Saturday, November 04, 2006

Haggard gone; search begins

Ted HaggardThe Board of Overseers for New Life Church in Colorado has dismissed former pastor after he was found guilty of "sexually immoral conduct."

A statement from the church issued Saturday said that the overseer Board of New Life Church concluded the deliberations concerning what it called Haggard's "moral failures." The Board said Haggard's statements to the media - including admitting that he had contacted a male prostitute for methamphetamine and for a massage - proved without a doubt that Haggard was guilty. A letter of apology and explanation is expected to be read to the 14-thousand member church at it's services Sunday.

According to the statement, "In consultation with leading evangelicals and experts familiar with the type of behavior Pastor Haggard has demonstrated, we have decided that the most positive and productive direction for our church is his dismissal and removal."

The statement said the Overseers would continue to investigate the "depth of Pastor Haggard's offense so that a plan of healing and restoration can begin."

Haggard and his wife have been informed of the decision and agreed that a new pastor should be sought. The Overseers said that the search process will begin immediately and they hope a replacement can be found by the end of the year.

The statement also asked parishioners to continue to pray and stand strong together "for the kingdom of God." According to the statement "we will get through this together. Remember, New Life Church has never been a man, or a building or anything else -- we are a family."

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