Christian Living

ChurchWatch 08/29/07

New Life Church Approves New Leader as Ted Haggard Sends Controversial E-mail

Dallas pastor Brady Boyd has been elected senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. New Life Church's membership voted to approve Boyd as the next senior pastor with an overwhelming 95% approval. The church's bylaws require two-thirds of the total votes for the pastoral selection committee's recommendation to be approved.

"This is a great day for New Life Church," said Boyd, 40, who was an associate senior pastor at Gateway Church in suburban Southlake, Texas. "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 congregation's vote for Boyd ended a 10-month search that began last November after founding pastor Ted Haggard stepped down amid allegations he solicited a male escort and purchased illegal drugs.

As a pastoral candidate Boyd spoke at a series of recent services answering questions and assuring the congregation of his character.

The Rocky Mountain News reported statements from Boyd during his first sermon on August 12. "I don't have any moral failures in my past, no bones in my closet," Boyd declared. "I have sinned, but I am not a failure." 

Boyd said he was willing to rebuild the reputation of the church whose membership has fallen from 14,000 to 10,000 since Haggard resigned.

The Associated Press reported that New Life associate pastor, Rob Brendle described Boyd as a man of character, and that the church was looking forward to new beginnings. "We're grateful to Brady for his willingness to serve our church family, and we're grateful to God for sustaining us over the last 10 months. We look forward to a bright future serving our community and loving one another."

Ted Haggard Fundraising E-mail

At the same time that New Life was making its announcement, former pastor Ted Haggard was distributing a controversial fund raising letter. In an e-mail to supporters, Haggard sought financial support while he pursues a master's degree.

The Associated Press is reporting that in the e-mail, which was sent to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, the former New Life Church pastor announced that he plans to seek a master's degree in counseling at the University of Phoenix while his wife studies psychology.

"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," the e-mail said. "During that time we will continue as full-time students, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support any longer."

The couple and two of their sons planned to move October 1st to the Phoenix Dream Center, an outreach ministry of the Phoenix First Assembly of God, led by Pastor Tommy Barnett. Haggard wrote that he and his wife would provide counseling while living at the center. Barnett is also on the "overseer" committee set up to minister to the restoration of Haggard.

However, according to the Colorado Springs Gazzette, sources within Phoenix Assembly say that Haggard was not offered a position at the Dream Center and will not be living there.

An associate pastor of the Phoenix church, Leo Godzich, said Haggard will not be working or living at the Dream Center. “That was something that was totally unbeknownst to us when he sent it,” Godzich said about the announcement. “It was just something that he thought of in a conceptual stage, and nothing had been decided.”

The Gazette is reporting that the e-mail instructed supporters to send donations either directly to his family or to a post office box held by a group called Families with a Mission. Records show that an address for the donations is the same as one listed for a registered sex offender.

According to ChurchReport.com, Colorado records show Families with a Mission was voluntarily dissolved in Colorado in February, with Paul Huberty as its registering agent, but it is still actively listed in Hawaii. Colorado records show Families with a Mission lists an address in Monument as its principal mailing address. That matches the address of a Paul Huberty, who is listed in Hawaii's sex offender registry. El Paso County sheriff's officials in Colorado said Huberty also is registered there.

In an e-mail to media outlets in Denver, Huberty wrote that "our non-profit organization never authorized a mass public appeal for donations for the Haggard family, nor were we even aware of it." Huberty also said that no donations have been sent to the Haggard family nor were donation ever received.  

ChurchReport.com states that the former pastor's e-mail was possibly in violation of an agreement that Haggard reportedly signed with New Life Church upon his resignation. The overseers decided to meet with Haggard in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Mike Ware and a second overseer, the Rev. Tim Ralph, of New Covenant Fellowship in Larkspur, flew to Phoenix to meet with Haggard, while two other panel members joined via teleconference.
"It went well," was all Ware, the head of the four-member panel of ministers overseeing Haggard's spiritual restoration, said after the meeting.
He declined to comment further, saying the overseers would release a statement.

ChurchReport.com cites sources within New Life Church saying that the church agreed to continue paying Haggard his salary for one year in exchange for Haggard and his family leaving the Colorado Springs area and remaining silent about the incident.

More from ChurchReport.com

More on this story from the Rocky Mountain News

More on this story from the Colorado Springs Gazette

Related Article: New Life Church After Ted Haggard

Related ChurchWatch Blogs

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How Should We Respond to the Allegations about Ted Haggard?

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