Ted Haggard, who in 2006 resigned as pastor from the Colorado Springs mega church he founded in the wake of a sex and drug scandal, announced November 4 that he plans to host a prayer meeting in his living room.
The first meeting will be held Nov. 12 at Haggard’s Colorado Springs home and could evolve into a church, though Haggard said that is not his aim. He said he and his wife, Gayle, have been traveling almost weekly since the HBO documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard debuted in January, and they thought they needed prayer support.
“This is a Thursday night prayer meeting in our home,” Haggard said. “What we want to do is be able to tell our schedule and our story and know that we’re covered in prayer. And we want to hear their stories and give them the assurance that they’re covered in prayer as well.”
Haggard announced the prayer meeting roughly three years to the day he resigned as pastor of NewLifeChurch in Colorado Springs. He said he was not aware of the timing, but acknowledges the prayer group is starting much like his former church. He founded NewLifeChurch in his basement in 1985, and saw it grow from 25 members to 14,000.
Haggard told the Colorado Springs Gazette on Wednesday that the prayer meeting could be described as a church. He made a similar comment to the Denver Post, calling the prayer gathering “an exploratory meeting.”
But Haggard told Charisma Thursday that he wouldn’t call the prayer group a church. “Any time you have two or more believers together, you have the church … but it’s not a church like a church with a Sunday school and a children’s department and a board of elders,” he said.