Former megachurch pastor Perry Noble announces divorce from wife Lucretia

Perry Noble, the former leader of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, is getting divorced from his wife Lucretia.

In a statement on Wednesday he said the announcement was 'one of the most difficult thing I've ever communicated' and that he realised it would be painful for his followers as well.

Perry Noble has been fired by the church he founded, NewSpring.

'After being married for 17 years I have found myself in a place I never imagined I would be – as no one who has ever been married ever dreams in a million years that their marriage will one day end in divorce,' he said in the statement to Faithwire.

'However, that is where I find myself at this point in time. I am doing my best to walk through this deeply personal and painful process with as much grace as possible. I would ask for your prayers in this season as well as humbly ask for privacy for my family in this matter as we work through this deeply personal situation.'

It comes after Noble was ousted in 2016 from NewSpring, one of the state's largest churches with more than a dozen campuses and attendance of around 33,000 a year ago. He was removed with church leaders pointing to alcohol abuse and family issues but has quickly returned to preaching at other churches around the US.

A public feud between Noble and the current leadership at NewSpring church followed after Noble was dismissed by NewSpring's board of directors for 'some unfortunate choices and decisions that have caused us much concern'.

The fallout was ongoing over the summer with a Facebook video from Noble at the end of July accusing NewSpring's teaching pastor Clayton King of being 'completely misleading' and offering a 'gross misinterpretation of my ministry – that it was not about Jesus'.

A filing with South Carolina Secretary of State in July first reported on Warren Throckmorton's blog, indicated Noble is setting up Second Chance Church as a religious organisation in South Carolina – the same state where he founded NewSpring Church 17 years ago.