Re­li­gion Briefs Megachurch tur­moil

At­ten­dance at large Colorado church down since scan­dal

The Covington News - - RELIGION -

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A search com­mit­tee at New Life Church is rec­om­mend­ing a Texas megachurch leader re­place dis­graced se­nior pas­tor Ted Hag­gard.

The com­mit­tee has nom­i­nated the Rev. Brady Boyd for the job, af­ter con­duct­ing what it said were “dozens of hours of in­ter­views” over eight months.

As part of the hir­ing process, Boyd, as­so­ci­ate se­nior pas­tor at Gate­way Church in South­lake, Texas, will preach at New Life Sun­day ser­vices lead­ing up to Aug. 27, when church mem­bers will vote whether to ac­cept him. Boyd must win a two-thirds ma­jor­ity to get the job.

Hag­gard was fired last year af­ter a for­mer male pros­ti­tute al­leged a three-year cash-forsex re­la­tion­ship with him. The man also said he saw Hag­gard use metham­phetamine. Hag­gard con­fessed to un­spec­i­fied “sex­ual im­moral­ity” and said he bought meth but never used it. Hag­gard also re­signed as pres­i­dent of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Evan­gel­i­cals in the wake of the scan­dal.

Since Hag­gard’s fall, at­ten­dance has dropped more than 20 per­cent and giv­ing has de­clined by 10 per­cent. Hag­gard had started the church in his base­ment and built it into a 14,000-mem­ber con­gre­ga­tion.

Boyd, a grad­u­ate of Louisiana Tech Univer­sity, served as se­nior pas­tor of Trin­ity Fel­low­ship Church in Hereford, Texas, be­fore join­ing Gate­way in 2001. He has ex­pe­ri­ence in sales man­age­ment and in TV and ra­dio broad­cast­ing, ac­cord­ing to his Web site. He is mar­ried with two chil­dren.

Pi­o­neer­ing wo­man bishop to re­sign

TORONTO (AP) _ The first and only fe­male bishop in the Angli­can Church of Canada plans to re­sign Nov. 30.

Bishop Vic­to­ria Matthews of the Dio­cese of Edmonton, Al­berta, made the an­nounce­ment to parishes in an Aug. 5 let­ter.

Matthews was twice a nom­i­nee for na­tional leader, or pri­mate, of the Cana­dian church.

She with­drew from the 2004 elec­tion af­ter she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer. She was a can­di­date once again this year, but lost in a close four-way race.

If she had won, she would have been the first wo­man to lead the Cana­dian church and only the sec­ond wo­man to lead a na­tional church in the world Angli­can Com­mu­nion. The Epis­co­pal Church, the Angli­can body in the U.S., last year elected the first wo­man pri­mate — Pre­sid­ing Bishop Katharine Jef­ferts Schori — in the com­mu­nion’s nearly 500-year his­tory.

Matthews said she is leav­ing with­out any con­crete plans be­cause, “I be­lieve God is now call­ing me in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion.”

She has served for a decade as head of the Edmonton dio­cese.

“Some will won­der if I have health con­cerns, and oth­ers will ask if I am an­gry at the Angli­can Church. The an­swer to both ques­tions is no,” Matthews wrote. “I am well and I love our church.”

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