Disgraced Minister Fired From Church In Colorado

Associated Press
Sunday, November 5, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Nov. 4 -- The Rev. Ted Haggard was dismissed Saturday as leader of the megachurch he founded after a board determined the influential evangelist had committed "sexually immoral conduct," the church said Saturday.

Haggard resigned Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, where he held sway in Washington and condemned homosexuality, after a Denver man claimed to have had drug-fueled trysts with him.

He also had placed himself on administrative leave from the New Life Church, but its Overseer Board took the stronger action Saturday.

"Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct," the independent board said in a statement.

Haggard was "informed of this decision," the statement said, and he "agreed as well that he should be dismissed."

Haggard, 50, acknowledged on Friday paying the man for a massage and for methamphetamine, but said he did not have sex with him and did not take the drug.

The statement from the 14,000-member church said the investigation of what it called Haggard's "moral failings" would continue.

Haggard did not answer phone calls Saturday.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company