Ted Haggard: From scandal, to ministry, to ‘Wife Swap’

An appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap show is not the Ed Andrieski AP Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle … Continued

An appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap show is not the

Ed Andrieski

AP

Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle will be participants in the reality TV show, ‘Wife Swap.’

traditional way restore the image of a troubled evangelical pastor.

But, scandalized former mega-church pastor Ted Haggard has confirmed that he will be swapping partners with actor Gary Busey on the show, adding another twist to Haggard’s unorthodox public life which was tainted when he admitted to ‘sexual immorality’ with a male escort and to purchasing crystal meth.

Today, “Pastor Ted” has had a media presence that raises him to the status of celebrity, at least in the eyes of reality TV producers.

But back in 2006, Haggard was head of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of Colorado Springs-based New Life Church’s 14,000 member congregation. Then the infamous scandal –brought to light by a male prostitute who claimed to have a relationship with Haggard– threatened to end his life in the ministry. Still, even during their two-year hiatus from ministry, Haggard and his family were being filmed for an HBO documentary called The Trials of Ted Haggard, which aired in January 2009.

Following the documentary’s release came appearances on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Larry King Live. He appeared on Divorce Court with his wife, Gayle. (The Haggards are still married.) There was even a play called This Beautiful City that featured his character. In 2011 TLC aired a special titled Ted Haggard: Scandalous

On the Web site of St. James, his new church, Haggard writes that his current ministry is for everyone, “straight, gay, or bi.” He talks about his new church as a chance at redemption.

In his special on TLC, Haggard said: “When I die, I want to have something good. I don’t want my biggest mark to be that I had a great church and I blew it with drugs and sex. This is my redemption.”


More On Faith and the Haggards:

Under God: Ted Haggard: I’m ‘probably’ bisexual

WATCH: Gayle Haggard’s 2010 interview with Sally Quinn

  • wdcguy

    How long will he live the lie…

  • Carstonio

    Although I despise that type of reality show, generally I don’t pass judgment on the people who appear on them. (I reserve that for the producers and for any scriptwriters – there’s anecdotal evidence that the shows are scripted.) And I can understand the emotional struggle that someone like Haggard goes through in hiding his orientation.

    But what I condemn is the harm that Haggard caused his wife with his infidelity, as well as the harm he caused gays and lesbians by promoting hatred of them. While it’s a little ridiculous to suggest that all or even most homophobes are closeted gays, that theory does have some validity for people who make careers out of publicly condemning homosexuality. Some mental health experts suggest that people like Haggard subconsciously believe that such denunciations will cure them. If that’s true, offhand I don’t know how one would enable the Haggards to come to terms with their romantic and sexual desires, for their own sake as well as for everyone else’s.

  • HookedOnThePost

    Please don’t worry about his wife. She knows what she married. She knew she was on the money roller coaster going up, and didn’t figure it would peak for a long, long time.

  • live_free_or_die

    another individual of dubious character makes it big thanks to the dubious work of celebritologists. ooo ooo ooo! i’m all atwitter over who ever will replace kim kardashian at the top of the who cares list! is it ted? well, IS IT? tell me. please!

    move over kim! get lost paris hilton! we got us a new distraction!

    hey, is that nuclar meltdown still happening? must not be. haven’t seen reported anywhere. because the dubious media excels at doing its dubious duty.

  • live_free_or_die

    the u.s. is a nation of voyeurs. get up off the couch and live your own life for a change!

  • thebobbob

    What happens when Busey’s wife comes out and says it loud and clear ….The Guy is Gay!!!

  • thebobbob

    What happens when Busey’s wife comes out and says it loud and clear ….The Guy is Gay!!!

  • overhereontheleft

    Long enough to get paid, I suspect.

  • therev1

    Haggard and Busey. This is ripe for a South Park episode. I didn’t think Busey was gay. Hey it is a cartoon isn’t it? This can’t be real.

  • clane888

    He’s gonna swap his wife for a guy?

  • ghhugh

    My cousin and her family were members of his church in Colorado Springs and were devastated by the revelation that their minister was not what he professed to be.
    They of course have left the church and have never recovered from what they consider a major tragedy in their religious life.

    Now they are confronted with another episode of how sordid this man is….wiife swapping.

  • thebump

    “scandalized former mega-church pastor”

    Uh, no, the pastor was not “scandalized.” His flock was.

    Where are the copy editors!

  • lepidopteryx

    As long as there are enough stupid people writing him checks to make it profitable.

  • phillyreader

    So what do they believe now?

Read More Articles

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.