New Life Pastor on Administrative Leave
By McKenzie Martin
November 2, 2006
Rev. Ted Haggard, Senior Pastor of New Life Church, said Thursday that he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations made on Denver talk radio this morning."
A gay man who claims he used to be a male escort says he has had an ongoing sexual relationship with Haggard. Mike Jones came forward on a Denver talk radio saying he has had a "sexual business" relationship with Pastor Ted Haggard for the past three years.
Haggard has placed himself on administrative leave, pending investigation, spiritual counsel, and a decision by the church's board of overseers. He has also resigned as the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents millions of people.
Pastor Haggard said, "I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity. I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date. In the interim, I will seek both spiritual advice and guidance."
In the interim, New Life Church Associate Senior Pastor, Rev. Ross Parsley, will serve as Acting Senior Pastor of the church.
Haggard is the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The church has 14,000 members.
Haggard is married with five children and is an outspoken critic of gay marriage.
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