Ted Haggard’s Cash-For-Heaven Offer

UPDATE: New information on the background of the group Families With a Mission and its founder, Paul Huberty, appears at the bottom of the story.

UPDATE II: On Sunday KRDO posted an e-mail statement it received from the Board of Directors of the group Families With a Mission, Inc. (The letter appears at the bottom of the jump). Also, TV reporter Tak Landrock says Haggard has indicated that he “couldn’t comment any further” about his letter asking for money.

Have some extra cash? Feel like going to heaven? Then you might consider sending Ted Haggard and his family some monthly checks for the next two years while they move into a halfway house and get psychology and counseling degrees from the University of Phoenix.

If you haven’t had enough of the Haggard/New Life Church saga, this week KRDO Channel 13 in Colorado Springs aired a story about a letter that Haggard sent to consumer reporter Tak Landrock, letting him know of the Haggard family plans to move into the Phoenix Dream Center to minister to ex-cons, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and “other broken people,” Haggard writes. “I identify.”

More, including Haggard’s letter to Landrock, after the jump.Baaron Pittenger,  assistant news director of the ABC affiliate, says that Landrock has been communicating with the fallen former pastor of New Life Church via e-mail. The station broadcast the story about Haggard’s new life and request for donations on the 10 p.m. news last night. Pittenger says he’s not aware that there’s been much response to the story.

Haggard, the charismatic former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, was fired last Nov. 4 from the 14,000-member New Life Church that he founded after he admitted buying meth and getting massages from a male escort. After three weeks of intensive “restoration” therapy, Haggard claimed he was “completely heterosexual”; he and his family subsequently moved to Arizona.

In his most recent communiqué with the Colorado Springs TV reporter, Haggard indicates that he and his wife Gayle, along with their two underage younger sons, are planning to move into a one-bedroom apartment in a Phoenix halfway house to minister to the residents. They are both, he wrote, enrolled at the University of Phoenix.

In what is clearly a fundraising letter, Haggard indicated, “we need to raise our own support.” However, he doesn’t mention that when he left the church, New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007 – estimated at about $138,000 annually.

In addition, as Colorado Confidential reported earlier this month, El Paso County Assessor property records show that the Haggard’s still own their 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in Colorado Springs. Sitting on 5.1 acres, its current market value is listed at $715,051.

The home is not currently on the market for sale.

Here is Haggard’s letter to Landrock (bold added):


Gayle and I, along with Alex (16) and Elliott (14) have decided to move into the Phoenix Dream Center on October 1st. The Phoenix Dream Center is a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and other broken people. I identify.

The building is sponsored by Phoenix First Assembly, our new church home, but the workers are volunteers. The Dream Center also houses a church called “The Church on the Street.” I met the pastor and he asked me if I would be willing to counsel some of the men and to teach the group from time to time. The woman directing the ministry to women invited Gayle to teach and minister to the women.

Gayle and I spoke to the boys about it, and after a series of discussions with several leaders and our pastor, Tommy Barnett, we decided to serve the dream center in whatever capacity asked, whether it’s cleaning the building, hosting a visiting group, attending a meeting, or facilitating a study. In order to increase our availability to serve, we have decided to move and live in the Dream Center.

As a result, the Phoenix Dream Center team is creating an apartment for our family by combining a small, one-bedroom apartment with an adjacent room so our boys will have their own rooms. Even though Alex and Elliott’s drive to school is quite a distance every day, we think it is worth it to be given the privilege of service.

In preparation for the future, Gayle and I are both enrolled at the University of Phoenix at their main downtown campus. Gayle is in the undergraduate program studying psychology. I am pursuing my master of science in counseling degree, which means we are both full time students. Alex and Elliott are both attending a local Christian school. Elliott is playing 8th grade football this fall. Everyone is busy!

It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years. During that time we will continue as full time students, and then, when I graduate, we won’t need outside support any longer.

But for the next two years, we will need support. Between now and the end of the year, we have to find the people who want to help us transition into our future. So I am starting today to let friends like you know that we are raising money for support as we move into the Phoenix Dream Center.

Would you be willing to help us find people who can give a one time gift or make a commitment to help support us monthly for two years? If so, that would be a blessing.

If people want to support us directly, they can mail checks to Ted and Gayle Haggard, 9699 N. Hayden, Suite 108, PMB 180, Scottsdale, AZ 95259. This is a private mail box address that we have been using since we moved to the Phoenix area. If any supporters need a tax deduction for their gift, they can mail it to Families With a Mission at P.O. Box 63125, Colorado Springs, CO 80962. The supporters would need to write their check to “Families With A Mission” and put a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family, then Families With a Mission will mail us 90% of the funds for support and use 10% for administrative costs.

Thank you so much. We feel our move into the Dream Center is the next step God would have us take. Any help we can get with this will be greatly appreciated and, I believe, rewarded in heaven.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might have an interest. Any assistance we receive will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

God bless,

Ted Haggard

P.S. Our handicapped son, Jonathan (20) has been taken care of financially by Victory Church (Mike Ware), Church of the Highlands (Chris Hodges) and New Life Church in Colorado Springs since November of 2006. It’s our prayer that these churches will continue helping Jonathan while we’re in this stage of our lives. We are so grateful for their assistance. Their faithfulness to Jonathan and consequently our family has given us room to heal. We are all very thankful for their prayers, love, and kindness

UPDATE SATURDAY, AUG. 25: In a handy bit of sleuthing, a blog team at the Stranger in Seattle has followed up this story with some interesting info about the organization that Haggard is asking people to send money to, Families With a Mission.

An independent confirmation with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office shows that the organization’s corporate offices were moved from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to the Town of Monument, north of Colorado Springs, in July, 2003.

Its Colorado Springs mailing address is the same one to which Haggard is asking people to send donations. However, Secretary of State records show that Families With a Mission was administratively dissolved earlier this year, on Feb. 23.

And the man who is listed as the president of Families With a Mission, Paul Gerard Huberty, appears to be the same Paul Huberty who was convicted in 1996 of having sex with a 17-year old girl while he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force stationed in Germany, and who later registered as a sex offender in Hawaii. The organization Family Watchdog, which tracks sex offenders, currently lists Huberty at the same Monument address that was the principal address of Families With a Mission.

UPDATE II: MONDAY, AUG. 27 – This is the E-Mail that the group Families With a Mission sent to KRDO Channel 13

Aug 26, 2007 11:17 PM

STATEMENT from the Board of Directors of “Families With a Mission, Inc:”

The purpose of this statement is to clarify misperceptions resulting from recent press releases concerning Families With a Mission, Inc.

1) The Board would like to clarify that Families With a Mission is a legal 501(c)(3) corporate entity in the State of Hawaii, and is current and in good standing with the State of Hawaii.

2) Families With a Mission is an all volunteer not-for-profit organization comprised of a small handful of families who have joined together for the purpose of raising money for other needy families, families with special needs, and/or families & individuals choosing to work full-time in a serving capacity..

3) Families With a Mission is a very small corporate entity with no paid employees or staff members. 2007 contributions raised to date total approximately $27,788, all of which went to other ministries, needy families, or individuals serving in missions or in missions training. Approximately 1/3 of this was donated by board members, and the remainder through public donations. The organization exists not as a means for any Board Members to make money, but as a channel to give money.

4) Families With a Mission never withholds more than 3% of any donation, with an exception of an additional 2% merchant fee held by the bank on credit card donations. This 3% is not paid to any individual, but is left in an administrative account to help defray administrative and operating expenses of the organization.

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