Biography of Ted Haggard

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ted-haggard

Ted Arthur Haggard is an American evangelical pastor. Known as Pastor Ted to the congregation he served. He was a leading American evangelical preacher when he became entangled in a sex scandal in 2006. Haggard graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1978, and in 1985, he and his wife Gayle founded the New Life Church in their basement in Colorado Springs, Colorado; The church flourished and by 2006 had 14,000 members. Haggard is also a founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches; and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006, and Harpers magazine had reported that “No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted.

Ted Haggard was born on June 27 1956, at Delphi, Indiana, USA.

Ted Haggard and in 1985 he and his wife Gayle founded the New Life Church in their basement in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  In November of 2006, however, a Denver man named Michael Jones claimed that Haggard had paid him for sex monthly for three years and had taken methamphetamine during those encounters. After first denying Jones’s claims, Haggard admitted that they were largely true, stating on camera that he had purchased illegal drugs but didn’t use them; he resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was removed as pastor of New Life Church. As part of his severance agreement, he agreed to leave Colorado Springs; he and his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona in April of 2007. Haggard resurfaced in 2011 with a cable television reality series, Scandalous.

Early life and education

Haggard was born in Indiana. His father, J. M. Haggard, a practicing veterinarian in Yorktown, Indiana, founded an international charismatic ministry, which was featured in a PBS Middletown documentary series.

Haggard reportedly stated on an audio tape posted to the internet that he was molested when he was seven years old.

In 1972, at age sixteen, Haggard became a born-again Christian after hearing a sermon from evangelist Bill Bright in Dallas, Texas and becoming acquainted with the Christian apologetics of C.S. Lewis.

As a co-editor of his high-school newspaper in 1974, Haggard published remarkably frank articles which described services that were available to prevent and deal with increasingly prevalent pregnancies and STDs. These articles scandalized his small town and embroiled him in a free-press lawsuit.

Haggard describes feeling the call of God on his life after his first year in college, while he was in the kitchen at home. He had been a telecommunications major with a minor in journalism, but after this experience he believed he had been called to pastor. “I was totally surprised,” Haggard wrote in The Life-Giving Church. “I . . . told the Lord I wanted to serve Him. But before I mentioned this to anyone, especially to my parents, I asked the Lord to assure me by using others to confirm His calling on my life. I felt as though He consented . . .” Within forty-eight hours, Haggard felt that he received four unsolicited confirmations: from a Sunday school teacher, a pastor, a friend, and from his father. Haggard subsequently attended Oral Roberts University, a Christian university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, graduating in 1978.

Scandal

In November 2006, male prostitute and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard had paid him for sex for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine. Haggard denied having sexual intercourse with Jones, but admitted purchasing crystal methamphetamine, claiming he did not use the drug. A few days later Haggard resigned from all of his leadership positions. Grant Hass, who formerly attended New Life Church, has said that then-pastor Ted Haggard performed a sex act (allegedly masturbation) in front of him in a hotel room in 2006 and sent him explicit text messages.

After the scandal was publicized, Haggard entered three weeks of intensive counseling, overseen by four ministers. In February 2007, one of those ministers, Tim Ralph, said that Haggard “is completely heterosexual.” Ralph later said he meant that therapy “gave Ted the tools to help to embrace his heterosexual side.” On June 1, 2010 Haggard announced that he intended to start a new church in Colorado Springs. In a July 2010 interview with CNN, he confirmed that he has “completely shunned away any homosexual feelings he has had in the past.” In the February 2011 issue of GQ, however, Haggard said that, “probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.”

Return To The Pulpit In Colorado Springs

In October 2009, the Colorado Springs Independent published the first extensive interview with Haggard to appear in the secular press since the 2006 scandal. Over the course of a 2½ hour interview, the former pastor talked about the scandal, his agreement never to return to New Life or the state of Colorado, suicidal ideas and the prospect of starting a new church in Colorado Springs. “Back in the old days,” said Haggard, “when somebody would get in trouble, they’d just need to move 40 or 50 miles, or a hundred miles, and they could start again. Not anymore. Which is one of the reasons why we needed to come home. Because I needed to finish this story from here.”

On November 4, Haggard posted a message on his Twitter account announcing his intent to begin public prayer meetings in his Colorado Springs home. Following one such meeting, Haggard referred to his “resurrection” subsequent to his death and burial. On December 7, he started holding the prayer meetings in his barn.

On June 6, 2010 the first meeting of the St. James Church, with Haggard as pastor, was held at the Haggard home. Newsweek’s June 7, 2010, issue’s BACK STORY listed Haggard among prominent conservative activists who have a record of supporting anti-gay legislation and are later caught in a gay sex scandal. In a July 2010 interview he gave to CNN, Haggard claimed that his feelings of sexual attraction to other men had miraculously disappeared. Haggard portrayed his encounter with the male prostitute as a massage that went awry.

Beliefs

Haggard has stated he believes in what is known as the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit and subscribes to the concept referred to as the five-fold ministry – beliefs often associated with the Charismatic Movement. He has stated that he believes that there is one, all-knowing God, and that humans were created to be with him.

Politics

In 2005, Haggard was listed by Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential evangelicals in America. Haggard was a firm supporter of former US President George W. Bush, and is sometimes credited with rallying evangelicals behind Bush during the 2004 election. Author Jeff Sharlet reported in 2005 that Haggard “talks to… Bush or his advisers every Monday” and stated at that time that “no pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism.”

Haggard has stated that fighting global warming is an important issue, a divisive issue among Evangelical leaders. Though he personally supported the Evangelical Climate Initiative, the NAE did not adopt a position.

Personal life

In 1978, Haggard married Gayle Alcorn. The couple has five children: Christy (1981), Marcus (1983) (founder and former pastor of Boulder Street Church, Colorado Springs, Jonathan (1987), Alex (1990), and Elliott (1993).

Books

  • The Life-Giving Church(2001)
  • Dog Training, Fly Fishing, and Sharing Christ in the 21st Century(2002)
  • Primary Purpose(1995)
  • Loving Your City into the Kingdom(1997)
  • Taking It to the Streets(2005)
  • Confident Parents, Exceptional Teens(1999)
  • Simple Prayers for a Powerful Life(2002)
  • Foolish No More!(2005)
  • Letters From Home(2003)
  • The Jerusalem Diet(2005)
  • Your Primary Purpose(2006)
  • From This Day Forward: Making Your Vows Last a Lifetime(2006)

See Other List Of Books By Ted Haggard

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