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Haggard's Overseers Squash Fundraising Letter

He'll be seeking secular employment, not ministry, they said.

Ted Haggard's recent request for money to keep his family afloat while he attends school was "inappropriate" and "unacceptable," according to a statement Wednesday by the group that oversees the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Haggard had e-mailed a Colorado Springs television station a letter requesting financial help while he studies for his master's degree. He also said he was planning to move to the Phoenix Dream Center, a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and prostitutes. "I can identify," he said in the letter.

The letter implied that he would be doing ministry there, but the overseer's statement said Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center.

"It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry," the statement said. "He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and his family."

Haggard said Thursday that he could not speak with the CT about the statement.

The four-pastor team of overseers was assigned to help Haggard after he was removed from New Life Church in Colorado Springs last November. A former male prostitute told a radio station that he and Haggard had a three-year sexual relationship and that Haggard had used methamphetamine. Haggard later said he had bought drugs and admitted to "sexual immorality."

After he left New Life, the church gave Haggard a severance package that included a year's salary of $138,000. He also owns a home for sale in Colorado Springs valued at $715,051, according to records from the county assessor.

In the recent letter soliciting money, Haggard said that if supporters want a tax deduction for their gift, they could mail it to Families with a Mission.

But the organization's head, Paul Huberty, told The Gazette in Colorado Springs that the organization was not aware of Haggard's appeal for money and is not soliciting donation for the family.

Haggard said he and his wife, Gayle, are both enrolled at the University of Phoenix. He is pursuing a master of science in counseling and Gayle Haggard is studying in the undergraduate program for psychology.

Related Elsewhere:

David Neff blogged about whether Haggard's fundraising letter was genuine and about the charity he directed potential donors to.

Also see our previous coverage of Ted Haggard.

Slate has posted a copy of the letter (postscript available from Rocky Mountain News) with its article.

Other news about Haggard's fundraising letter and his overseers' reaction includes:

Haggard's plan "unacceptable" | The ministers guiding the ex-pastor's "restoration" oppose his counseling people at a Phoenix halfway house and soliciting donations from supporters. (The Denver Post)
Church Overseers Chastise Ted Haggard | The new senior pastor of a Colorado megachurch said Wednesday he was optimistic for its future even as the church's overseers chastised their disgraced former leader, Ted Haggard. (The Washington Post)
Haggard told to get a job | Bid for funds 'inappropriate,' supervisors say (Rocky Mountain News)

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