New Life Deals with New Haggard Scandal

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A new HBO documentary has stirred up more allegations against former Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard for sexual misconduct and New Life Church in Colorado Springs where he served.

The allegations first surfaced in 2006, when a young volunteer told church officials that then-pastor Haggard performed a sex act in front of him in a hotel room and also sent him thousands of explicit text messages. At the time Haggard was also embroiled in another public sex scandal involving a male prostitute.

The former church member, who is now 25, told Colorado Springs television station KRDO-TV Monday that his hidden relationship with Haggard was followed by a period of isolation, depression, as well as bouts with drinking, drugs, and suicide attempts.

Wound Reopened

On Sunday, New Life senior pastor Brady Boyd spoke to the congregation about the latest revelations. Boyd said that it would be the only time he would talk about the man who claims that their former pastor abused him.

"I'm sorry that this wound has been reopened for many of you," Boyd told the congregation. "While scandal and tragedy has been part of our past, it will not be our future."

He also said he has known about the victim since he became the senior pastor at New Life after Haggard stepped down.

"We gave him the counseling and help he needed in his life," Boyd said. "Our hearts go out to everyone hurt by the inappropriate actions that took place under former Pastor Ted Haggard."

Two years ago, the young man sued the church. On Sunday, Boyd assured members that the six-figure settlement given him came from the church's insurance money, not from their tithes and offerings.

That settlement paid for the man's college tuition and counseling on the condition that he would not speak publicly about the relationship.

Haggard's Statement

In a statement released Monday, Haggard apologized for his "inappropriate relationship" with the former church volunteer, but said it did not involve physical contact.

In his statement, Haggard said he met with the young man two years ago, along with his wife and another representative of the New Life Church.

He says at the meeting that he asked the man to forgive him.

Boyd also suggested that former volunteer would not have come forward if an HBO documentary on Haggard were not set to air this week.

According to documents the man provided to KRDO, he is to be paid a total of amount of $179,000 through the rest of this year. The man now claims the church reneged on their promises to pay for his counseling and medical treatment.

Sources: The Associated Press, KRDO-TV

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