Church Overseers Chastise Ted Haggard
From The Washington Post
The new senior pastor of a Colorado megachurch said Wednesday he was optimistic for its future even as the church's overseers chastised their disgraced former leader, Ted Haggard.
Brady Boyd, selected Monday by members of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, said he knew he wasn't facing a routine pastoral transition and had plenty of questions for church members.
"I wanted to know if this church was ready to move forward," he said. "They just want to be normal. They just want to care for one another and be a church. They think their reputation as a church can be recovered."
Haggard left New Life and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals last year after a former male prostitute alleged he had a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard. The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine.
Haggard confessed to undisclosed "sexual immorality" and said he bought meth but never used it.
Last week, Haggard sent an e-mail to KRDO-TV saying he planned to pursue a master's degree in counseling and also counsel at the Phoenix Dream Center halfway house. He said he and his family would move in to the Dream Center run by Tommy Barnett, who leads the 15,000-member Phoenix First Assembly of God that Haggard now attends.
Haggard, 50, also sought financial support.
New Life overseers released a statement Wednesday saying they told Haggard the e-mail was "unacceptable."
"Mr. Haggard's solicitation for personal support was inappropriate," the overseers said in their statement. "It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry. Mr. Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center. He will not be doing any ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and his family," the statement said.
Church members on Monday selected Boyd, who had been an associate senior pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, an upscale Fort Worth suburb.
At New Life, Boyd will oversee a church of about 10,000 members -- down from 14,000 since the Haggard scandal -- a $12 million budget and a staff of 150. Besides a drop in its attendance, New Life has seen its revenues drop by 10 percent since Haggard left.