June 2, 2010
Ted Haggard: Back in the Saddle
Announces he’s starting a new church…after announcing he wasn’t.
Back on May 18, Religion News Service reported that Ted Haggard filed business documentation with Colorado’s secretary of state to incorporate a nonprofit called “St. James Church.” The address listed on the documents was the same as Ted and Gayle Haggard’s home.
Asked at the time if he was starting a new church Haggard replied, “A corporation does not a church make.” Haggard said the nonprofit was established to help him manage the revenue and expenses generated from his speaking and traveling. "There are tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of people that travel and incorporate in order to manage finances," he said. "That's what I'm doing."
Asked if “St. James Church” might become an actual church in the future, he commented that there was “no way to know the future.”
At a press conference today, Ted Haggard announced he is launching a new church.
He said he made the decision to start the church just two weeks ago. He also announced that he is working with a documentary film crew, but there are currently no plans to air or distribute the footage.
Haggard resigned in 2006 from New Life Church, a 14,000-member congregation in Colorado Springs, after confessing that he purchased methamphetamine and solicited a male prostitute for massages. He later ended his “spiritual restoration” process with the mutual agreement of his advisers.
Ted Haggard may be one of the most famous church leaders to resign, seek restoration, and return to ministry, but he’s not the only one. Many of our churches have walked with leaders through a similar process. I’d like to hear from Urbanites that have been on a journey like Haggard’s, or who have led a church in the wake of such events. What do you make of his announcement? Has enough time passed? Are we even in a place to make such a call? If not, who is? And what should a restoration process include? These aren’t easy questions, but who said ministry was easy?