The pastor of a Colorado Springs megachurch at the center of yet another sex scandal involving former pastor Ted Haggard told his congregation Jan. 25 that he knew of the lurid allegations 18 months ago but "there's nothing being held secret here."
Pastor Brady Boyd of New Life Church acknowledged that the church's insurance company arranged a settlement with a young man who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Haggard, who was forced to resign in 2006 after a male escort came forward with charges of gay sex and drug use.
Earlier, Boyd had said there was an "overwhelming pool of evidence" that supported an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" between Haggard and the young man. He said he was confident the man was of legal age at the time of the affair.
Boyd told worshippers that none of their weekly offerings had been used to pay the settlement, and admitted that church leaders had long known about the allegations.
"For the last two years, we carried the burden, the weight, of this information to protect you," Boyd said. "We've been diligent, faithful, pastoral, honest … every step of the way."
Boyd said church leaders were forced to keep quiet because of the settlement's terms, and also because "I have to use discretion, our staff has to use discretion, and sometimes we have to use confidentiality … especially when it concerns people we're trying to help heal. There's nothing being held secret here."
"There's no secret. I've known every single bit of information for 18 months as your pastor. I've held it. I know how to handle it. I've walked it out."
Boyd, who took over after Haggard resigned in disgrace, apologized for the new round of allegations against the church's former pastor, which came just days before Haggard is scheduled to resurface in an HBO documentary, "The Trials of Ted Haggard."
"It's been my hope as your pastor for the 18 months I've been here that this wound would heal and we wouldn't have to revisit the unpleasant parts of our past, but unfortunately this week we've had to do that," he said, adding later, "The wound will not always be with us, the wound will not always define us."