New Life Church, in Colorado Springs, is the mega-church founded by now-disgraced pastor Ted Haggard. It was the collateral damage of last fall’s revelation of Pastor Haggard’s relationship with a gay prostitute. Membership fell by more than 30%. Those remaining had to deal with both the shame of what their pastor had done and the betrayal of it as well.
Now New Life has named Haggard’s heir apparent. His name is Brady Boyd, a 40-year-old Texan who says, “I’m in the business of loving and caring for people. I preach the Bible with love, but I don’t water down the truth.”
Before his downfall, Haggard, who founded New Life, had become known far more for his politics than for his preaching. He had become head of the National Association of Evangelicals, he loved talking to reporters about his political influence.
Boyd appears to be anything but Haggard-like in that respect. “I want to be a pastor, a pastor of a church,” Boyd said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going to use the pulpit to advance a political agenda.”
Perhaps Boyd, in his lack of political involvement, will become one of the growing number of new evangelical leaders who put their confidence in the redemptive power of Jesus’ rather than in the seductive power of politics. If so, Boyd isn’t just what New Life needs, he is what other Colorado Springs’ neighbors like James Dobson need as well.