This is Ted Haggard’s statement to New Life Church in Colorado. It is terrible to think that so many are so quick to hate. His sins have been exposed and have hurt so many. Pray for him, his family, our leaders, and yourself as we all have fallen short and are all in need of redemption and grace. Praise God that His grace is enough.
November 5, 2006
My Dear New Life Church Family,
I am so sorry. I am sorry for the disappointment, the betrayal, and the hurt. I am sorry for
the horrible example I have set for you.
I have an overwhelming, all-consuming sadness in my heart for the pain that you and I
and my family have experienced over the past few days. I am so sorry for the
circumstances that have caused shame and embarrassment to all of you.
I asked that this note be read to you this morning so I could clarify my heart’s condition
to you. The last four days have been so difficult for me, my family and all of you, and I
have further confused the situation with some of the things I’ve said during interviews
with reporters who would catch me coming or going from my home. But I alone am
responsible for the confusion caused by my inconsistent statements. The fact is, I am
guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem.
I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve
been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy
victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone
would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that
were contrary to everything I believe and teach.
Through the years, I’ve sought assistance in a variety of ways, with none of them proving
to be effective in me. Then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most
because I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint them.
The public person I was wasn’t a lie; it was just incomplete. When I stopped
communicating about my problems, the darkness increased and finally dominated me. As
a result, I did things that were contrary to everything I believe.
The accusations that have been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are
true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry. Our church’s
overseers have required me to submit to the oversight of Dr. James Dobson, Pastor Jack
Hayford, and Pastor Tommy Barnett. Those men will perform a thorough analysis of my
mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical life. They will guide me through a program
with the goal of healing and restoration for my life, my marriage, and my family.
I created this entire situation. The things that I did opened the door for additional
allegations. But I am responsible; I alone need to be disciplined and corrected. An
example must be set.
It is important that you know how much I love and appreciate my wife, Gayle. What I did
should never reflect in a negative way on her relationship with me. She has been and
continues to be incredible. The problem was not with her, my children, or any of you. It
was created 100% by me.
I have been permanently removed from the office of Senior Pastor of New Life Church.
Until a new senior pastor is chosen, our Associate Senior Pastor, Ross Parsley, will
assume all of the responsibilities of the office. On the day he accepted this new role, he
and his wife, Aimee, had a new baby boy. A new life in the midst of this circumstance—I
consider that confluence of events to be prophetic. Please commit to join with Pastor
Ross and the others in church leadership to make their service to you easy and without
burden. They are fine leaders. You are blessed.
I appreciate your loving and forgiving nature, and I humbly ask you to do a few things:
1. Please stay faithful to God through service and giving.
2. Please forgive me. I am so embarrassed and ashamed. I caused this and I have no
excuse. I am a sinner. I have fallen. I desperately need to be forgiven and healed.
3. Please forgive my accuser. He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was
in my life. Those sins, and others, need to be dealt with harshly. So, forgive him
and, actually, thank God for him. I am trusting that his actions will make me, my
wife and family, and ultimately all of you, stronger. He didn’t violate you; I did.
4. Please stay faithful to each other. Perform your functions well. Encourage each
other and rejoice in God’s faithfulness. Our church body is a beautiful body, and
like every family, our strength is tested and proven in the midst of adversity.
Because of the negative publicity I’ve created with my foolishness, we can now
demonstrate to the world how our sick and wounded can be healed, and how even
disappointed and betrayed church bodies can prosper and rejoice.
Gayle and I need to be gone for a while. We will never return to a leadership role at
New Life Church. In our hearts, we will always be members of this body. We love
you as our family. I know this situation will put you to the test. I’m sorry I’ve created
the test, but please rise to this challenge and demonstrate the incredible grace that is
available to all of us.