Saturday, November 04, 2006

Overseer Board Finds Haggard Guilty of Sexually Immoral Conduct; Haggard Dismissed as Pastor

According to a press release on the New Life Church website (http://www.newlifechurch.org/pressrelease110606.pdf), the Overseer Board of New Life Church, a group of external pastors who agreed to act as accountability partners for the independent congregation, found Ted Haggard guilty of "sexually immoral conduct," believing it to be proven "without a doubt." Here is what they said:

We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard. Our investigation and Pastor Haggard’s public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.

The language of our church bylaws state that as Overseers we must decide in cases where the Senior Pastor has “demonstrated immoral conduct” whether we must “remove the pastor from his position or to discipline him in any way they deem necessary.”

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. In addition, the Overseers will continue to explore the depth of Pastor Haggard’s offense so that a plan of healing and restoration can begin.

Pastor Haggard and his wife have been informed of this decision. They have agreed as well that he should be dismissed and that a new pastor for New Life Church should be selected according to the rules of replacement in the bylaws.

That process will begin immediately in hopes that a new pastor can be confirmed by the end of the year 2006. In the interim, Ross Parsley will function as the leader of the church with full support of the Overseers.

A letter of explanation and apology by Pastor Haggard as well as a word of encouragement from Gayle Haggard will be read in the 9:00 and 11:00 service of New Life Church.

Those of us in the evangelical wing of the church can only mourn this latest revelation of misconduct. Not only must we all recognize our own proneness to even the grossest sin, but we must redouble our efforts to protect ourselves through vigilant availing ourselves of the manifold means of grace our loving Lord has given us for resisting sin. Rev. Haggard, his wife and children, the New Life congregation and his accuser all stand in the need of prayer . . . as do we all!

3 comments:

roy said...

I read part of the statement made by the wife to the congregation and while it seemed pretty stoic, the photos I've seen of her show a woman whose life is in shreds. Bad enough to have your spouse cheat on you but to have it shown to the world and have everything else fall apart as well... and what do the children do with all of this?
they are certainly in my prayers.

Amill-Presup said...

Power corrupts.

The way the EEE-vangelical Right has gotten all twisted up in political power (a la the N.A.E.), it is inevitible that this sort of thing WILL continue to happen.

Reminds me of Post-Constantine Rome where a place in the church was a ticket to wealth, power, and prestige. Not exactly a recipe for a pure church.

Dennis E. McFadden said...

Amill-presup,

I find the current fall of Haggard to be a black eye on Christians generally, not on the "EEE-vangelical Right" as you put it. And, if memory serves me, our VF leadership (current and recent) has its share of male and female examples of extra-marital misdeeds, questionable financial ethics, and abuse of power. Whether the fall comes from the right, left, or center, it ALWAYS should produce tears, not chortles. We are all the poorer because of conduct of unaccountable leaders across the ecclesiastical, theological, and ideological spectrum.