Evangelical Leader Resigns After Sex Allegations

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals — a group representing 30 million Christians — resigned Thursday after a male prostitute claimed on a Denver radio show that the two had had a three-year sexual relationship.

The Rev. Ted Haggard has denied the claims. But he has also taken a leave of absence as pastor of his Colorado Springs mega-church, the 14,000-member New Life Church.

An e-mail sent out by Haggard's church says the pastor has "confessed" that "some of the accusations against him are true."

New Life Church E-Mail on Ted Haggard

The following is an e-mail obtained by NPR that was sent to members of the New Life Church by Acting Senior Pastor Ross Parsley.

Dear New Lifers and friends of New Life Church,

Many of you have expressed concern about today's news regarding our pastor. Thank you all for your prayers and support, and for your concern for our church family.

As you've likely heard by now, Pastor Ted has voluntarily placed himself on administrative leave as New Life's senior pastor to allow our external board of overseers to work effectively. Below is the statement that we released to the media on Thursday afternoon.

Since that time, the board of overseers has met with Pastor Ted. It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true. He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation.

I am serving as the acting senior pastor of New Life Church. I met with the pastoral staff and elders Thursday night, and I assure you that the leadership team is strong and united. We remain resolute in our commitment to serving New Life Church and the people of our community.

Please continue to keep Ted and Gayle and their family in your prayers.

I love serving God with you all,

Ross Parsley

November 2, 2006

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