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Ted Haggard's Church Exceeding Attendance Expectations

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The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Ted Haggard's St. James Church in Colorado Springs is exceeding attendance expectations after just two services:

The general rule is that only two-thirds of the turnout for the maiden service of a new church will show up for the second service.

That wasn't the case with Ted Haggard's St. James Church, which held its second service Sunday. The first service, which I attended, drew about 160 people. The second St. James service drew about 165, sources say. All 150 seats in the Haggards' barn were occupied, sources say, and people were standing outside the barn door and standing by the barn loft.

"I am amazed at the positive response," Haggard said in an e-mail. "Incredible."

Haggard was formerly the pastor at New Life Ministries, a conservative megachurch in Colorado Springs, where he became one of the most influential evangelicals in the country. He left his position at New Life after it was discovered that he had solicited oral sex and bought drugs from a male prostitute.

In May, Haggard formally incorporated the St. James church in Colorado Springs. At the time, the pastor said the new church was strictly a means of organizing his finances.

In June, Haggard announced that the St. James would become a functioning ministry, with services being held every Sunday at the Haggard family's barn.