Perry Noble, the former pastor of NewSpring Church, has reportedly filed articles of incorporation for a new church called "Second Chance."
Noble, who founded NewSpring Church in the same state 17 years ago, was fired from his post as a senior pastor last year for alcohol abuse and other "unfortunate choices and decisions."
After his firing from NewSpring, Noble went into a brief period of media silence where he said he would not seek a quick route back into ministry. He later launched a consultation business called the Growth Company which targets both businesses and churches.
In February, Noble returned to the pulpit and preached at the 11-year anniversary of Elevation Church in North Carolina. He had also done some preaching engagements at other churches, prompting NewSpring members to question why he was not being invited to preach there as well.
Last month, NewSpring leaders expressed their belief that Noble is still not biblically qualified to preach.
"We have been asked why Perry can preach at other churches but not at NewSpring. We cannot speak for other churches and how they make decisions. For us, Perry currently does not meet the biblical qualifications of a pastor, teacher, shepherd," NewSpring Teaching Pastor Clayton King told the congregation at a meeting in late July.
Noble responded by saying he never felt that he met all those qualifications for leadership while he served as a pastor at NewSpring. He expressed his belief that NewSpring's statement is an attack on the churches that allowed him to preach.
NewSpring leaders said that they had attempted to support Noble's recovery, but the former pastor accused the church of misrepresenting him.
"The thing that hurt me the most was what I felt was a gross and inaccurate representation of my ministry, that it was somehow not about Jesus," Noble said.
"There may be quite a few things that I did wrong as the senior pastor of NewSpring Church. However, I preached Jesus faithfully every Sunday that I had the privilege to serve at NewSpring Church," he added.
Noble admitted that he had ignored King's personal efforts to reconnect with him, but he noted that he had been in contact with other NewSpring staff, including lead pastors. He argued that the church is not in a good position to make judgments on his spiritual walk since there is currently not much of a relationship between him and the lead pastors.
Days after the filing for Second Chance Church became effective, Noble posted a reflection announcing that he had been sober for 319 days. He said that he was "learning more about the grace and mercy of God than I've ever learned in my life."
Incorporation papers are routine for a church but it only requires three board members, and they do not have to live in South Carolina.