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S. Carolina megachurch ousts founder as senior pastor

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ANDERSON, S.C. – The founder of South Carolina’s massive NewSpring Church has been ousted as senior pastor over problems including alcohol use.

The Independent Mail in Anderson reports that another church leader, executive pastor Shane Duffey, announced at a Sunday service that the Christian church had removed the Rev. Perry Noble on July 1.

Duffey cited Noble’s “unfortunate choices” and said the church’s board had confronted Noble multiple times about his drinking.

A statement attributed to Noble and read during the service confirmed that he overused alcohol, and said “No one is more disappointed in me than I am in myself.”

Noble didn’t immediately respond to an email Sunday from the Associated Press.

The church traces its roots to a Bible study that began in Noble’s apartment in 1998. It has grown to 17 locations around South Carolina, 30,000 people attend services each week, according to its website. The annual report posted there said the church took in about $64 million for 2015.

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