Haggard's former church holds "day of hope"

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

New revelations for New Life members, almost four months since Pastor Ted Haggard left Colorado Springs amid a gay sex scandal.

Sunday churchgoers learned more about the direction Haggard will take, now that he's parted ways with the church he founded. The church says Haggard is heading to one of four states, Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota or Missouri.

Thousands packed into New Life Sunday morning to hear the update about their former pastor, and about how Overseers have spent the past few months working to help him deal with his "battle with a dark side."

"We have worked diligently over the past few months to restore both Ted and New Life Church,” said Rev. Larry Stockstill.

And it was a message welcomed by New Life members.

"It was encouraging," said Emily Dougan.

"It's good to see the change that’s happening and what's taking place," said Dan Mannon.

The Board of Overseers read a letter to the congregation, reassuring the faithful that former Pastor Ted Haggard is being rehabilitated.

"We have done extensive fact finding into his lifelong battle with a "dark side.” We have verified the reality of that struggle," said Stockstill.

A struggle they say included multiple improper conversations, activities and relationships.

"For the sake of Ted's restoration, it is best for him to move out of Colorado Springs," Stockstill said.

Haggard's leadership of New Life is over now, and in the future, but members say he'll always be a part of the New Life family.

"This act of Christian love will provide professional care, counseling and the financial support they need to continue in their journey of recovery," said Stockstill.

While New Life members have been traveling a journey of their own.

"We've had to take it one step at a time and go through the grieving and the anger," said Dougan.

But there is optimism about the future.

"I trust that one day Ted and Gayle will return to New Life. I think that will be a wonderful day and I look forward to it," said New Life Associate Pastor Rob Brendle.

Overseers also gave some other details, but did not disclose the amount of the financial settlement they've made with Haggard, except to say it's less than his base salary of 130-thousand dollars.


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