“Repentant” former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard will make a “surprise groundbreaking” announcement next Wednesday from his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., a spokesperson reported Thursday.
It has been nearly four years since a former male prostitute claimed Haggard had paid him for sex over the course of three years and had also taken methamphetamines.
The highly-publicized drugs and sex scandal led to Haggard's resignation from the presidency of the National Association of Evangelicals, forced him out of the church he founded, and moved him and his family into two years of seclusion.
Since late 2008, however, Haggard has been stepping back into the limelight, starting with his promotion of “The Trials of Ted Haggard,” a documentary produced by Alexandra Pelosi that debuted on HBO.
Haggard also made waves when news spread of the prayer meetings he held last November at his home, just miles away from the church he had grown to become one of the most prominent in the nation.
With over 100 having attended the last prayer meeting, many expressed skepticism over Haggard’s intentions, noting that the charismatic pastor had started New Life Church in Colorado Springs from the basement of his house at the age of 28.
Supporters, however, argue that Haggard’s fall from grace in 2006 has deepened and enriched the now-53-year-old preacher, who they hail as gifted speaker.
Some “New Lifers” have even told Haggard that they are being healed through his television appearances.
According to the press release announcing next week’s media conference, Haggard is “now back” from obscurity and plans to publicly broadcast the upcoming “surprise announcement” with his family on Wednesday.
News of the press conference comes just a month after the Haggard’s home was listed as the site of the recently incorporated “St. James Church,” according to Colorado state documents.
Though Haggard told The Gazette of Colorado Springs that the newly formed non-profit was incorporated to provide an orderly way for him and his wife to be reimbursed for the traveling expenses they incur as they visit churches across the country to give paid talks, he didn’t rule out the possibility that it could one day become an official church.
“Sometime, somewhere we will do some type of ministry,” he said.