Ted Arthur Haggard, known as "Pastor Ted," is one of the nation's most well-known Evangelical ministers and the founder and senior leader of the New Life megachurch in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which has 14,000 members.
On November 2, 2006, Haggard "stepped aside" as senior pastor at New Life "after Michael Forest Jones, a self-described former gay prostitute, accused him of having a sexual affair for three years and using the drug, commonly known as crystal meth, during those encounters." Haggard also resigned his position as President of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents 30 million members.
White House Evangelical
"Haggard has advised the White House on issues ranging from judicial appointments to steel tariffs, but he also sought to widen the agenda of Christian evangelicals into areas the Bush administration—and many of his Christian brethren—would rather avoid," Lee Bowman wrote November 4, 2006, for Scripps Howard News Service.
"Although he had been active in lobbying for conservative Christian causes before, Haggard's profile rose after he became head of the NAE early in 2003. He made frequent visits to the White House and was included in a select group of religious leaders briefed on the administration's agenda during a weekly teleconference with White House staff, to 'feel the evangelical pulse,' he's said," Bowman wrote. "'We have direct access (to the White House,)' Haggard told a Wall Street Journal reporter shortly before the last presidential election, adding he could take a concern to the president through staff and get a response within 24 hours."
Sexual Relationship with a Gay Hooker
Mike Jones, a "gay man and admitted male escort claims he has had an ongoing sexual relationship" for the past three years with Haggard, Colorado Springs' 9NEWS reported November 1, 2006. Haggard "denied the claims and told 9NEWS he is prepared for his own church to investigate them."
"Jones started talking to '9 Wants to Know two months ago'. He claims Haggard has been paying him for sex over the past three years, even though Haggard preaches that homosexuality is a sin," 9NEWS reported. "Jones also claims Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions."
During a November 2, 2006, appearance on Peter Boyles' KHOW 630 AM radio show, Jones said "that he was paid money by Haggard, who made frequent trips to Denver for sexual liaisons, that he has recorded voicemails and a letter from Haggard, and that he had also witnessed Haggard use methamphetamine," the Rocky Mountain News reported. "Jones offered to take a polygraph examination concerning his claim, and Boyles said that will occur Friday [November 3rd] during his morning radio show."
James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, said in a November 2, 2006, news release: "It is unconscionable that the legitimate news media would report a rumor like this based on nothing but one man's accusation. Ted Haggard is a friend of mine and it appears someone is trying to damage his reputation as a way of influencing the outcome of Tuesday's midterm election — especially the vote on Colorado's marriage-protection amendment— which Ted strongly supports."
Haggard, who is "[o]ne of the subjects of the film", has "made claims of manipulation in the way he and his church were represented" in the documentary "Jesus Camp", Jessica Barnes wrote October 31, 2006, in Cinematical.
"In the film 'Jesus Camp,' Pastor Ted Haggard, the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, says this: 'If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election'," the Pensacola News Journal reported.
In 2005, "Haggard was also listed by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
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Articles & Commentary
- Jeff Sharlet, "Soldiers of Christ. Inside America's most powerful megachurch with Pastor Ted Haggard," Harper's Magazine, May 2005 (reposted November 2, 2006; The Revealer, May 13, 2005).
- Tim Stafford, "Good Morning, Evangelicals! Meet Ted Haggard the NAE's optimistic champion of ecumenical evangelism and free-market faith," Christianity Today, November 2005 (reposted November 4, 2006).
- Eric Gorski, "Fire, brimstone around 'Jesus' film," Denver Post, September 15, 2006.
- mreynolds, "Inside The #1 Religious Right Money Machine," Political Cortex, October 29, 2006.
- Jessica Barnes, "Evangelical School From Documentary Jesus Camp Shuts Down," Cinematical, October 31, 2006. Review of "Jesus Camp", September 29, 2006.
- Paula Woodward, Nicole Vap, and Jeffrey Wolf, "Man claims 3-year sexual relationship with pastor," 9NEWS.com (Denver), November 1, 2006.
- "Denver man says Haggard paid for gay sex," The Gazette (Colorado Springs), November 2, 2006.
- Paula Wood and Manny Gonzales, "Top evangelical denies gay affair. Ted Haggard of Colorado Springs accused of three-year relationship," Denver Post, November 2, 2006.
- "Dobson Criticizes Media For Reporting Haggard Allegation. Focus Chairman Calls Coverage of Unsubstantiated Rumor 'Unconscionable'," U.S. Newswire, November 2, 2006.
- Charlie Brennan, "Gay escort claims sex tryst with preacher," Rocky Mountain News, November 2, 2006.
- "National evangelical leader, gay marriage opponent, steps down amid gay sex allegations," Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), November 2, 2006.
- Emil Steiner, "Of Elections, Evangelicals, Gay Marriage & Sex," OFF/beat Blog/Washington Post, November 2, 2006.
- Lindsay Beyerstein, "Breaking: Bush's Top Evangelical w/ Gay Prostitute?" AlterNet, November 2, 2006. Includes video link.
- John Aravosis, "President of National Association of Evangelicals accused of 3-year sexual relationship with gay hooker, and of taking drugs," AMERICAblog, November 2, 2006.
- Tom Roush, "Viewpoint: See 'Jesus Camp,' and then judge it," Pensacola News Journal, November 2, 2006.
- Karen E. Crummy and Kevin Simpson, "Haggard sex allegations could shape votes, political observers say. But which side of the Colorado debate on gay marriage might benefit is anyone's guess," Denver Post, November 3, 2006.
- "Church Leader Says Haggard Admits To Some Indiscretions," KKTV.com, November 3, 2006.
- Mark Morford, "Ted Haggard, The Root of All Evil," Culture Blog/San Francisco Chronicle, November 3, 2006.
- Catherine Tsai, "Evangelist Admits Meth, Massage, No Sex," Associated Press (ABC News), November 3, 2006.
- Alan Cooperman, "Church Leader Resigns After Gay Sex Claim. Evangelical Pastor in Colorado Denies Male Escort's Story of Repeated Trysts," Washington Post, November 3, 2006.
- John Holusha and Neela Banerjee, "Evangelical Leader Says He Bought Drugs," New York Times, November 3, 2006.
- Andrew Murr, "An Accuser's Story. Former escort Mike Jones says he had a three-year sexual relationship with megachurch pastor Ted Haggard and helped him obtain drugs," Newsweek (MSNBC), November 3, 2006.
- Rita Healy, "A Mega-Scandal for a Mega-Church. The male prostitute who says he had sex with one of America's most powerful evangelicals tells TIME that he knew who Haggard was the last few times they were together," TIME Magazine, November 3, 2006.
- Baaron Pettenger, "Focus On The Family Reacts To Haggard Allegations. Dr. James Dobson Releases Statement," KRDOTV.com, November 3, 2006.
- Ari Berman, "Another GOP Sex Scandal," The Nation, November 3, 2006.
- Bene Diction, "Bloggers swarm the Ted Haggard scandal. Blogsphere part of media drumbeat on religious scandals," Spero News, November 3, 2006.
- Paul Kiel, "White House on Evangelical Scandal: Reverend Who?" TPM Muckraker, November 3, 2006.
- Dan Savage, "'What did you do in the whore, Daddy?'" The Stranger, November 4, 2006.
- Stephanie Simon, "Just a massage, pastor says. Ted Haggard, who led a national evangelical group, says he also bought meth from the gay prostitute," Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2006.
- Lee Bowman, "White House plays down Haggard ties. Pastor used to be briefed weekly on Bush's agenda," Scripps Howard News Service (Rocky Mountain News), November 4, 2006.
- Alan Cooperman, "Minister Admits to Buying Drugs and Massage," Washington Post, November 4, 2006.
- Nathaniel Frank, "Haggard, Foley and GOP Preach Against the Vices They Can't Shake," The Huffington Post (AlterNet), November 4, 2006.
- Dan Rodricks, "President's confidant: Ted Haggard," Random Rodricks Blog/Baltimore Sun, November 4, 2006.
- "Rev. Ted Haggard Quits Church After Probe Cites 'Sexually Immoral Conduct'," Associated Press (Fox News), November 4, 2006.
- "Evangelical Quits After Gay Sex Scandal. Church Recommends 'Dismissal And Removal' Of Leader For 'Sexually Immoral Conduct'," Associated Press/CBS News, November 4, 2006.
- Marshall Zelinger, "Pastor Ted Haggard Fired. Independent Board Says Haggard Committed 'Sexually Immoral Conduct'," KRDOTV.com ABC Channel 13 (Colorado Springs), November 5, 2006.
- Stephanie Simon, "Church ousts pastor for 'immoral' acts. After resigning as head of a national evangelical group, Ted Haggard is removed from his New Life leadership post," Los Angeles Times, November 5, 2006.
- Kirk Johnson, "Disgraced Minister’s Church Wrestles With His Absence," New York Times, November 6, 2006.
- John Aravosis, "Signorile interviews fallen-evangelical-leader Ted Haggard's male hooker," AMERICAblog, November 6, 2006.