A request from Ted Haggard for money to keep his family afloat was "inappropriate" and "unacceptable," according to the pastors overseeing his restoration.
In late August, the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals e-mailed friends asking for financial support while he pursues a master's degree. Haggard said his family was planning to minister and live at the Phoenix Dream Center, a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes.
But the overseers' statement said "it was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and his family."
Haggard resigned from the NAE and was removed as senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs last November, after his relationship with a former male prostitute was revealed.
Haggard's four-pastor team of overseers seeks to contact him weekly, said Mike Ware, a member of the team and pastor of Victory Church in Westminster, Colorado. Ware confirmed that Haggard is attending the University of Phoenix, but said Haggard had not discussed with the overseers his plan to seek financial support.
Haggard declined comment to CT.
"If you look back on previous scandals, guys who get caught in these things, they tend to want to get back into the ministry very quickly," said Jim Newheiser, president of the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship. "[Haggard] will need to learn to be a member of a church under the leadership of others."
Ware said the overseers' goal is to restore Haggard to public life as a Christian. Ware declined to discuss Haggard's possible restoration to public ministry.
Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
David Neff blogged on the meaning of Haggard's fundraising letter as the story unfolded.
Our previous coverage of the 2006 Ted Haggard scandal is available in our special section.
Haggard's positions as pastor of New Life Church and president of the NAE have been filled by Brady Boyd and Leith Anderson, respectively.
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