Sunday, February 11, 2007
The New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado has reached a financial settlement with its founder (and former head of National Association of Evangelicals) pastor Ted Haggard. Haggard stepped aside as senior pastor in the Church in November 2006, when a male prostitute claimed that he had engaged in a three year relationship with Haggard and that the two used methamphetamine.
Haggard, who was publicly critical of homosexuality, has agreed to leave the church he founded and led for two decades with a promise that he will not discuss the scandal, will move out of Colorado Springs, and will not reveal how much his financial settlement is.
On February 4th, Haggard sent an e-mail to New Life members stating, “We all wanted to know why I developed such incongruity in my life. Thankfully, with the tools we gained there, along with the powerful way God has been illuminating his Word and the Holy Spirit has been convicting me and healing me, we now have growing understanding which is giving me some hope for the future.”
Rev. Tim Ralph said, after Haggard completed a three-week counseling program, “He [Haggard] is completely heterosexual.”
However, Mike Jones, the man who had allegedly had a 3 year relationship with Haggard publicly replied, “Give me a break.” Adding, “He’s been performing oral sex on me for three years. You don’t change that in three weeks.” And “Until he’s honest with himself, he’ll never be happy.” Jones is currently writing a book detailing his relationship with Haggard due out in summer 2007.
According to interim senior pastor Ross Parsley, at services on Sunday February 18 the panel will “provide any necessary clarification of (Haggard’s) restoration process and give us a report on the New Life staff.”