Last Updated: December 20, 2006
This past week a scandal broke at the New life Church in Colorado Spring's, pastored by Ted Haggard. Haggard initially denied the allegation raised by a male prostitute. The allegations reported in the news media were that Haggard had met with this prostitute, Mike Jones, every month for the past three years for sex. The allegations of sex are denied by Haggard, but he has admitted that he did pay for a massage and for drugs (which he says that he did not use). On November 4th, Haggard was removed from his position by the church overseers.
UPDATE DECEMBER 18, 2006
A second pastor has now resigned from the New Life Church. Here is an excerpt from the news release of December 18, 2006 (Complete news release is provide below):
"On Friday, December 8, 2006, the Director of New Life Church's 24/7 ministry resigned his position, and the Church accepted his resignation. The 24/7 ministry is a young adult leadership training program. This Director resigned because, in meeting with the Overseers, it became apparent that he had displayed poor judgment in several decisions throughout his tenure. This poor judgment included one instance of consensual sexual contact with another unmarried adult several years ago."
1) New Release from New Life Church (see below)
Ted Haggard was the pastor of the church that C. Peter Wagner attends. Wagner is a well know author and leader, who is recognized as the head "apostle" of the movement which ha calls the "New Apostolic Reformation". Further, The World Prayer Center of C. Peter Wagner's organization is location on the property of this church.
The New Apostolic Reformation, according to Wagner's book "Churchquake", has two parts, the church growth movement (Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Robert Schuller, etc.) and the Charismatic movement (John Wimber/Vineyard, et al). For more information on this movement and the serious doctrinal issues in the movement, check out these sites:
According to the book "Churchquake" by C. Peter Wagner, Haggard calls the operation of the Church "Pain-free Church government" because, as Wagner tells us, the only decision in the hands of the congregation is to give final approval of a new senior pastor when one is required. The board of elders in the church is hand-picked by Haggard and has no authority to remove him even if they wanted to, but their purpose is to amplify his vision for the church. The overseers of the church are all outside of the New Life Church. These overseers are:
1) Rev. Larry Stockstill, Senior Pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center, in Baker, Louisiana (The Bethany World Prayer Center started Ted Haggard's Church). Ted Haggard was youth pastor here before coming to Colorado Springs.
2) Rev. Mark Cowart, Senior Pastor of Church For All Nations in Colorado Springs
3) Rev. Tim Ralph, Senior Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Larkspur, Colorado
4) Rev. Michael Ware, Senior Pastor of Victory Church in Westminster, Colorado.
congregation and leadership of the church cannot hold him to account, but only
pastors outside the church who, we understand, all recognize C. Peter's Wagner's
leadership in the Apostolic movement. And Ted Haggard is one of the top leaders
in that movement. This is a significant blow for Wagner's movement due to the
seniority of Haggard within the movement.
More information on Haggard can be found here:
=============== NEWS RELEASE NOVEMBER 4, 2006 FROM NEW LIFE CHURCH ===============
Dear New Lifers and friends of New Life Church,
This is the press release from the Board of Overseers that will be released to
the media this afternoon. We want you to know first what the actions of the
overseers are going to be.
Please continue to pray for Pastor Ted and his family and let's all continue to
stand strong together for the kingdom of God. We will get through this
together. Remember, New Life Church has never been a man, or a building or
anything else--we are a family.
November 4, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Life Church
Colorado Springs, Colorado
We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations
concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard. Our investigation and
Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has
committed sexually immoral conduct.
The language of our church bylaws state that as Overseers we must decide in
cases where the Senior Pastor has "demonstrated immoral conduct" whether we
must "remove the pastor from his position or to discipline him in any way they
In consultation with leading evangelicals and experts familiar with the type of
behavior Pastor Haggard has demonstrated, we have decided that the most
positive and productive direction for our church is his dismissal and removal.
In addition, the Overseers will continue to explore the depth of Pastor
Haggard's offense so that a plan of healing and restoration can begin.
Pastor Haggard and his wife have been informed of this decision. They have
agreed as well that he should be dismissed and that a new pastor for New Life
Church should be selected according to the rules of replacement in the bylaws.
That process will begin immediately in hopes that a new pastor can be confirmed
by the end of the year 2006. In the interim, Ross Parsley will function as the
leader of the church with full support of the Overseers.
A letter of explanation and apology by Pastor Haggard as well as a word of
encouragement from Gayle Haggard will be read in the 9:00 and 11:00 service of
New Life Church.
=============== NEWS RELEASE DECEMBER 18, 2006 FROM NEW LIFE CHURCH ===============
For Immediate Release
From New Life Church
Colorado Springs, Colorado
December 18, 2006
On November 4, 2006, an external Board of Overseers for New Life Church ("Church") permanently removed Rev. Ted Haggard from any position of leadership due to his admitted sexual immorality. The following day, Rev. Haggard advised the Church congregation by letter that he was a "deceiver and a liar" and that he had been warring with a "darkness" his whole adult life.
Immediately after this event, Acting Senior Pastor, Ross Parsley, asked the Overseers to further assist the Church to ensure that its ministers and ministries are rightly ordered as the Church moves forward. As a result, the Overseers interviewed many members of the pastoral staff beginning with the senior leaders. This process is continuing. The Overseers thereafter invited, through the Church website and other means, any person who had any concerns about the Church's ministers or ministries to contact them. A second group, including independent outside professionals, has interviewed other persons. The Church leadership took this action to make sure that any secondary effects of Rev. Haggard's disordered moral life would not be part of the Church's future.
On Friday, December 8, 2006, the Director of New Life Church's 24/7 ministry resigned his position, and the Church accepted his resignation. The 24/7 ministry is a young adult leadership training program. This Director resigned because, in meeting with the Overseers, it became apparent that he had displayed poor judgment in several decisions throughout his tenure. This poor judgment included one instance of consensual sexual contact with another unmarried adult several years ago.
Pastoral work and personnel decisions are, by necessity, often confidential. Throughout the events in the wake of Rev. Haggard's termination, the Church has tried to be open about its disciplinary processes consistent with respect for the privacy of others. It, therefore, plans to make no additional statement about this matter than those contained in this press release.
New Life Church leadership requests, again, that, if anyone has factual, first-hand information regarding the spiritual health of this Church, its ministers or ministries, they should report directly to the Overseers through the means provided on the Church's website.
1) Churchquake, Wagner, C. Peter, Regal Books, 1999
2) CNN New articles November 4-5, 2006
3) BBC News articles, November 4-5, 2006
4) New Life Church website, http://www.newlifechurch.org
5) Statement issued by Ted Haggard, November 5, 2006