Former NewSpring Pastor Perry Noble has announced the launch of an online-based congregation called Second Chance Church despite criticism that he is still unqualified to return to ministry.
"Second Chance Church To Launch THIS SUNDAY! Yep - you read that correctly, this coming Sunday will be the official launch of Second Chance Church... ...sort of... ...while we do not have a location, staff or volunteers as of yet--we do have an incredible platform known as the World Wide Web," Noble wrote in a Facebook post on Dec. 1, as reported by Charisma News.
Noble, who was fired from NewSpring in 2016 following struggles with alcohol addiction, said that he is still looking for a physical location for the church.
According to The Christian Post, Noble had already preached his first sermon in a Facebook video on Sunday under the title "So I Screwed Up, Now What?"
The former pastor contended 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."
Just hours after he posted his video message on Facebook, it received more than 1,600 "Likes," 1,200 comments and nearly 500 shares.
Charisma reported on Monday that the sermon has since been viewed more than 42,000 times, and thousands have also posted comments about the video.
The launch of the new church came a month after Noble had announced that he and his wife will be divorcing after 17 years of marriage.
Noble said that his divorce announcement was "one of the most difficult thing I've ever communicated," adding that he had realized that it would be painful for his followers as well.
NewSpring leaders, including Teaching Pastor Clayton King, had accused Noble of not meeting the biblical qualifications to lead a church. But Noble fired back by saying he "never felt qualified" at any time while he served as a pastor at NewSpring.
In his video sermon, Noble focused heavily on the book of Jonah and narrated how the prophet reached out and took God's second chance after running away from His guidance and finding himself in a difficult situation.
"Empathy gets us further than criticism," the former pastor said. He argued that Christians who "carry rocks" put them down after encountering Christ, pointing the example of the crowd and the woman caught in adultery in the book of John.
He asserted that Christians who carry around rocks "haven't had a face to face encounter with Jesus" yet, and haven't been in "awe of His grace."
The former pastor further contended that God "has the ability to take a mess and turn it into a miracle."
On the new Second Chance Church Facebook page, the former pastor posted a study guide on the example of Jonah and other passages in the Bible dealing with second chances.
The former pastor wrote a follow-up post on Monday saying, "yesterday was just the beginning — I know the best is still yet to come."