Ted Haggard built up a 14,000-member Pentecostal church on the basis of his charismatic gifts and organizational skills. As one of the country’s most prominent pastors and as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Haggard had access to the White House and was a consultant to presidential adviser Karl Rove. Heady stuff, indeed—until it came crashing down. He was forced to resign as pastor and NAE president after being accused by a gay male prostitute of engaging in monthly trysts enhanced by methamphetamine.
One of Haggard’s friends and colleagues said that while Haggard had to repent of his sins, his congregation also needed to repent—repent of the tendency to put leaders on a pedestal.