Ted Haggard has been making the media rounds in advance of next week’s release of HBO’s “The Trials of Ted Haggard” and an Oprah Winfrey episode featuring Haggard and his family. The documentary captures Haggard’s life in the months after his downfall, as he ranges from a weird excitement at starting over to personal misery to anger at his old church for banishing him. His interviews have captured that same range. (The oddest interview so far is the one he gave to Dan Gilgoff, where he thanks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her expressions of support after his fall. Pelosi issued a statement denying any such support.)
I’ve mostly withheld comment, in keeping with my practice of not saying much publicly
about my 8 years of working for Haggard. But this month, after a couple meetings with Haggard and some of his old associates, I have been working on a small reflective essay, and I have been preparing for a scheduled interview with Haggard this coming Tuesday.
Well, I suppose my careful preparations are for naught. The AP is reporting new allegations against Haggard.
A young man who has been silent about an alleged relationship with Haggard has decided to speak out. Last night, New Life Church’s pastor, Brady Boyd, issued a statement preparing church members, and the public, for the breaking news, and saying that while church leaders knew about this man and supported him financially, they did not give him hush money.
Dear New Life Family,
In the days ahead, there will be new press reports of allegations made by a man who knew Ted Haggard through his involvement with New Life Church. This man has decided to speak to the media about his alleged relationship with Mr. Haggard. Since these allegations were first brought to our attention, New Life Church leadership has reached out to him with compassion by providing him with pastoral care, professional counseling, and financial assistance. We did this with the hope that he would experience healing and move forward with purpose in his life.
At that time, he and church leaders agreed that publishing his allegations or our church’s assistance to him would not be in his best interest. This decision was made not as an attempt to conceal wrongdoings, but to protect him from those who would seek to exploit him. His actions now suggest that he has changed his mind.
A few weeks ago, when the news of the upcoming documentary about Mr. Haggard surfaced, this man informed me that he was considering telling the media the details of his relationship with Mr. Haggard. He was obviously upset about the reported content of the documentary and wished to tell his story.
After Mr. Haggard’s fall, we received reports of a number of incidents of inappropriate behavior. In each case, we have tried our very best to do the right thing, including disciplinary action when appropriate. Our concern has been and continues to be for every person affected. We renew our invitation today for anyone who believes he or she has been hurt to please come forward.
Our current elder team and all of our overseers have been aware of these allegations and have given us wise, prayerful counsel every step of the way. I regret that we have to revisit the unpleasant issues of the past, but I am convinced we are on the path of healing and great days are ahead for all of us. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support.