UPDATE: A little while ago, NewSpring put up Noble’s and the church statement read in church this morning.
In a dramatic announcement this morning during the worship service, a representative from NewSpring told his congregation Perry Noble had disqualified himself from ministry due to excessive use of alcohol. The elders decided he should step down.
In a statement from Noble, he denied any sexual or domestic difficulties and indicated that he was receiving psychiatric care for his substance abuse.
Since early last week, Noble has been at the center of rumors of domestic problems including alcoholism and a difficult marriage. Watchkeep blog first reported that Noble had been fired. When I contacted NewSpring, Suzanne Swift, communications director, told me to tune in to the church service to hear an announcement from Noble and the church but did not deny that Noble had been fired. Then the Christian Post cited an anonymous source alleging problems with alcohol and Noble’s marriage.
Church sources steadfastly refused to comment and church members expressed sorrow and confusion over the news on social media. Some speculated that the rumors were generated by NewSpring as a hoax or gimmick. Many members on social media pledged to stand by Noble and the church.
Part of Noble’s statement:
Audio of the elders’ statement saying that this process has taken place over the past several months and included marital issues.
I hope Rev. Noble seeks help which doesn’t spiritualize the real medical issues implied in the statement. He said he is seeing a psychiatrist. We know that treatment can be effective along with social support. He is to be commended for seeking help.
Apparently, the church is going to provide for the family while Noble focuses on his recovery. To me, other than the goofy PR statement, the church seems to be taking a commendable path by relieving him of duties while providing for his needs and treatment (assuming it is appropriate treatment). Taking him out of ministry may relieve him of the pressure of feeling like he has to come back to ministry at all. For some people, certain jobs (in this case being a minister) may lead to cues and triggers which are hard to handle without resorting to addictive behavior. At the end of this, he may find he should go into something else. I wish him the best.