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Ted Haggard's Plea for Money Reproved

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By Lillian Kwon, Christian Post Reporter
August 31, 2007|11:30 am

The latest request by former evangelical leader Ted Haggard for financial support was deemed "inappropriate" and "unacceptable" by overseers of the megachurch he founded and was fired from.

With plans to pursue a master's degree in counseling at the University of Phoenix while his wife, Gayle, studies psychology in the undergraduate program, Haggard had written an e-mail last week asking for financial assistance until he and his family has "adequate earning power again," according to the e-mail sent to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.

"Mr. Haggard's solicitation for personal support was inappropriate," the overseers at New Life Church in Colorado Springs said in a statement Wednesday.

Haggard, New Life's founding pastor, was fired last year after he confessed to undisclosed "sexual immorality" and buying methamphetamine. A former male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year sexual relationship with the prominent evangelical leader.

After begin ousted, Haggard received a severance package from New Life, which included a year's salary of $138,000, and moved to Phoenix in April.

In his e-mail, Haggard wrote that he would move in to the Phoenix Dream Center, a half-way house for the homeless, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and prostitutes, whom Haggard said he could identify with. The Dream Center is run by Tommy Barnett, who leads the 15,000-member Phoenix First Assembly of God that Haggard now attends. Haggard, in the past, has subscribed to a number of beliefs often associated with the charismatic movement.

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However, the overseers, who were assigned to help Haggard after he was removed from New Life Church, said Haggard will not be moving in or providing any counsel at the Dream Center.

"It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry," said the overseers in their statement.

Haggard will not be doing any ministry and instead will be seeking secular employment to support the family, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, New Life congregants have hope that their reputation as a church can be recovered as they have overwhelmingly approved this week their new senior pastor – Brady Boyd of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Despite the challenge – as this would not be an ordinary pastoral transition – Boyd is optimistic for New Life's future.

"I wanted to know if this church was ready to move forward," said Boyd, according to The Associated Press. "They just want to be normal. They just want to care for one another and be a church."

 

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