Ted Haggard, the founder and former leader of the Colorado Springs largest congregation, New Life Church, as well as past president of the 30 million strong National Association of Evangelicals, shares his thoughts, fears, and future plans in this week's Colorado Springs Independent
Haggard says he is now motivated "to re-enter full-time ministry" and is even contemplating opening a new church in Colorado Springs. For the first time Haggard also admits that despite prior denials, he was a repeat user of methamphetamines.
Pastor Ted also talks frankly about how his childhood was impacted after an associate of his father performed oral sex on him. He describes how his therapist believes that this incident might have been the cause of him "still wetting the bed and wetting my pants at school" when he was nearly a teenager.
Haggard emphasizes that he doesn't believe "that people who have homosexual tendencies, have homosexual tendencies because of abuse, because most don't."
After being exiled to Phoenix, Haggard now lives in his former home, less than a mile from the mega-church he founded. He shares how much he's benefited from repeated visits from New Life's current leader, Pastor Brady Boyd -- and how he is "very pleased with New Life and how it's doing. I mean, I can see New Life Church right outside of my bedroom window and it's a blessing to me." Since he resigned in 2006 after his sex and drug use became public, Haggard has not visited the church nor the prayer center he founded -- and has no plans to do so.
Haggard concludes: "I just want to be well. I want to be able to be faithful to my wife, faithful to my kids, and faithful to my faith. I want to be the man that I am, I want to be true to myself, and that’s why I haven't let the others put me in a box. Oprah really wanted me to be gay or straight or something, and I just said, I am not going to fit into your boxes. I'm not here to fit into your stereotypes."
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