The Rev. Ted Haggard says he and his wife, Gayle, represent resurrection and hope to other people because of difficult trials the two have faced in the past six years.
Haggard headlines this weekend’s 18th annual Quad-Cities Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by Thy Kingdom Come Ministries.
The event is 8-10 a.m. Saturday at the RiverCenter, 136 East 3rd St., Davenport.
Haggard, of Colorado Springs, Colo., now heads up St. James Church in that community. He returned in 2010 to the ministry after a widely publicized event six years ago that involved a gay relationship. In what he calls a “personal moral failure” on his website, Haggard said he’s since undergone a healing process.
“I confessed, repented, submitted and went through the process of healing,” Haggard said in a telephone interview from a conference in New Orleans.
That’s in contrast to other highly visible individuals who encounter such difficulties, he said. “Many contemporaries — when they go through a difficult time — they deny it, hire a public relations firm and an attorney. We never did that,” he said.
Gayle Haggard’s 2010 book, “Why I Stayed,” became a New York Times best-seller. She is accompanying her husband on the trip to the Quad-Cities.
Haggard feels the message he brings to the Quad-Cities will be helpful, especially to those who have lost jobs, homes or are disillusioned with the economy. The couple will discuss the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, the importance of scripture and the Bible.
The Haggards originally founded New Life Church in Colorado Springs, growing in 22 years from 20 people meeting in the basement of the couple’s home to 14,000 people at a $50 million campus. He also was president of the National Association of Evangelicals from 2003 to ’06.
Haggard said it’s much easier to pastor at St. James Church. “Honestly, it’s easier to minister as the ‘chief of sinners’ than it is to minister as a self-righteous person,” he said.
Haggard added that it is easy to find forgiveness from God “because God loves us and his Son died on the cross for us. It’s much more difficult to get forgiveness from people — because people aren’t God,” he said.
Look at any family reunion, he used as an example: There’s always someone at that event who’s angry with an aunt or uncle and hasn’t forgiven them in years. “That’s why Jesus said, ‘unless we forgive, we won’t be forgiven,’ ” he said.
After the Prayer Breakfast, the Haggards will return to Colorado Springs for weekend services at St. James.