NewSpring Church moved forward Sunday, one week after the dismissal of founder Perry Noble, with the usual slate of services streamed from its Anderson main campus to 30,000 members at satellite locations around South Carolina.
Interim Senior Pastor Clayton King, who succeeded Noble last week, said at the end of Sunday’s 11:15 a.m. service that NewSpring would carry on.
“We are moving forward with the Good News. … People need to hear it,” King said as he dismissed members from the late morning service.
Noble was fired from NewSpring this month by the church’s governing board as the result of concerns about his alcohol use and his “posture toward his marriage.”
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The Clemson congregation met Sunday at Ravenel Elementary School in Seneca, their temporary home while members contribute to a building fund for a permanent site for the campus.
Congregants were greeted with Christian rock songs televised from the church’s Anderson campus, followed by a taped message from Executive Pastor Shane Duffey about plans for NewSpring. He said he spoke with Noble over this past week and said the man who founded NewSpring as a Bible study group in 1998 has pledged his support to both Duffey and the church.
Duffey encouraged anyone who has questions about Noble’s exit to look at his Facebook comments or to express their concerns to the church leadership.
“We want you to work through it in any way you need to do it,” Duffey said.
Clemson Campus Pastor Cliff Craig offered encouragement to the more than 100 members in the Ravenel audience. He also provided updates about the summer programming for students and the building fund. He welcomed new faces interested in learning more about NewSpring and offered them baptism in the portable pool off to the side in the school gymnasium.
“I honestly believe our campus is going to keep getting better and better and better,” Craig said.
King gave an energetic sermon, calling for everyone to “come to the table” — an allusion to the Gospels — and get to know one another face-to-face, rather than relying on social media.
“Don’t just come here (NewSpring) to consume a service; come here to meet people. … This is not an exclusive club,” King urged members.
Church officials declined to comment further for this article, as did attendees to Sunday’s late morning service at Ravenel.