….He moved to Arizona and lived in seclusion for several years during which time he underwent a restoration process.
In 2008, he spoke about the scandal in public for the first time at Open Bible Fellowship Church in Morrison, Ill.
And this year, Gayle Haggard released her book, Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour. [May I say, this is probably a book chalked full of faithfulness to God… but I haven’t read it.] She and her husband appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” among other television programs, to promote the book that discusses her conviction that Christians should practice love and forgiveness.
Since November, the Haggards have held several prayer meetings at their home that drew a crowd of more than 100 people….
Making it a reality show? Either way, pastoring a church may not be the wisest thing to do. Call me crazy. Yes God can heal and forgive, but maybe another line of work is in the cards?
Ted Haggard is starting a new church.
“Because of what Gayle and I have gone through the past 3½ years, I don’t think I’m qualified to be a pastor or spiritual leader,” says the former New Life pastor, who had also been president of the National Association of Evangelicals before the 2006 scandal that derailed his career. “But I do believe I’m qualified to help people.”
That, says Haggard, is the motivation behind St. James, the non-denominational church he’s starting with his wife. (“Gayle and I are going to co-pastor,” he says, “even though I think of myself as more of a ministry coordinator.”) And unlike the informal — though highly publicized — prayer meetings he held at his house back in November, this time, he says, it’ll be a full-blown, honest-to-God church: “We’re not going to start and stop,” he insists. “We’re in.”….
….So, in essence, is Haggard’s intention to make this a smaller and more direct version of New Life?
“We’ll see if it’s smaller,” he says, flashing his trademark grin. “Who knows?”….
Haggard said his new venture would not be a megachurch like New Life Church, the congregation he founded in 1985 and then left in 2006 after a male prostitute said Haggard paid him for sex.
Haggard said he doesn’t know how many people will attend his new church, but he said the ordeal he and his wife, Gayle, went through has prepared them to help others.
“I have an incredible heart for broken people,” he said. “I think we’re qualified to hold people’s hands” in times of trouble….
….Haggard said a television documentary on the birth of his new church was a possibility but nothing was certain.
At his new church, Haggard said he will teach that God intended marriage to be a monogamous union of a man and a woman. But he said heterosexual marriage was just one ideal in a long list of things God wants people to do, including pray, be healthy and stay monogamous.
He also said the biblical ideals are sometimes hard to live up to.
“Earth is not heaven. And here on Earth, sexuality is very complex and very confusing,” he said.
“There is a complex process people have to go through between their personal beliefs and their own ideals that they themselves fail at, and I am a glaring example of that,” he said….