Perry Noble is – sort of – back.
Noble, the ousted former leader of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, yesterday officially launched his new Second Chance Church with a sermon delivered not from a pulpit or before a crowd but via video on Facebook.
The return of Noble comes after he was removed from the church he founded because of alcohol and family issues, and the announcement last month of that he is getting divorced from his wife Lucretia.
Four hours after he posted his video message on Facebook early yesterday afternoon, it had received more than 1,600 'Likes' or reactions, 1,200 comments and nearly 500 shares.
'Welcome to the digital launch of Second Chance Church,' said Noble said in the post, which included the 'shareline' which was the theme of the sermon: 'So I Screwed Up...Now What?'
Noble said that his sermon was a 'message of hope, a message of peace, a message of assurance and that Jesus Christ is alive and totally into the lives of second chancers'.
NewSpring is South Carolina's largest church, with more than 30,000 members in 17 cities in the state.
Its roots go back to a 1998 Bible study group in Noble's apartment and its first official service was in January 2000.
According to thestate.com, Noble has preached at several churches since he was fired on July 1 last year, having reportedly spent 30 days in an Arizona treatment centre.
In a statement last month he said that the divorce 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.
'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.'
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'.