More than two decades ago, evangelical pastor Ted Haggard began New Life Church in his Colorado Springs home. It grew to 14,000 people, moving into a massive complex before Haggard left in disgrace after he was outed in a nationally resounding scandal involving prostitution and drugs. Now, Haggard’s new St. James Church congregation, which welcomes gays and lesbians, is growing so fast that after just five weeks, Haggard is moving it out of a barn on his property to a room at the Pikes Peak Center, reports the Colorado Springs Gazette. Sunday attendance at the church reached approximately 245, about 44 percent higher than the first service, and the center’s Studio B seats about 250 people. Haggard doesn’t only need space. His homeowners insurance doesn’t cover church services. “We have to go now,” he says. “We have no choice.”
Haggard tells The Denver Post his church members include a spectrum of people—from the homeless to the rich, addicts to the sober. “It’s startling how the range is so broad,” adds Haggard, who is taking a $300 weekly salary.