More On Ted Haggard’s Plans

Another post follows shortly; either later today or Monday.  There’s some personal stuff that I wanted to write about, but the day is proving to be busier than I’d imagined.  But when I saw this, my heart sank.  I had wondered if perhaps Ted was caught inside of some bureaucratic/financial level of hell and his counseling, recovery, and announcement of total healing all in the hands of someone other than himself.  I wanted to give the man the benefit of the doubt.

It’s getting harder to do.  What could have been a powerful witness and a swath of refreshing integrity and honesty that could have pointed to Jesus as our source of healing and hope, has been reduced to this:

http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2630 

UPDATE: New information on the background of the group Families With a Mission and its founder, Paul Huberty, appears at the bottom of the story.

Have some extra cash? Feel like going to heaven? Then you might consider sending Ted Haggard and his family some monthly checks for the next two years while they move into a halfway house and get psychology and counseling degrees from the University of Phoenix.

If you haven’t had enough of the Haggard/New Life Church saga, this week KRDO Channel 13 in Colorado Springs aired a story about a letter that Haggard sent to consumer reporter Tak Landrock, letting him know of the Haggard family plans to move into the Phoenix Dream Center to minister to ex-cons, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and “other broken people,” Haggard writes. “I identify.”

Baaron Pittenger,  assistant news director of the ABC affiliate, says that Landrock has been communicating with the fallen former pastor of New Life Church via e-mail. The station broadcast the story about Haggard’s new life and request for donations on the 10 p.m. news last night. Pittenger says he’s not aware that there’s been much response to the story.

Haggard, the charismatic former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, was fired last Nov. 4 from the 14,000-member New Life Church that he founded after he admitted buying meth and getting massages from a male escort. After three weeks of intensive “restoration” therapy, Haggard claimed he was “completely heterosexual”; he and his family subsequently moved to Arizona.In his most recent communiqué with the Colorado Springs TV reporter, Haggard indicates that he and his wife Gayle, along with their two underage younger sons, are planning to move into a one-bedroom apartment in a Phoenix halfway house to minister to the residents. They are both, he wrote, enrolled at the University of Phoenix.

In what is clearly a fundraising letter, Haggard indicated, “we need to raise our own support.” However, he doesn’t mention that when he left the church, New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007 – estimated at about $138,000 annually.

In addition, as Colorado Confidential reported earlier this month, El Paso County Assessor property records show that the Haggard’s still own their 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in Colorado Springs. Sitting on 5.1 acres, its current market value is listed at $715,051.

The home is not currently on the market for sale.

Here is Haggard’s letter to Landrock (bold added):

Tak,Gayle and I, along with Alex (16) and Elliott (14) have decided to move into the Phoenix Dream Center on October 1st. The Phoenix Dream Center is a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and other broken people. I identify.

The building is sponsored by Phoenix First Assembly, our new church home, but the workers are volunteers. The Dream Center also houses a church called “The Church on the Street.” I met the pastor and he asked me if I would be willing to counsel some of the men and to teach the group from time to time. The woman directing the ministry to women invited Gayle to teach and minister to the women.

Gayle and I spoke to the boys about it, and after a series of discussions with several leaders and our pastor, Tommy Barnett, we decided to serve the dream center in whatever capacity asked, whether it’s cleaning the building, hosting a visiting group, attending a meeting, or facilitating a study. In order to increase our availability to serve, we have decided to move and live in the Dream Center.

As a result, the Phoenix Dream Center team is creating an apartment for our family by combining a small, one-bedroom apartment with an adjacent room so our boys will have their own rooms. Even though Alex and Elliott’s drive to school is quite a distance every day, we think it is worth it to be given the privilege of service. <b</b

In preparation for the future, Gayle and I are both enrolled at the University of Phoenix at their main downtown campus. Gayle is in the undergraduate program studying psychology. I am pursuing my master of science in counseling degree, which means we are both full time students. Alex and Elliott are both attending a local Christian school. Elliott is playing 8th grade football this fall. Everyone is busy!

It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years. During that time we will continue as full time students, and then, when I graduate, we won’t need outside support any longer.

But for the next two years, we will need support. Between now and the end of the year, we have to find the people who want to help us transition into our future. So I am starting today to let friends like you know that we are raising money for support as we move into the Phoenix Dream Center.

Would you be willing to help us find people who can give a one time gift or make a commitment to help support us monthly for two years? If so, that would be a blessing.

If people want to support us directly, they can mail checks to Ted and Gayle Haggard, [address removed–FG]. This is a private mail box address that we have been using since we moved to the Phoenix area. If any supporters need a tax deduction for their gift, they can mail it to Families With a Mission at [address removed/FG]. The supporters would need to write their check to “Families With A Mission” and put a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family, then Families With a Mission will mail us 90% of the funds for support and use 10% for administrative costs.

Thank you so much. We feel our move into the Dream Center is the next step God would have us take. Any help we can get with this will be greatly appreciated and, I believe, rewarded in heaven.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might have an interest. Any assistance we receive will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

God bless, 

Ted Haggard
“Preparing”

P.S. Our handicapped son, Jonathan (20) has been taken care of financially by Victory Church (Mike Ware), Church of the Highlands (Chris Hodges) and New Life Church in Colorado Springs since November of 2006. It’s our prayer that these churches will continue helping Jonathan while we’re in this stage of our lives. We are so grateful for their assistance. Their faithfulness to Jonathan and consequently our family has given us room to heal. We are all very thankful for their prayers, love, and kindness

UPDATE SATURDAY, AUG. 25: In a handy bit of sleuthing, a blog team at the Stranger in Seattle has followed up this story with some interesting info about the organization that Haggard is asking people to send money to, Families With a Mission.

An independent confirmation with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office shows that the organization’s corporate offices were moved from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to the Town of Monument, north of Colorado Springs, in July, 2003.

Its Colorado Springs mailing address is the same one to which Haggard is asking people to send donations. However, Secretary of State records show that Families With a Mission was administratively dissolved earlier this year, on Feb. 23.

And the man who is listed as the president of Families With a Mission, Paul Gerard Huberty, appears to be the same Paul Huberty who was convicted in 1996 of having sex with a 17-year old girl while he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force stationed in Germany, and who later registered as a sex offender in Hawaii. The organization Family Watchdog, which tracks sex offenders, currently lists Huberty at the same Monument address that was the principal address of Families With a Mission.

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at cdegette@coloradoconfidential.com

Believe it or not, there is still some small part of me that longs for this to be wrong; this is just an article written by someone with an agenda, an axe to grind against religion.  We know not all of the facts of Haggard’s true situation; perhaps he has legal bills to pay that threaten to overwhelm his family.  Perhaps there is a reason they cannot sell the house; a pre-emptory lien or somesuch against settlement for any lawsuits arising out—

Yeah.  I know.  I am trying to hold out for the best outlook on this, even though it’s letters like this which suggest the situation hasn’t changed the man’s soul much at all.  How do you go into what essentially amounts to hiding, not take proper financial care to cover yourself while you’re giving of yourself to this ministry, then trust a convicted sex offender who is not properly licensed as a charity to fundraise for you?  I cannot believe there was even a smidgen of fact checking done here.

It grieves me to think about how many searching men and women were turned away from God because of this situation.  I hold hope that somehow, God would use this all for his glory and this situation would bring more people to Him for truth, healing and relationship. 

If not with Pastor Ted, then without him.

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~ by WriterRand on August 26, 2007.

3 Responses to “More On Ted Haggard’s Plans”

  1. Ted Haggard is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is still trying to fool gullible sheep. Is it possible he really did what he did? Disgusting as it is, yes! Is he still trying to fleece God’s sheep? Obviously!

  2. Be carefull. David didnt critisice Saul, even though Saul was wrong. I dont disagree with anything you are saying, Just dont judge lest you be judged. There is a distinction between judging and reporting. Humble suggestion

  3. I don’t honestly think I’m judging the man. I still hold out hope that in the middle of Ted’s brokenness, God will use his situation for his glory. I pray that the guy’s pride is finally broken and that he’ll start to help others who carry the same dark demons that drove him to do what he did.

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