After stepping down from his position at NewSpring Church because of alcohol abuse and marital woes, Pastor Perry Noble will be replaced by Clayton King, the leader of Crossroads Worldwide ministry.
King will be the interim senior pastor of the South Carolina megachurch, according to its website. "Perry Noble is no longer the Senior Pastor at NewSpring Church... As for what is next for us, Clayton King is going to step in as Interim Senior Pastor," the announcement reads, adding that King "has been a friend to NewSpring since the very beginning of our church."
South Carolina Rep. Anne Thayer of Belton, a long-time NewSpring churchgoer, is pleased with King's appointment. "Clayton will do a good job," she tells the Greenville Online. "The church officials gave me confidence today in the way they handled a very difficult situation. I thought it was good that they addressed it from the start. And I think it helped that Clayton will fill that interim role."
King stared preaching at the early age of 15, according to The Christian Post. He graduated from Hillcrest High in Simpsonville, South Carolina. In 1988, he started a Christian group called the Solid Rock Club, and because of his charismatic persona, he was even chosen as the Outstanding Male Graduate of the Year at North Carolina's Gardner-Webb University in 1995.
Aside from Solid Rock Club, King also founded Clayton King Ministries and Crossroads Worldwide, which is a youth organisation that ties up with churches in hopes of providing mission opportunities to the youth.
Perry was removed from his position last July 1, but the church only made the announcement this Sunday. "While this is the most difficult and painful decision we've had to make, unfortunately it was necessary. Perry has made some unfortunate choices and decisions that have caused us much concern," NewSpring Executive Pastor Shane Duffey said during worship.
Duffey said they were worried about Perry's "spiritual walk, Perry's posture towards marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviours."
As for Perry, he said he has already made plans to "immediately seek the spiritual guidance of some amazing men and women of God."