Disgraced Colorado pastor Ted Haggard is facing new allegations involving drugs and sexual misconduct with young men.
Haggard, the founder and lead pastor of St. James Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is being accused of using methamphetamine and touching two young men inappropriately on multiple occasions at the church in 2019. According to the Denver Gazette, one of the young men is believed to have been a minor at the time of the alleged incident.
The Rev. Kirk “Seth” Sethman, whom Haggard ordained as a minister at St. James, shared with the church elders and the Gazette a pre-recorded cassette tape in which the young men claim Haggard made them feel uncomfortable whenever he was around them.
“People are scared and worried and don’t want to be connected to him anymore,” Sethman said.
Upon hearing the allegations, church elders called for Haggard’s removal from the pulpit in April 2020. Haggard, however, retained his role as head pastor and moved the church services to his home under a new name, Storyhouse Church.
In recent years, St. James Church has experienced a decline in membership due to the allegations against Haggard. The church’s building was sold earlier this year.
Haggard, a former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, first became immersed in controversy in 2006 after he was accused of hiring a gay male prostitute and using methamphetamines. At the time, Haggard resigned as pastor of the New Life Church megachurch in Colorado Springs, which he founded in 1984. He later launched St. James Church in 2010.
According to the Roys Report, Haggard underwent a “spiritual restoration” process following the 2006 scandal, but church leaders assisting him shared that he prematurely ended that process after only 14 months.
Haggard also helped found the Network of Redemptive Churches in 2016. At the time, he told the St. James congregation in a sermon that the group “train[s] church boards and church leadership in how to respond redemptively to the worst possible day, so that someone else’s sin is an opportunity to model the gospel, instead of someone else’s sin being a point of shame.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brian A. Jackson
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.