Gayle and I, along with Alex (16) and Elliott (14) have decided to move into the Phoenix Dream Center on October 1st. The Phoenix Dream Center is a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and other broken people. I identify.
The building is sponsored by Phoenix First Assembly, our new church home, but the workers are volunteers. The Dream Center also houses a church called "The Church on the Street." I met the pastor and he asked me if I would be willing to counsel some of the men and to teach the group from time to time. The woman directing the ministry to women invited Gayle to teach and minister to the women.
Gayle and I spoke to the boys about it, and after a series of discussions with several leaders and our pastor, Tommy Barnett, we decided to serve the dream center in whatever capacity asked, whether it's cleaning the building, hosting a visiting group, attending a meeting, or facilitating a study. In order to increase our availability to serve, we have decided to move and live in the Dream Center.
As a result, the Phoenix Dream Center team is creating an apartment for our family by combining a small, one-bedroom apartment with an adjacent room so our boys will have their own rooms. Even though Alex and Elliott's drive to school is quite a distance every day, we think it is worth it to be given the privilege of service.
In preparation for the future, Gayle and I are both enrolled at the University of Phoenix at their main downtown campus. Gayle is in the undergraduate program studying psychology. I am pursuing my master of science in counseling degree, which means we are both full time students. Alex and Elliott are both attending a local Christian school. Elliott is playing 8th grade football this fall. Everyone is busy!
It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years. During that time we will continue as full time students, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support any longer.
But for the next two years, we will need support. Between now and the end of the year, we have to find the people who want to help us transition into our future. So I am starting today to let friends like you know that we are raising money for support as we move into the Phoenix Dream Center.
Would you be willing to help us find people who can give a one time gift or make a commitment to help support us monthly for two years? If so, that would be a blessing.
If people want to support us directly, they can mail checks to Ted and Gayle Haggard, 9699 N. Hayden, Suite 108, PMB 180, Scottsdale, AZ 95259. This is a private mail box address that we have been using since we moved to the Phoenix area. If any supporters need a tax deduction for their gift, they can mail it to Families With a Mission at P.O. Box 63125, Colorado Springs, CO 80962. The supporters would need to write their check to "Families With A Mission" and put a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family, then Families With a Mission will mail us 90% of the funds for support and use 10% for administrative costs.
Thank you so much. We feel our move into the Dream Center is the next step God would have us take. Any help we can get with this will be greatly appreciated and, I believe, rewarded in heaven.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might have an interest. Any assistance we receive will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
(bold text emphasis courtesy of Colorado Confidential)
And now, the shit on this bullshit:
In what is clearly a fundraising letter, Haggard indicated, "we need to raise our own support." However, he doesn't mention that when he left the church, New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007 - estimated at about $138,000 annually.
In addition, as Colorado Confidential reported earlier this month, El Paso County Assessor property records show that the Haggard's still own their 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in Colorado Springs. Sitting on 5.1 acres, its current market value is listed at $715,051.
The home is not currently on the market for sale.
In a handy bit of sleuthing, a blog team at the Stranger in Seattle has followed up this story with some interesting info about the organization that Haggard is asking people to send money to, Families With a Mission.
An independent confirmation with the Colorado Secretary of State's office shows that the organization's corporate offices were moved from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to the Town of Monument, north of Colorado Springs, in July, 2003.
Its Colorado Springs mailing address is the same one to which Haggard is asking people to send donations. However, Secretary of State records show that Families With a Mission was administratively dissolved earlier this year, on Feb. 23.
And the man who is listed as the president of Families With a Mission, Paul Gerard Huberty, appears to be the same Paul Huberty who was convicted in 1996 of having sex with a 17-year old girl while he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force stationed in Germany, and who later registered as a sex offender in Hawaii. The organization Family Watchdog, which tracks sex offenders, currently lists Huberty at the same Monument address that was the principal address of Families With a Mission.
The overseers said Wednesday that Haggard will not be moving into the Dream Center.
"It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry," wrote the overseers.
"Mr. Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center. He will not be doing any ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself."
Now, back when the Ted Haggard scandal hit, I saw this on the news:
Now, this is what strikes me as odd. We all know that hypocrisy and deceit are nothing new. But when you look at Ted Haggard and other contemporary two-faced individuals in positions of authority, it becomes apparent that we, as a people, are losing our skill at the ancient art of bullshitting*. I mean, come on! "I bought the meth, but then I threw it out"? "Mommy, I took a cookie out of the cookie-jar, but I didn't eat it, I was tempted to, but I threw it away instead". Little children lie that way. Heck, look at Alberto Gonzales: "I can't recall", "I don't remember", I used those exact same lines in grade five to get out of doing my homework assignments**. These aren't evil, corrupt geniuses covering their tracks. They're just little kids doing just some plain old, half-assed, lousy lying.
Ted, if you're reading this, pay attention. As someone who has seen your earlier work, let me just say that, yeah, your past performances...
...had their moments. But let's face it, they just stopped being believable later-on. For starters, to reduce suspicion you could have done a few things like, oh I don't know, not hang paintings of buff, well-oiled masculine angels and white-hooded middle-eastern men groping buff yet accident-prone handymen in your church building. And when you left that voicemail message on Mike Jones' answering machine, you could've at least tried to disguise your voice. I myself highly recommend the "Donald Duck", and if you can't do that try inhaling helium from a balloon the next time you order drugs over the phone.
As for your your newest project, the Disgraced-Yet-Repentant-Man-of-God-Begging-for-Handouts chain-letter, would have actually been quite believable if it weren't for a few things. Your first mistake was sending out the letter too soon (your salary was still going to be paid until the end of December) when you should have waited at least until January/Feburary. Flaw #2 there was keeping your $715,051 house when you could have simply "sold" it to, let's say, "Bernie MacIntosh". And instead of asking people to send the money to Mr "But officer, she told me she was 18" in Hawaii, you could have simply set up a paypal account and receive money through a website. Perhaps slap one of those plotless webcomics with self-insertion characters made using old-video game sprites (I hear they are quite popular) to increase page views.
Ted, you shouldn't studying "science of counseling", you should study acting. The theater, boy, is the place for you. Think about it; as a former MegaChurch pastor you already have plenty of stage experience. A few acting classes should definitely improve your skills. You weren't even that bad to begin with as you've had them convinced for so long. Hell, you've even convinced yourself.
*However, in the case of Bob Allen, I gotta give him an "A" for effort with his "I'm scared of black men and thunderstorms" approach to covering his restroom indiscretion.
**In grade five that line didn't work to well for me, yet today it seems to be working pretty well for Gonzales. America is becoming a very scary place these days.