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Pattaya Daily News

05 November 2006 :: 17:11:10 pm 32122

U.S. evangelical leader agrees to resign from church.

Rev. Ted Haggard resigned Saturday as leader of the mega church he founded after a panel recommended the influential evangelist‘s removal for "sexually immoral conduct.
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            Haggard had resigned two days earlier as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, where he held sway in Washington and condemned homosexuality, after a Denver man named Mike Jones claimed to have had drug-fuelled trysts with him. 

            “Our investigation and Pastor Haggard’s public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct,” the New Life Church’s Overseer Board said in a statement. 

            On Friday, Haggard acknowledged paying Jones for a massage and met amphetamine but said he did not have sex with him and did not take the drug. 

            The church’s statement said the investigation would continue to determine how extensive Haggard’s misconduct was. 

            Rev. Ross Parsley will lead the church until a permanent replacement for Haggard is chosen by the end of the year, the statement said. A letter explaining Haggard’s removal and an apology from him should be read at Sunday services. 

            James Groesbeck, a church elder, said he was glad the investigative board acted quickly. 

            Jones, who said he is homosexual, added he was upset when he discovered who Haggard was and found out the New Life church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage – a key issue in Colorado, with a pair of issues on Tuesday’s U.S. midterm election ballot. 

            “It made me angry that here’s someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex,” Jones said. 

            Jones also said Haggard snorted met amphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience. 

            Haggard said he bought met but never used it; he said he received a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel. Jones said no hotel referred Haggard and he advertises only in homosexual publications. 

            In a TV interview this week, Haggard said: “Never had a gay relationship with anybody and I’m steady with my wife, I’m faithful to my wife.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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