Pastor Ted Haggard Fired
Independent Board Says Haggard Committed " Sexually Immoral Conduct"

By Marshall Zelinger
KRDO [Colorado]
November 5, 2006

He built the New Life Church from a basement to a congregation of more than 14,000, but an independent board has fired Pastor Ted Haggard.

"Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct," the Board of Overseers wrote in a news release.

However, the board wouldn't tell NewsChannel 13 what exactly "sexually immoral conduct" meant.

New Life Church Associate Pastor Rob Brendle did tell NewsChannel 13, "homosexuality is one form of sexual immorality."

On Wednesday, Mike Jones, a former gay prostitute from Denver alleged that he and Haggard had sex over the course of three years. Jones also alleged that Haggard had used illicit drugs. Friday, Haggard admitted to buying methamphetamine from Jones, but said he threw it out and never used it. Haggard also admitted to receiving a massage from Jones.

"Obviously we talked with Pastor Haggard and I think we had enough information that we had gathered to help make this decision," says Pastor Michael Ware, a member of the Board of Overseers.

Ware says the board was unable to reach Jones, but that the information from Haggard was enough to fire the founder of New Life Church.

"I've been a dear friend to Pastor Ted for a long time," says Brendle. "He's been a boss and a mentor and somebody whom I love and whose relationship I value, and I am committed to standing by him and being a friend to him."

A letter of explanation and apology by Haggard will be read at New Life Church services at both 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Ross Parsley will become the interim Senior Pastor.


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