The board members of the National Association of Evangelicals announced today that they unanimously accepted the Rev. Ted Haggard’s resignation as the organization’s president, amid allegations that he hired a man for prostitution.
“In response to Rev. Haggard’s admission yesterday to church leaders in Colorado that there were some indiscretions, the eleven-member Executive Committee met today via teleconference and unanimously accepted his resignation with regret,” the NAE wrote in a press release. “Due to the seriousness of Rev Haggard’s misconduct while in the leadership roles he held, we anticipate that an extended period of recovery will be appropriate.”
Haggard, who also stepped-down from his pastoral role from the 14,000-member New Life Church, resigned from the NAE yesterday following allegations that he had hired a male prostitute and taken methamphetamine. Earlier today, Haggard admitted to having purchased methamphetamine but denied allegations of using drugs or engaging in sexual misconduct.
Evangelical leaders around the world immediately responded to the accusations with disbelief and concerned calls for prayer for both Haggard and his family.
The NAE also encouraged its 30-million constituents to “pray for and stand with Rev. Haggard, his wife Gayle, and their children,” adding their hopes that, should the allegations prove to be true, Haggard may eventually be led to “moral healing, restoration in Christ, and service to the Church.”
“As evangelicals we recognize, however, the stark reality of the power of sin in all our lives, and acknowledge that we are all capable of grievous moral failures,” the NAE stated. “Moreover, we believe that the Bible holds Christian leaders to higher levels of accountability. Therefore, it is especially serious when a pastor and prominent Christian leader deliberately violates God’s standards of conduct.”
The NAE Executive Committee is making arrangements for temporary leadership for the immediate future, with an ongoing search for a permanent president.