- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — New Life Church will recover from new allegations in the 2-year-old sex scandal that brought down founder Ted Haggard, its pastor said Sunday.

The Rev. Brady Boyd encouraged his Colorado Springs congregation and reminded them of their “holy tenacity,” two days after revelations that a male church volunteer reported having a sexual relationship with Mr. Haggard.

It’s the second such claim against Mr. Haggard. In late 2006, a male prostitute in Denver said he had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with the former New Life pastor.

“I’m sorry that this wound has been reopened for many of you,” Mr. Boyd told the congregation Sunday. “One day we may have a little scar tissue, but the wounds will not define us.”

Mr. Haggard had confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” after the earlier allegations but declined to comment on the new claim.

On Friday, Mr. Boyd said church officials had learned of the second set of claims against Mr. Haggard in late 2006, shortly after the male prostitute made his allegations.

Mr. Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” between Mr. Haggard and the male volunteer for an extended period of time.

Mr. Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time and that he was certain the man was of legal age when the relationship began.

Mr. Boyd said that under a legal settlement the church reached with the man in 2007, neither side was to discuss the matter publicly. He said he went public only after learning the man had talked to a local television station.

KRDO-TV reported that the man gave the station an audio recording of his conversations with Mr. Haggard. In them, Mr. Haggard calls the relationship “inappropriate” and asks for forgiveness, the station said.

Mr. Boyd said the settlement paid the man for counseling and college. He said the money came from insurance, not members’ contributions.

Church officials said Mr. Boyd would not comment Sunday beyond his remarks to the congregation.

Jessica Sheasby, an associate child pastor for New Life, said church members she has spoken to have been “very upbeat” since the new disclosures.

“I’ve actually heard a lot of hope, because they know that Pastor Brady is one that protects us and takes care of us,” she said.

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