ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The founding pastor of a second Colorado church has resigned over gay sex allegations, just weeks after the evangelical community was shaken by the scandal surrounding megachurch leader Ted Haggard.
Haggard, a gay-marriage opponent, admitted to unspecified "sexual immorality" when he resigned last month as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs. A male prostitute had said he had had sex with Haggard for three years.
On Sunday, Paul Barnes, founding pastor of the 2,100-member Grace Chapel in this Denver suburb, told his evangelical congregation in a videotaped message he had had sexual relations with other men and was stepping down.
Dave Palmer, associate pastor of Grace Chapel, told The Denver Post that Barnes confessed to him after the church received a call last week.
The church board of elders accepted Barnes' resignation on Thursday.
On the videotape, which The Post was allowed to view, Barnes told church members: "I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy. ... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away."
Barnes, 54, led Grace Chapel for 28 years. He and his wife have two adult children.
Palmer said in a written statement that "While we cannot condone what he has done, we continue to support and love Paul."