Haggard to Move Church Out of Barn

Just a month after launching his new church in a barn next to his home, Ted Haggard plans to move services to a bigger venue to accommodate growing attendance.

St. James Church in Colorado Springs has grown from some 160 to about 245 people, according to The Gazette.

The former megachurch pastor told the local newspaper that he will be moving services to a room at Pikes Peak Center on July 25.

"One more week in the red barn, then to the Pikes Peak Center," Haggard tweeted.

Four years ago, Haggard resigned as pastor of New Life Church, a prominent megachurch he founded in his basement at age 28, over a sex and drugs scandal involving a former male prostitute. He also stepped down as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

As part of his agreement with New Life, Haggard had to leave Colorado Springs and not talk about the scandal publicly until 2008. When he and his wife, Gayle, moved back to the populous city two years ago, the couple "had the dream of serving in a local church again."

St. James Church was incorporated earlier this year.

Haggard has described the church as a place for sinners and where everyone is welcome.

"It's a church for people like me, people who know that everyone needs a break at one time or another in their lives," he states on his website. "And that none of us can reach the whole world, but we can make all the difference for at least one.

"When I was at my lowest, others gave me a break. It's my dream to unite together with others who see the value in helping in a practical way."

After more than three years of feeling shame and embarrassment, he says, he has gained a new compassion for people who are afraid and fear being scrutinized and judged.

"It's also a church for people who want to invest their lives in others," he adds.

The Haggards chose the name "St. James" because of the New Testament book of James where it states "faith without works is dead."

The slogan for St. James Church is "doing our faith."

"Our goal is to mobilize the people of the congregation to see suffering and do practical things to help," he explains.