Monday, December 10, 2007

new life church colorado

wounded after the gunman opened fire in a car park following a Sunday worship service at New Life Church, Colorado Springs police said.

Police were searching the sprawling campus of the 10,000-member church for reported bombs that may have been part of the shooting.

Officers said the gunman opened fire 30 minutes after a service ended and as many as 7000 people took shelter in buildings or fled as the congregation locked down.

Of the four wounded, three were admitted to Penrose Hospital, where one was listed in critical condition, one in fair condition and a third in good condition.

The status of the fourth victim was not available.

Pastor Brady Boyd said one of the dead was a New Life member.

"My heart is broken," he said.

Hundreds of New Life members remained locked in church buildings for up to four hours as police searched for more gunmen, police Lt Fletcher Howard said.

Police asked the families of victims and witnesses to gather at the Rampart Range Campus of Pikes Peak Community College near Interstate 25 and Interquest Parkway.

Police said officers arrived at New Life two minutes after getting the first 911 calls of gunshots.

Mr Boyd said he heard the gunfire and was told by a church worker that there was shooting in the church.

"It was surreal," he said.

Mr Howard said officers arrived to find a bullet-riddled car in the parking lot and several people with gunshot wounds.

It was unclear whether the violence at New Life was tied to an early-morning shooting at a training centre dormitory for young Christian missionaries in Arvada, a Denver suburb, that left two dead and two wounded.

"That is an open question," Mr Howard said.

In that case, a lone gunman reportedly opened fire after he was denied shelter in the dormitory.

The gunman in that case fled and has not been found.

Mr Boyd asked for community support and said "please pray for those who were injured".

The New Life shooting led to a huge call-out of local police, with dozens of police cars from more than three jurisdictions rushing to the church.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers said federal agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also helping with the case.

ATF agents are the federal government's bomb experts, who could help police identify and defuse what officers suspect are bombs still at the church.

"There are several suspicious devices identified," Mr Myers said.

Churchgoers were herded into a basement of New Life by church leaders, who Associate Pastor Rob Brendle said were implementing a preset plan for violence at the church.

New Life members began gathering in the parking lot outside the church soon after the shooting.

One woman who asked to be identified only by her first name, Autumn, said she and other members felt a need to be near the scene of the violence.

"Just to be here and pray for our church," she explained.

New Life Church made headlines last year when its nationally known pastor, Ted Haggard, stepped down after admitting to a long-term relationship with a male prostitute.

Sunday's guest speaker at New Life was Jack Hayford, pastor of Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and one of the New Life spiritual overseers who helped them navigate through the Haggard problems.

Churchgoers on Sunday said they thought their troubles were over when they got a new pastor and seemingly left the scandal behind.

"Why would somebody walk into a church and do something like that?" asked New Life member Kim Ho-F
were left dead after shooting sprees at two Colorado megachurches Sunday. Five others were wounded.

Two people were killed and two wounded at the YWAM training center on the grounds of Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, a Denver suburb. A man walked into the center around midnight and after about 30 minutes of talking with staff members, he asked to spend the night there. The receptionist at the center told him no, that no unauthorized person were not allowed. The man reportedly said, "Then this is what I've got for you," pulled out a gun and began shooting.

About 70 miles away and 12 hours later, three people were killed after a man in similar dress opened fire at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, died from gunshot wounds. David Works, 51, was shot twice in his abdomen and groin area and is in fair condition. Also wounded were Judy Purcell, 40, and Larry Bourbannais, 59. They were treated and released.

Witnesses told the Gazette in Colorado Springs that a man in a black trench coat opened fire in the parking lot setting off a smoke grenade before blasting cars and church members. Police said that the gunman was shot and killed by a plainclothes security guard with a law enforcement background and who is a member of the church.

"They came to church with their families to worship, and what happened today was a tragedy," New Life's senior pastor, Brady Boyd, said at a press conference. "As a pastor, my heart is broken today for people that lost their lives."

The two dead victims at the YWAM center were identified as Tiffany Johnson, 26, of Minnesota and Philip Crouse, 24, of Alaska. Youth With a Mission leases property on Faith Bible Chapel's property.

The choir had planned to kick off Sunday's service with "Joy to the World."

"We couldn't do it, Phil Waters, a member of the church choir, told The Denver Post. "There was no joy this morning."

The choir instead sang a piece about bringing offerings to God, he told the Post.

"We are really close to these kids," he said. "It was tough to be out there (singing) and not have tears running down your face,"

New Life Church (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
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New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S. is a megachurch, founded by Ted Haggard and currently led by Senior Pastor Brady Boyd. Brady Boyd previously served on the Senior Pastoral Team at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

1 History
2 Worship Ministry
3 Board of Overseers
4 Departure of Haggard
5 Shooting
6 Media References
7 References
8 External links

[edit] History
Haggard founded the church in his home in 1984, and the church has since grown through a succession of larger spaces. The ministry moved through a series of strip malls, for example, before establishing its current home. The old sanctuary at the current location seated 1,500; the current main sanctuary seats 7,500.[1] The congregation is estimated at 14,000 as of 2006.[2]

The current facility is adorned with work by artists such as Thomas Blackshear. Upstairs from the sanctuary is "Woo-Gah Land," a Bible-themed play land for the children's ministry.[1] Internally, the church uses a small group ministry model.[2]

New Life Church, along with Focus on the Family, established Colorado Springs as a conservative evangelical center in the 1990s.[3] In 2005, Jeff Sharlet claimed that while New Life is "by no means the largest megachurch…[it] holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism" than any other church in America.[1]

The New Life campus is also home to The World Prayer Center, which is responsible for (real-time) prayer for many people around the world. Open 24-hours a day for prayer and worship, The World Prayer Center is home to several ministry internships including the Furnace, YWAM Strategic Intiatives, TwentyFourSeven Worldwide and Desperation Internship.

On August 27, 2007, the church's Pastoral Selection Committee announced that Pastor Brady Boyd - formerly of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas - would replace Ted Haggard as the Senior Pastor of New Life Church. Pastor Boyd spoke at New Life Church during regular services for three Sundays prior to the decision. A two-third majority vote was required from the congregation to approve Boyd as pastor; he received more than ninety-five percent approval in the congregational vote.

[edit] Worship Ministry
New Life Worship is the worship ministry of New Life Church. Internationally known, several of New Life Worship's songs are sung in church services across the world, including "Rescue" by Jared Anderson, and "I Am Free" by Jon Egan which has been recorded by several artists including the Newsboys. The Desperation Band is the collective youth bands of New Life Church led by Jon Egan, Glenn Packiam and Jared Anderson.

[edit] Board of Overseers
The New Life Church bylaws specify a Board of Overseers, for the purposes of disciplining the Senior Pastor while "protect[ing] the hearts of all involved" [4], among other duties. It currently consists of:

Pastor Larry Stockstill from Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, LA
Pastor Mike Ware from Victory Church in Denver, CO
Pastor Mark Cowart from Church for All Nations in Colorado Springs, CO
Pastor Tim Ralph from New Covenant Fellowship in Larkspur, CO
Pastor Chris Hodges from Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL

[edit] Departure of Haggard
On November 2, 2006, Mike Jones, a male escort, accused Haggard of paying him for sex in monthly trysts over the past three years.[5] Further, Jones said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.[5] KUSA-TV released voice mails, in which a person, purportedly Haggard, said, "Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply."[5] Jones said "supply" referred to methamphetamine.[5]

Later that day, the Rocky Mountain News stated Haggard stepped down as pastor, and quoted him as saying, "I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity. I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date. In the interim, I will seek both spiritual advice and guidance."[5] Two days later, the Board of Overseerers at the church announced that they had decided to permanently dismiss Haggard from his role.[6] In a letter read to the Congregation on November 6, 2006, Haggard stated that he and his wife "will never return to a leadership role at New Life Church."[7]

On November 20, the search for a new senior pastor began with the creation of a nine person Pastoral Selection Committee. Any committee recommendation would need approval by the church's Board of Overseers and a two-thirds majority congregation vote.[8][9][10] [2]

Just four months after Haggard's departure, the interim senior pastor Ross Parsley announced that the church had to lay off 44 people, or about 12 percent of its work force, due to falling church income.[11][12] In addition, according to associate pastor Rob Brendle, church attendance has dropped 20 percent since Haggard's departure, and giving has fallen 10 percent.[13]

[edit] Shooting


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