Have some extra cash? Feel like going to heaven? Then you might consider sending Ted Haggard and his family some monthly checks for the next two years while they move into a halfway house and get psychology and counseling degrees from the University of Phoenix.
If you haven't had enough of the Haggard/New Life Church saga, 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.
LSB: Oh, Ted, as Ricky would say to Lucy, "You got some esplainin' to do!"