May 12, 2010
Ted and Gayle Haggard Start St. James Church
The couple incorporated their home-based prayer meetings 'to keep the accounting in order.'
Ted and Gayle Haggard, who began holding prayer meetings in their Colorado Springs home last November, have incorporated to become a church, reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. Becoming St. James Church brings with it a tax structure that helps “keep the accounting in order," said Ted; the couple has been giving paid talks at U.S. churches for the past 18 months.
But noting the turnout at last year's prayer meetings, the first of which had 110 attendees, Haggard hinted that St. James might end up functioning as a traditional church: "Sometime, somewhere we will do some type of ministry," he told the Gazette. The church Ted started in the couple's basement 25 years ago became the 14,000-member nondenominational New Life Church.
The Haggards' talks have detailed their recovery from Ted's public scandal in 2006, when he confessed to sexual immorality and purchasing drugs, stepping down as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and as senior pastor of New Life. Gayle detailed her own recovery in Why I Stayed: My Choice to Love, Hope, and Forgive, released this January, and in a related CT interview.