He represented evangelical Christianity. And my first impression was that he did not represent evangelical Christianity very well. I did a bit of reading about him on the web. He has his own website here. He led a large mega church of 14,000 people in Colorado Springs called New Life Church. He was the president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals. He was named by Time magazine in their list of 25 most influential evangelicals in America.
And, in a pattern all too familiar with highly visible Christian leaders in the United States, he participated in a terrible moral failing. When first confronted by the media he denied all allegations of any wrongdoing. New Life Church issued the following release yesterday:
The following is a statement released on Saturday by the New Life Church of Colorado Springs, Colorado, about the resignation of the Rev. Ted Haggard: We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard. Our investigation and Pastor Haggard’s public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.
This all started when a male prostitute named Mike Jones went public and claimed that he had been involved in monthly sexual encounters for money with Ted Haggard for three years. And the encounters included the use of drugs.
Haggard initially denied the allegations and he also denied any knowledge of the male prostitute. He then admitted that he knew the man. And that he had received a massage from the man and that he had bought methamphetamine but did not use it.
Haggard resigned from the National Association of Evangelicals and he has stepped down from his church. Great work, Ted.
CNN has all the details here.