Ted Haggard: From scandal, to ministry, to ‘Wife Swap’

An appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap show is not the Ed Andrieski AP Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle … Continued

An appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap show is not the

Ed Andrieski


Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle will be participants in the reality TV show, ‘Wife Swap.’

traditional way restore the image of a troubled evangelical pastor.

But, scandalized former mega-church pastor Ted Haggard has confirmed that he will be swapping partners with actor Gary Busey on the show, adding another twist to Haggard’s unorthodox public life which was tainted when he admitted to ‘sexual immorality’ with a male escort and to purchasing crystal meth.

Today, “Pastor Ted” has had a media presence that raises him to the status of celebrity, at least in the eyes of reality TV producers.

But back in 2006, Haggard was head of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of Colorado Springs-based New Life Church’s 14,000 member congregation. Then the infamous scandal –brought to light by a male prostitute who claimed to have a relationship with Haggard– threatened to end his life in the ministry. Still, even during their two-year hiatus from ministry, Haggard and his family were being filmed for an HBO documentary called The Trials of Ted Haggard, which aired in January 2009.

Following the documentary’s release came appearances on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Larry King Live. He appeared on Divorce Court with his wife, Gayle. (The Haggards are still married.) There was even a play called This Beautiful City that featured his character. In 2011 TLC aired a special titled Ted Haggard: Scandalous

On the Web site of St. James, his new church, Haggard writes that his current ministry is for everyone, “straight, gay, or bi.” He talks about his new church as a chance at redemption.

In his special on TLC, Haggard said: “When I die, I want to have something good. I don’t want my biggest mark to be that I had a great church and I blew it with drugs and sex. This is my redemption.”

More On Faith and the Haggards:

Under God: Ted Haggard: I’m ‘probably’ bisexual

WATCH: Gayle Haggard’s 2010 interview with Sally Quinn

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  • wdcguy

    How long will he live the lie…

  • Carstonio

    Although I despise that type of reality show, generally I don’t pass judgment on the people who appear on them. (I reserve that for the producers and for any scriptwriters – there’s anecdotal evidence that the shows are scripted.) And I can understand the emotional struggle that someone like Haggard goes through in hiding his orientation.

    But what I condemn is the harm that Haggard caused his wife with his infidelity, as well as the harm he caused gays and lesbians by promoting hatred of them. While it’s a little ridiculous to suggest that all or even most homophobes are closeted gays, that theory does have some validity for people who make careers out of publicly condemning homosexuality. Some mental health experts suggest that people like Haggard subconsciously believe that such denunciations will cure them. If that’s true, offhand I don’t know how one would enable the Haggards to come to terms with their romantic and sexual desires, for their own sake as well as for everyone else’s.

  • HookedOnThePost

    Please don’t worry about his wife. She knows what she married. She knew she was on the money roller coaster going up, and didn’t figure it would peak for a long, long time.

  • live_free_or_die

    another individual of dubious character makes it big thanks to the dubious work of celebritologists. ooo ooo ooo! i’m all atwitter over who ever will replace kim kardashian at the top of the who cares list! is it ted? well, IS IT? tell me. please!

    move over kim! get lost paris hilton! we got us a new distraction!

    hey, is that nuclar meltdown still happening? must not be. haven’t seen reported anywhere. because the dubious media excels at doing its dubious duty.

  • live_free_or_die

    the u.s. is a nation of voyeurs. get up off the couch and live your own life for a change!

  • thebobbob

    What happens when Busey’s wife comes out and says it loud and clear ….The Guy is Gay!!!

  • thebobbob

    What happens when Busey’s wife comes out and says it loud and clear ….The Guy is Gay!!!

  • overhereontheleft

    Long enough to get paid, I suspect.

  • therev1

    Haggard and Busey. This is ripe for a South Park episode. I didn’t think Busey was gay. Hey it is a cartoon isn’t it? This can’t be real.

  • clane888

    He’s gonna swap his wife for a guy?

  • ghhugh

    My cousin and her family were members of his church in Colorado Springs and were devastated by the revelation that their minister was not what he professed to be.
    They of course have left the church and have never recovered from what they consider a major tragedy in their religious life.

    Now they are confronted with another episode of how sordid this man is….wiife swapping.

  • thebump

    “scandalized former mega-church pastor”

    Uh, no, the pastor was not “scandalized.” His flock was.

    Where are the copy editors!

  • lepidopteryx

    As long as there are enough stupid people writing him checks to make it profitable.

  • phillyreader

    So what do they believe now?