The evangelist forced out of his job after being caught up in a sex scandal involving a male prostitute has left a "spiritual restoration program" and no longer has any ties to the megachurch he founded, the congregation's new pastor said Sunday. . . .
He was fired in 2006 as pastor of the 14,000-member church he established, after a former male prostitute alleged they had a cash-for-sex relationship. The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine. . . .
Haggard then moved to Phoenix with his family to begin what church leaders called a spiritual restoration program, which was expected to include counseling and prayer and last five years or longer. Boyd said Haggard asked to released from the restoration program in January and is no longer connected with New Life.
Haggard and church officials clashed last summer after Haggard sent an e-mail to a Colorado Springs television station outlining his plans to work as a counselor at a Christian-run halfway house in Phoenix. The e-mail also solicited financial support.
A four-pastor team of overseers said that those plans were unacceptable and that Haggard would seek secular employment instead. . . .