New Life Church has rolled out Pastor Brady Boyd, who will be taking the helm of Colorado’s largest mega-church and possibly ending the long drama following the fall of Pastor Ted Haggard.
In the months since Haggard was fired after admitting buying meth and having a relationship with a male escort, New Life’s attendance has dropped, and so has its contributions. Haggard has since been declared “completely heterosexual,” and, as part of his severance package with the church that he founded, moved away from Colorado Springs, to Arizona with his wife Gayle and their underage children.
However, eight months after his ouster, Haggard still has an expensive tie to Colorado Springs: his $715,000 Colorado Springs home.
Property records show that Haggard still owns the home he lived in for six years – and in fact, the property is not currently listed on the market.When the Haggards moved to the Phoenix area in April, H.B. London, a senior executive at Focus on the Family and one of three ministers overseeing what has been called Haggard’s “restoration” to heterosexuality, expressed relief over the departure in an article in The Christian Post.
“When he moved out of town today, there was a kind of relief on the part of the church that life can get back to normal,” London was quoted saying. “For the Haggards, it is the beginning of a huge new chapter. It’s a brand new start for them, the beginning of a new beginning.”
It is unclear whether anyone is currently occupying the home, and whether Ted and Gayle Haggard – who are listed as joint owners – plan to sell it, or even eventually move back to the city.
In addition to agreeing to move away from Colorado Springs as part of his severance package, Haggard reportedly agreed not to talk about his scandal publicly. New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007; when he was fired he was making about $138,000 annually. The Haggards are not listed in Arizona telephone directories, and could not be reached for comment.
But according to the El Paso County Assessor’s office, the Haggards bought their 2-story house, at 1865 Old Ranch Road in northeastern Colorado Springs, for $522,000 in 2001. Its current market value is $715,051, with a $3,858 tax bill.
The 5-bedroom, 3-bath home has 3,204 square feet, with an additional 1,212-square foot finished basement, and sits on 5.1 acres. It was built in 1969 and is described in property records as a “superior quality residence.”
Meanwhile, last week New Life Church announced their choice of a permanent replacement for Haggard. Brady Boyd, currently the associate senior pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, beat out 11 other finalists, including Pastor Ross Parsley, who has been leading the New Life flock in the interim.
Boyd will begin preaching on August 12. After three weeks, the congregation will vote on whether they want to keep him on permanently. If Boyd receives a two-thirds positive vote, then he’ll be in for good. If not, then he’ll be out and they’ll start the process all over again.
At his Website, Boyd writes extensively about himself, including many of his sermons, his favorite restaurants and “little known facts” about himself. Among his identified values, Boyd lists the following:
“My motive for ministry is to make Jesus famous and not myself.”
Something the charismatic Haggard didn’t exactly pull off.
At left: Meet Pastor Brady
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org