far, they have not been able to secure a loan from a bank. There are, Noble said, two reasons why banks are unwilling to lend them money.
One is how young their church is—banks want them to have existed for five years before giving them money. The second is the way that Noble was fired from NewSpring.
The congregation expressed dismay at this second reason, and Noble himself said, “It’s great. It’s great.” But he went on to say, “No, it’s not wrong, it’s just life. I’m not a victim. Hey, let me tell you something about victims. Victims never walk in victory. As long as you want to be a victim, you can never walk in victory. You know what? That door closed, that’s fine. That’s fine. There’s another one’s going to open.”
Noble said the chance to lease the $2 million building “is our opportunity.” According to him, Second Chance Church has two choices. The church can either move forward with that building or it will have to return to being a video campus. The second scenario does not seem to be an option Noble is willing to consider. He said, “I don’t think God’s called us to step backwards. I think he’s called us to move forward.”