Ted Haggard In Arizona For 'Restoration'

Former Pastor Of Evangelical Church To Undergo Counseling

The former senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs is believed to be in Tucson, Ariz., to undergo spiritual and emotional counseling.

Ted Haggard was removed as head of the 14,000-member evangelical church in Colorado after he admitted buying drugs from a male escort in Denver. The male escort said the two also had sex Haggard has said publicly that he got a massage from the escort and was guilty of sexual immorality.

Haggard is believed to be staying at the Christ Comfort Ministries International facility as part of a "restoration plan." The facility is "accountable to International Ministerial Association (and the) American Association of Christian Counselors," according to a Web site listing for it.

The team charged with restoring Haggard spiritually said earlier that the process could take as long as five years.

Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after allegations against him became public.

The big difference between Haggard’s "restoration" plan and a court-ordered recovery plan will be that he can quit anytime.

"He can stop at any time. A guy on parole can’t stop," Rev. H.B. London of Focus on the Family told the Gazette, a Colorado Springs newspaper.

London will serve on Haggard’s counseling team. London, who said he has taken part in many rehabilitations of pastors, said Haggard’s case is similar in that he only admitted his failings when he was caught.

"The end goal is to have that person healthy again," said Tom Pedigo, a Colorado Springs man who wrote a manual on restoration after losing his own ministry for marital infidelity.

London agreed. "It’s not so much getting back into ministry that concerns me as seeing them live in peace," he said. London said.

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