New Spring Church and blogger James Duncan

In 2009 I followed a blog by James Duncan, an associate communications professor at Anderson University. He had criticised a bill board campaign by New Spring Church, headed by a guy named Perry Noble.  What happened from there became gripping reading, and sadly, real life drama. He is a clear, descriptive and careful writer, and I began to get a picture of the self-preservation culture of a mega-church that crushes those perceived to be in the way.

Duncan paid dearly for daring to question Noble and his mega-church.  In early December of 2009, Duncan wrote a summary post that haunts me to this day: Holy rage at the Spring.  In the post he outlined the escalating campaign of harassment directed at him and his family. Vulgarity  threats, fake twitter account, a faked resignation letter to his employer, real life spill over…things got so bad Duncan went to the local sheriff. No one in leadership at New Spring Church took a public stand against what the finally identified church security guard was doing.

Genuinely fearful of physical harm befalling my family or me, I reported the harassment to the Anderson County sheriff’s office on July 24. The detective who investigated the case, himself a member of Newspring (who disclosed that fact to me at the outset with an offer to recuse himself), served search warrants on Twitter to get the IP of the person who was posting the content, then on Research in Motion to get the name of the subscriber to the Blackberry device that was being used for the account.
The man behind the harassment was Josh Maxwell, a full-time security staff member at NewSpring. Three other volunteers (Milstead, Eric Elgin, and Travis Dickson) also confessed to their involvement in the harassment, though none were as involved as Maxwell.

I met with an assistant solicitor for the county in October to see what charges might be warranted. For various reasons, the solicitor could only press a single charge against Dickson for distribution of pornography. I had already decided that if Maxwell, the main driver of the campaign, was not going to be charged, it wasn’t fair for him to get off while his friend, who was only briefly involved, was held legally accountable. I told the solicitor that I would not press the charge.

The security guard confessed and was fired allowed to resign. New Spring Church issued a half baked  statement. New Spring fanboys told Duncan to move on: “Shut up, they explained.”

And then suddenly that December of 2009,  James Duncan’s blog went dark.

Until yesterday.

Last time I posted here, I gave you a few details about the campaign of harassment that NewSpring staff and volunteers engaged in against my family and me because I dared criticize Perry Noble. In 2010, we did take legal action against Perry, NewSpring and others, and that process was resolved a couple of months ago. Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be updating you about what I learned about what was happening inside NewSpring’s executive suites in 2009 based on documents and testimony acquired over the last couple of years.

via: FBC Jax Watchdogs 

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About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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9 Responses to New Spring Church and blogger James Duncan

  1. Mark Byron says:

    The cop in question must of have some of the Gospel rub off, since he did his job and sought the truth in the matter, even if it showed some bad apples in his own church. There are still good people in problematic churches, which is why churches need to make sure their pastors don’t consider themselves beyond criticism, so they they don’t start to think that they’re incapable of mistakes and thus treat critiques as demonic.

  2. hopesome says:

    How come New Spring Church had that sort of power and authority over an individual that made that individual have to ‘fight for his dignity, integrity, survival and ‘life’ amongst other things –

    THE WRONG ‘POWER AND WRONG AUTHORITY was in operation, manipulation and control in that place where they dwelled

    Boy does it make me angry – WRONG AUTHORITY WREAKS HAVOC ONLY

    just look at the banks and ask yourself who’s in so called authority there !

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud

  4. Doug says:

    I’ve never wanted to become so violently angry at a person as much as Perry Noble. This guy is an absolute disgrace to what is a Jesus-follower. This combined with his arrogance, blatant lies and twisting of scripture just puts me over the edge.

  5. FCJ says:

    No surprise whatsoever. There are plenty of people out there who are prepared to do or to believe anything that their Pastor says or directs them to do. Even if it makes absolutely no sense at all or is indeed against the law. Never ceases to amaze me. Do people loose all of their powers of logic or common sense when this happens? Any why ar so many others impacted in a similar fashion.

  6. Jane says:

    from Fighting for the Faith podcast January 15,2013 hosted by Chris Rosebrough

    Perry Noble Lawsuit Details an Interview With Dr James Duncan

  7. freedom of religion says:

    What benefit does anyone get of criticizing a church or the pastor? Why throw stones at a church and congregation? If you don’t like how Pastor Noble preaches then don’t listen to his sermons. Bashing a church on the internet is pointless, no good can come from this type of behavior.

  8. Critical Thinker says:

    Dear Freedom of Religion,

    Bashing a church or pastor for their wrong behavior is not pointless. We should be free to voice our opinion. Moreover, wrong behavior should be stopped. In publicizing what happened, hopefully some change could happen. Only those who are not concerned with justice do not like to hear what his or her church is doing to other Christians. New Springers normally don’t receive criticism well because not many are critical thinkers. Not many New Springers would often say, “God says…” but many New Springers would often say, “Perry says” or “my pastor says.” They wear T-shirts that says “I love my church” instead of “I love the church” or “I love the Bible.” By putting down other churches, Perry Noble wanted to elevate his ever-growing church above other “less cool” church. However, narrow is the door that leads to heaven. Not all that claim to be a Christian will be saved (Matt 7:21). Only those that truly repent of their sins and live under the Lordship of Christ are true Christians. Perry Noble demonstrates “hate and destroy your enemies” instead of “love your enemies.” It is evident in his explanation of Duncan’s experience– “Oh, we didn’t burn down his house, don’t worry.”

  9. ||||| says:

    Critical Thinker,
    I would be interested to know the source for your statement, “New Springers normally don’t receive criticism well because not many are critical thinkers.” Have you ever attended services at Newspring or had a personal encounter with Perry Noble? If the answer is no, I would highly recommend doing so before backing the writings of a venomous blogger. Critical thinking works in both directions. If you read James Duncan’s blog is it glaringly obvious that he is the one who demonstrates the “hate and destroy your enemies” principle you mentioned. He not only brought a lawsuit against Newspring, he also attempted to blackmail the leadership (which he conveniently forgets to mention anywhere in his blog or any of the ). If I recall correctly, he has refused to step foot inside the doors of Newspring. He loves speculation and taking things out of context. God has used Perry Noble and the members of Newspring Church to touch the lives of hundreds (if not thousands) of people. I personally know several people who came to know the Lord and had their lives changed after attending services or events put on by Newspring.
    I do not enjoy participating in anonymous and negative online discussions, but the number of people who blindly believe and support everything James Duncan says, yet are completely ignorant of what actually takes place inside the walls of Newspring Church sickens me. Assuming Noble and Duncan are both Christians, they are members of the same Church and the Bible is pretty clear on how we are to treat our brothers and sister’s in Christ (John 13:35).

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