Perry Noble says 'we wouldn't even know' Jesus is alive if not for women preachers

Pastor Perry Noble of Second Chance Church in South Carolina oversees a Q&A segment on Sunday, May 5, 2024.
Pastor Perry Noble of Second Chance Church in South Carolina oversees a Q&A segment on Sunday, May 5, 2024. | Screenshot: Facebook/Second Chance Church

Pastor Perry Noble didn't mince words when he criticized ministry leaders who say women shouldn't preach. 

During a question-and-answer session at a May 5 church service, a congregant asked the 52-year-old senior pastor of Second Chance Church in Anderson, South Carolina, about his thoughts on women pastors. 

"Throughout the Bible, Jesus elevated women. However, there are parts of the Bible that specifically talk about the role of women as pastors," the congregant said. "Are women allowed to pastor, or are they only allowed to work with kids?"

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"I want you to think about something for a minute," Noble responded. "Think about men, in ministry specifically, that you know that are dogmatic about 'only men can preach and women can't preach.'"  

"I want you to think about them. Would you invite any of them to your house for dinner? Nope, because they are a part of the body of Christ — but most of them are the a—," he added, referring to the backside. 

Theologians who argue that the Bible says that women shouldn't serve as lead or teaching pastors often point to Timothy 2:12, which states, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet."

Noble said that when Paul addressed Timothy, he was addressing a specific situation in the church in Ephesus.

"The word of God doesn't contradict itself. I say this all the time, and I'll say it again: 'Women were the first people to proclaim the Resurrection,'" he said.

"If women can't be preachers, we wouldn't even know that Jesus was alive," he asserted.

The question follows much disagreement within Christian circles over whether women should be allowed to serve as pastors. Churches in some large denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Catholic Church, do not permit women to serve as pastors. 

Last year, the SBC expelled Rick Warren's Saddleback Church and other congregations that elevated women to serve as teaching or lead pastors. At the annual SBC meeting last June, messengers advanced a constitutional amendment to prevent women from serving as a "pastor of any kind." The amendment must pass again at this year's annual meeting to be enacted in the SBC constitution. 

In August 2022, prominent Southern Baptist theologians who wrote the study guide for the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message Confession published a statement clarifying the meaning of the word "pastor" after Saddleback Church ordained female pastors the previous year. 

"The statement carefully affirms that both men and women are gifted for service in the church, but the role of pastor is biblically defined and is to be held only by men as qualified by Scripture," the theologians wrote.

While Catholics and Southern Baptists have been staunch in their opposition to female pastors, other denominations allow women to serve as pastors.

Last June, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, a denomination of over 2,000 churches, voted to allow women to serve in pastoral roles. 

Noble, the former pastor of the SBC-affiliated multisite NewSpring Church in South Carolina, was removed from that position in 2016 due to alcohol abuse and family struggles. 

Noble announced in late 2017 the launch of Second Chance Church, with the new congregation eventually opening a campus in Anderson. 

Noble has announced that Second Chance Church plans to open a second location in Greenville, South Carolina.

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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