Former NewSpring Church senior pastor Perry Noble revealed in a Facebook video details about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, which left him struggling with "soul destroying" shame.
"I am a victim of sexual abuse," Noble said in the video, posted on Sunday.
"I remember like it was yesterday. It happened when I was about 5 years old. There was an older guy in the neighborhood" who coerced him, the former pastor revealed.
"The whole time it was going on, I knew it was wrong. It just felt wrong, but I felt helpless, and afterwards I felt hopeless. A few years later, it happened again, I was sexually abused by a different person," he said, revealing that for "years and years I felt the chains of shame were wrapped around me."
"I thought it was something I had caused, and because of that I held it inside and I didn't tell anyone. As I look back now I see what was happening was that my soul was being destroyed through the chains of shame," he said.
When he was in his twenties, however, he felt God telling him that "you need to talk about this."
He feared that he would be blamed for what happened, but still he felt God's voice was clear, telling him:
"You need to get this out, because confession brings freedom."
Noble said that he was able to confess to several people at the time, which broke the "chains of shame."
"I was able to begin to live in freedom," he said.
He admitted that he still wrestled with what happened, but stated, "In Christ, I am not a victim. I can walk in victory. Victims never walk in victory. What happened to me does not define me. Who Jesus is defines me."
Noble remembered asking God why He did not rescue him from the abuse, but has come to realize that "God was there with me, and every tear I cried, God cried with me."
Addressing people watching the video who may have been abused themselves, Noble advised: "The first step into freedom is telling someone. What happened to you does not define you because in Christ we are greater than anything or anyone that has come against us."
He concluded: "It wasn't your fault. What the enemy meant to destroy you, God is going to use to strengthen you and accomplish way more in you and through you than you can ever imagine."
Noble has also faced struggles with alcohol, which last year cost him his job at NewSpring, and led to his separation from his wife.
In an earlier video in July, he also revealed that he was close to taking his own life after entering rehab last year, and it was God's voice that saved him and put him back on the right track.
"It's not a coincidence that you're sitting at the other side of this computer listening to me tell my story. Maybe He is using me to spread that encouragement to you," he told his Facebook supporters.
"If God can do it for me, He can do it for you. And He will. I absolutely believe that."
Watch Noble's video on his sexual abuse confession: