Haggard bares his soul in note to congregation - Los Angeles Times: "A male prostitute in Denver came forward last week claiming that Haggard had visited his apartment almost monthly over the last three years for sex and drugs. Haggard at first denied it. Then he said he bought meth from the man, but threw it away. On Sunday, he said this: 'The accusations that have been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry.'
Having resigned the presidency of the National Assn. of Evangelicals and been dismissed as senior pastor of New Life, Haggard said he and his wife, Gayle, 'need to be gone for a while.' He pledged to put himself under the guidance of several pastors who will help him work toward restoration.
'Please forgive me,' he wrote. 'I am so embarrassed and ashamed…. I am a sinner. I have fallen.'
Then the Rev. Larry Stockstill, a Louisiana pastor, read aloud a short letter from Gayle Haggard. She said her heart was broken, but she promised to stand by her husband.
'For those of you who have been concerned that my marriage was so perfect I could not possibly relate to the women who are facing great difficulties, know that this will never again be the case,' she wrote, evoking a ripple of laughter. 'My test has begun; watch me. I will try to prove myself faithful.'
The congregation rose as one. For a long minute, they stood, applauding, sniffling. Interim senior pastor Ross Parsley bounded to the podium. 'Listen,' he said, 'we all feel worse than we did a week ago. But we were worse off a week ago. Today, we all are more obedient, more repentant, more transparent than we've been in a long time.'"