Friday, February 02, 2007

NEWS: Ted Haggard's accuser accuser visits church

AP, via the Rocky Mountain News, USA
Jan. 29, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS - The former male prostitute
whose accusations against New Life Church founder Ted
Haggard led to Haggard's dismissal as pastor visited the
megachurch Sunday.

Mike Jones told 9News he felt he should visit the church
as part of his research for a book he is writing about his
life and his experiences with Haggard.

He told the TV station he was welcomed by the

"They were all congenial," he said. "None of them
expressed anger, and many expressed gratitude for what
they said was `exposing the deception.' "

Haggard resigned last year as president of the National
Association of Evangelicals after Jones alleged that
Haggard paid him for sex over a three-year period and
sometimes took methamphetamine during the encounters.

Haggard was fired as pastor of the 14,000-member New
Life Church after admitting in November to unspecified
"sexual immorality."

In an apology to the church, Haggard urged members to
forgive and thank Jones for exposing deceit.

Church members had invited Jones to the church several
times. He visited Sunday with members of a New
York-based theater troupe, The Civilians, who are
researching a project on evangelicals.

Associate Pastor Rob Brendle saw Jones in the foyer.
"I told Mike, `I don't want to impose my religious beliefs
on you, but I believe God used you to correct us, and I
appreciate that,' " Brendle said.

"The church's response to him was overwhelmingly
warm," he said. "One of the wonderful and enduring
truths of Christianity is to love people the world sets up to
be your enemies."

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