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New Life Church founder Ted Haggard preached living with a love for Jesus, conservative principles and straight-and-narrow morality. He sold a lot of people on his dream en route to helping lead the nation's politically powerful evangelical movement in the early part of this decade.

It's impossible not to think of Haggard as you enter the church he built, a church that changed so radically when it was discovered that not even he could live up to his own standards. But he's gone, and he's taken his dream with him.

Today, the evangelical movement is personified more often by those who reach out to people not through politics, but through more traditional channels of charity and spiritual healing. Take Pastor Rick Warren, leader of California's Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling The Purpose Driven Life: With a gentle approach, he's built a congregation of 23,000.

Pastor Brady Boyd has brought a similar style to New Life. He's scaled back the activism that helped brand Colorado Springs inspiring to some and intolerant to others. He's focused his congregants inward.

But Boyd has kept the energy in the church. And as long as that's intact, New Life will maintain serious influence however it wants to use it in our city.

  • Today, the evangelical movement is personified more by charity and spiritual healing.

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