As Ted Haggard’s cash-for-heaven scheme quickly dissolved around him this week, the church that the fallen pastor started 23 years ago in his basement, and is now the largest in Colorado, has selected a new pastor.
“This is a great day for New Life Church,” said Pastor Brady Boyd. “All of us are excited about writing the next chapter together. God has great plans for New Life and for Colorado Springs, and my family and I are humbled that we get to be a part of this great team.”
The news of Boyd’s selection – with 95 percent of the congregation voting for him – was marred with the brief reemergence of Haggard, who last week encouraged a TV reporter to publicize a letter seeking donations for him and his family, to be sent to a middleman who turned out to be a convicted sex offender.The latest in the story that has been unraveling for days is that Haggard will not be moving into the Dream House in Phoenix, a halfway house for ex-cons, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and “other broken people,” as Haggard identified them in his letter.
Meanwhile, the founder of Families With a Mission, the organization that Haggard asked supporters to send him money, reportedly told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he was previously unaware of Haggard’s plans. (In his letter, Haggard indicated that he and his family would receive 90 percent of the proceeds if people sent him money via Families With a Mission.)
Amid the chaos inspired by their former leader — who fell from grace amid a meth and gay sex-fueled scandal last November — the leaders of New Life Church attempted to keep the focus on their new pastor. Boyd has spent the past three weeks preaching Sunday services as part of his tryout for the permanent job, overseeing what was, at its peak, a 14,000-member congregation. (Church attendance dropped after the first Haggard scandal.)
“Today our church begins a new chapter,” noted Brad Fallentine, Secretary/Treasurer at New Life, in a letter to church members. “Along with all of you, I am grateful that the Lord has given us a gifted pastor and a strong leader. Your faithfulness and God’s favor have kept our church family strong and healthy–thank you.
“I am humbled to serve God and our community alongside you all.”
Click here to read Colorado Confidential’s full coverage of Haggard’s latest saga.
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