Focus on the Family announced Tuesday that one of its senior officials will join the team overseeing a counseling program for former megachurch leader Ted Haggard.
H.B. London, Focus on the Familys vice president of church and clergy, will replace Focus founder James Dobson, who withdrew last week from the counseling team citing a lack of time. Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian ministry in Colorado Springs, said the panel that fired Haggard recently from his megachurch invited London to join the team overseeing Haggards counseling, called restoration. Haggard was fired amid allegations he had sex with a male prostitute and took drugs.
"From the Christian perspective, we think in terms of prayer, we think in terms of what we call godly counsel, where godly men who are clean themselves insert themselves in the life of the one who is struggling," London said.
The symbolic laying on of hands may also be a part of the recovery, London said.
"I'm sure there will be those who lay their hands on Pastor Haggard as an act of faith, calling on the act of God to restore and heal," he said. "The prayer can be therapeutic, the laying on of hands can be ceremonial."
The other members of the team are Pastors Jack Hayford of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., and Tommy Barnett of First Assembly of God in Phoenix.
Haggard was president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., until a few weeks ago, when a Denver man said Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month for three years and sometimes took methamphetamines during the encounters.
Haggard was fired as senior pastor of New Life Church and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.