Religion Briefs Megachurch turmoil
Attendance at large Colorado church down since scandal
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.”