Ted Haggard: send money, suckers

I loves this shit:

… this week KRDO Channel 13 in Colorado Springs aired a story about a letter that Haggard sent to consumer reporter Tak Landrock, letting him know of the Haggard family plans to move into the Phoenix Dream Center to minister to ex-cons, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and “other broken people,” Haggard writes. “I identify.”

Baaron Pittenger,  assistant news director of the ABC affiliate, says that Landrock has been communicating with the fallen former pastor of New Life Church via e-mail. The station broadcast the story about Haggard’s new life and request for donations on the 10 p.m. news last night. Pittenger says he’s not aware that there’s been much response to the story.

Haggard, the charismatic former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, was fired last Nov. 4 from the 14,000-member New Life Church that he founded after he admitted buying meth and getting massages from a male escort. After three weeks of intensive “restoration” therapy, Haggard claimed he was “completely heterosexual”; he and his family subsequently moved to Arizona.

In his most recent communiqué with the Colorado Springs TV reporter, Haggard indicates that he and his wife Gayle, along with their two underage younger sons, are planning to move into a one-bedroom apartment in a Phoenix halfway house to minister to the residents. They are both, he wrote, enrolled at the University of Phoenix.

In what is clearly a fundraising letter, Haggard indicated, “we need to raise our own support.” However, he doesn’t mention that when he left the church, New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007 – estimated at about $138,000 annually.

In addition, as Colorado Confidential reported earlier this month, El Paso County Assessor property records show that the Haggard’s still own their 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in Colorado Springs. Sitting on 5.1 acres, its current market value is listed at $715,051.

The home is not currently on the market for sale.

Here is Haggard’s letter to Landrock (bold added):

Tak, Gayle and I, along with Alex (16) and Elliott (14) have decided to move into the Phoenix Dream Center on October 1st. The Phoenix Dream Center is a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and other broken people. I identify.

The building is sponsored by Phoenix First Assembly, our new church home, but the workers are volunteers. The Dream Center also houses a church called “The Church on the Street.” I met the pastor and he asked me if I would be willing to counsel some of the men and to teach the group from time to time. The woman directing the ministry to women invited Gayle to teach and minister to the women.

Gayle and I spoke to the boys about it, and after a series of discussions with several leaders and our pastor, Tommy Barnett, we decided to serve the dream center in whatever capacity asked, whether it’s cleaning the building, hosting a visiting group, attending a meeting, or facilitating a study. In order to increase our availability to serve, we have decided to move and live in the Dream Center.

As a result, the Phoenix Dream Center team is creating an apartment for our family by combining a small, one-bedroom apartment with an adjacent room so our boys will have their own rooms. Even though Alex and Elliott’s drive to school is quite a distance every day, we think it is worth it to be given the privilege of service.

In preparation for the future, Gayle and I are both enrolled at the University of Phoenix at their main downtown campus. Gayle is in the undergraduate program studying psychology. I am pursuing my master of science in counseling degree, which means we are both full time students. Alex and Elliott are both attending a local Christian school. Elliott is playing 8th grade football this fall. Everyone is busy!

It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years. During that time we will continue as full time students, and then, when I graduate, we won’t need outside support any longer.

But for the next two years, we will need support. Between now and the end of the year, we have to find the people who want to help us transition into our future. So I am starting today to let friends like you know that we are raising money for support as we move into the Phoenix Dream Center.

Would you be willing to help us find people who can give a one time gift or make a commitment to help support us monthly for two years? If so, that would be a blessing.

Soon’s I get a minute, Ted….

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