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Ted Haggard, mega-church founder felled by sex scandal, returns to pulpit

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Ted Haggard, with his wife Gayle at his side, discusses their new church. Photograph: Ed Andrieski/AP

Ted Haggard is back and about to start preaching again. Haggard, once America's leading evangelical pastor, who was brought down and removed from his own mega-church after admitting to a gay sex scandal, has set up a new ministry and will hold the first service in his new church today.

His wife, Gayle, who has stood by him throughout his troubles, will be the church's co-pastor.

"We realised that I am a sinner and she is a saint, but that way we do have a very broad appeal," he joked in an interview from his home in Colorado Springs, a city that has been described as the Vatican of America's evangelical movement. "I feel we have moved past the scandal. We have forgiveness. It is a second chance," he said.

For Haggard, the formation of a new church – to be called St James – marks the beginning of a remarkable comeback and the latest stage of a rollercoaster ride through evangelical power.
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