Tag Archive: Perry Noble

Black Collar Crime: Not One, Not Two, Not Three, But FOUR Alleged Sexual Predators at NewSpring Church

how-newspring-handles-sexual-abuse

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
NewSpring Church — a fourteen campus megachurch pastored by Brad Cooper, Clayton King, and Dan Lian — located in Anderson, South Carolina has a bit of problem on its hands; one that church leaders are desperately trying to explain away. (NewSpring was previously pastored by Perry Noble. Noble was fired in July 2016 due to alcohol abuse and neglecting his family. In 2017, Noble and his wife divorced.)

According to a bombshell news story by The Post and Courier, NewSpring has had FOUR alleged sexual predators in their midst over the past three years. Yet, NewSpring refuses to take responsibility for their culpability in the matter.

The Post and Courier reports:

After telling detectives in November that he had sexually assaulted young boys in the North Charleston church where he volunteered, Jacob [Jake] Hazlett made another troubling revelation: this wasn’t the first time.

As a teen in Ohio, Hazlett had been jailed for molesting a younger boy. And when he later moved to North Carolina and began volunteering in churches there, his interactions with young people drew concerns from two congregations he joined, according to a recent lawsuit.

NewSpring Church leaders insist they knew none of this when Hazlett began volunteering in the children’s ministry at their North Charleston campus last year. They expressed shock when he was accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 children during his nine months there. They said they had taken every precaution to prevent such crimes from occurring.

But this wasn’t the first time that NewSpring — a Southern Baptist megachurch with 14 campuses across South Carolina — had counted accused child predators among its ranks.

It also wasn’t the second time. Or even the third.

Since 2016, at least four men working in varying capacities for NewSpring have been accused of sexual misconduct with youngsters.

Each time NewSpring reckoned with the fallout from these allegations, the church was consistently measured in its response. Its leaders offered nearly identical explanations in every case: NewSpring vetted its staff and volunteers through an extensive screening process. The accused individuals had been removed from their posts. Evil was to blame.

Hazlett’s case, however, raises fresh questions about the church’s process for screening those who work with children and the systems it has relied on for pinpointing possible signs of abuse. Meanwhile, police and lawyers for the victims are investigating, trying to piece together how this accused molester was able to infiltrate the church and carry out his alleged crimes for so long undetected.

….

On Nov. 25, Hazlett was watching over a group of children — none older than 5 — in a portion of NewSpring’s KidSpring ministry called the Tree House. During the session, Hazlett escorted a 3-year-old boy to the restroom. During that visit, he sexually assaulted the boy, affidavits show.

The following day, the boy’s parents complained to NewSpring that Hazlett had an “inappropriate interaction” with their son, the church would later tell worshipers. Church officials decided to check their video surveillance system to see what had happened.

More than three dozen security cameras are situated in the rooms that comprise the children’s ministry, according to court filings, including at least one camera that is trained on panel doors that open to the restroom where Hazlett took the boy. Footage from that camera showed Hazlett looking around to make sure no one was watching before he sexually assaulted the boy, according to an arrest affidavit.

Church leaders reviewed footage from the cameras dating back three months — as far back as their surveillance system has storage. After observing what NewSpring staff described as “inappropriate conduct by Hazlett,” the church reported their findings to law enforcement, according to a letter the church sent to worshipers.

When Hazlett sat down with North Charleston detectives on Nov. 27, he told an investigator that he photographed and filmed many of the assaults.

Multiple attorneys and law enforcement officials who have reviewed footage of the acts characterized Hazlett as “impulsive.” There were times, they said, where multiple children were pursued and assaulted in one day — some more than once.

Feeds from the security cameras are supposed to be monitored in real time by volunteers who are on the North Charleston campus, said Josh Slavin, a Charleston attorney representing several of the victims’ families in a civil suit. That suit states that volunteers “either failed to monitor the live feeds or ignored the abuse that played out on the screens.”

….

In April 2016, 20-year-old Leo La Salle Comissions admitted to investigators that he had fondled and kissed a 15-year-old boy “in a dark room” at NewSpring’s Florence campus, according to a Florence Police Department incident report and affidavit obtained by The Post and Courier. He was initially charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor but later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and was sentenced to three years of probation.

A month after that incident, 23-year-old volunteer Chaz McKinsey Wood admitted to molesting a 10-year-old boy who he met through his duties at the NewSpring campus in Anderson County, according to reports from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Wood was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing a lewd act on a minor. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and received a 10-year suspended sentence and five years of probation. He also was required to register as a sex offender.

Another NewSpring Church associate, Caleb Lide Jordan, was ousted after he was charged with soliciting sex with a minor in February 2018. Jordan, who was a full-time employee at the North Charleston campus from August 2011 to September 2015, served as a church volunteer after stepping down from his paid position, a church spokesperson said.

Please take the time to read the entire story at The Post and Courier website.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Evangelical Churches Are Businesses by Perry Noble

perry noble

Some may argue the church is not a business — I would disagree. After all, at one point in serving as the Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church I was responsible for 425 employees and a $63,000,000 budget — which takes way more than a prayer meeting to manage! What Jesus taught me I believe can be used to help you as well.

— Former pastor of NewSpring Church and alcoholic Perry Noble

After a stint in rehab, Noble has started a church (business) consulting operation — I Want My Church to Grow. Here’s the WHY (besides needing money) Noble gives for starting his business:

You want your church to grow. Not only that, Jesus wants your church to grow.

You know that if your church grows then more people will be influenced with the gospel, and in your heart you know that is a good thing.

However, it seems every report we see in both secular and Christian media screams that the church is declining and is in danger of being marginalized.

Not only that, when you express a desire to want your church to grow you seem to get the greatest amount of resistance from people who actually are in the church and claim to be Christians.

Jesus said to go and reach the world, and to do it through the local church! In your heart you know the local church has greater potential to change the world than politics, entertainment or social justice movements.  But when it comes to making this happen you feel like you are hitting a wall and feel confused, discouraged and may even be tempted at times to just throw in the towel.

I get it, I know how frustrating and heartbreaking the leadership journey in the local church can be.

However, I think the leadership struggle is worth it.

Jesus changed entire communities through what He did in this movement.

And here is what I know: if He can use someone like me, then He can absolutely use you to accomplish immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.

During my 16 years at NewSpring Church we saw 15 people in a living room grow to over 35,000 in attendance at 17 different locations and over 50,000 decisions for Christ in 16 years.  And I believe with all my heart that if Jesus did great things in the church I served, He can do them in the church you serve as well.

My heart it to take the lessons I learned at NewSpring and help your church really clarify your vision and unify your staff and congregation, which I believe will result in exponential growth for your church.  (At the bottom is a list of the specific things we can work on, depending on your specific desires/needs.)

Schedule a call and let’s see what we can do to figure out how your church can accomplish more in your community than you ever imagined possible.

God is a big God, His followers should have big dreams and the church should not let the world outdo us or out-dream us.
I know you don’t want your church to be average or a mere statistic that says the church is dying.

Jesus said He would build His church, and your church is not the exception.  Let’s chat about what we can do to set your church up for healthy, lasting growth.

Thank you, Perry Noble, for illustrating my contention that megachurches are massive businesses, corporate giants out to dominate the Evangelical market.

The Sounds of Fundamentalism: You Are Stupid and Don’t Know Your Bible by Perry Noble

perry noble

This is the forty-sixth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a sermon clip of Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring Church, Greenwood, South Carolina.

Video Link