NAE board chairman Roy Taylor said Ted Haggard resigned Thursday as NAE president because he was concerned about the coalition's well-being. The board's executive committee met via conference call Friday afternoon, and the entire board then voted unanimously to accept Haggard's resignation.
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Haggard called Taylor on Thursday to resign. Taylor told Christianity Today he read about the allegations on Thursday but found it difficult to believe Mike Jones, a prostitute who said Haggard hired him over three years.
"It was out of the blue. I was in shock," Taylor said of Haggard's offer to resign. "If I were falsely accused of some outrageous conduct, I would not resign. So after [Haggard resigned] it did give me pause. And then when I saw the reports that he admitted some of the allegations were true, then I could see why he resigned."
Taylor, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America, told CT the NAE has compiled a list of leaders they will pursue to take an interim position as president.
"We hope to have an announcement next week as to who would be an interim president," Taylor said. "And then the executive committee will consider a recommendation to the entire board for the future as to whether we continue with our more recent arrangement with a president who's primarily a spokesman … or if we will go back to having a full-time president."
The NAE regained financial stability, visible leadership, and constituency confidence under the leadership of Haggard and previous president Leith Anderson, Taylor said. He expressed hope that the NAE's member organizations will remain committed.
"I think most would realize Ted succumbed to temptation, and that is certainly grievous and has been harmful to the cause of Christ," Taylor said. "But our confidence is in the Lord, not in an individual. We just need to move on."
See our other coverage:
Haggard Resigns as NAE President | Pastor also steps aside at New Life Church after allegations by male prostitute
Update: Haggard Says He Bought Meth But Didn't Use It | Admits hiring Jones as masseuse, but says they didn't have sex.
CT Classic: Good Morning Evangelicals | Meet Ted Haggard the NAE's optimistic champion of ecumenical evangelism and free-market faith. (Cover story, November 2005)