Mega Church Pastors Comeback Story

Bhojraj Bhatta
3 min readJan 18, 2024

Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, Ted Haggard of New Life Church, and Brian Houston of Hillsong Church.

Ted Haggard, Perry Noble and Brian Houston; all three of them fell from people’s grace. Prior to their fall, they all enjoyed being in the limelight of a successful mega church pastor. They tasted the power of money and popularity for quite some time.

Ted Haggard fell in 2006. Perry Noble in 2016, and Brian Houston has been falling for some time now but started publicly in 2019.

All three of them are trying to make a comeback. Noble has nearly made it, but we still have to wait to make the final verdict. However, he has been doing very good as of now, and if he continues like as he is doing, soon, he will be back on the stage of another mega church. And that will be a wonderful story of a great comeback!

Ted Haggard did his stunt. For a year or two, we thought he was going to make it. The church he started gained publicity for its remarkable growth in a matter of a year or two. Sadly, the true nature of Haggard also did a comeback, and everything went under the ground after that. Haggard still preaches from his basement to a handful of followers who watch him on YouTube.

Brian Houston for some time has been beating the drums for a new church in 2024. But by the look of it, Brian is perfectly following the footsteps of Ted Haggard; proudly playing a victim card for public sympathy.

The difference between Noble and Haggard/Houston is the way they conducted themselves after their fall. Noble was truly a broken man who most likely had resigned himself into a life of oblivion. If not for his few good friends who pulled him up, we might not be writing about him today.

But Haggard tried everything to cash on in his fall. HBO documentary on the “Trials of Ted Haggard” put the man in the limelight once again in such a way, even his wife took full advantage of it by writing her own story. Books and documentaries brought them back the money they had missed after being fired from the mega church.

So, Haggard started the new church with a big bang and people once again began to flock to him, only to find out that the same old Teddy was pretending to be a transformed man.

Noble on the other hand became so open and transparent about his struggles, telling his friends that his days were over.

He even started to share about his fall and struggles with his Facebook followers. Soon, that sharing time on Facebook turned into a fellowship, and eventually the church we now know as the “Second Chance Church”! According to his Facebook post, the church is now averaging over three thousand people for Sunday service. Whereas Ted Haggard is lost in his own basement.

Brian Houston is also trying to cash in on his fall by doing the same thing Haggard did. I am not sure if he would be able to make the money Haggard made out of his fall, but an upcoming autobiography and a podcast, if marketed well, may make enough money to start the church he is looking forward to. Only thing that might stand on the way of another mega church is the old Brian Houston.

Haggard and Houston could look at Noble and learn a few things about genuine repentance and brokenness so that God could still use them. They too, like Noble, could have have a great comeback. But no, by looking at their social media usages and listening to their ramblings from some pulpits, humility and repentance may not be their cup of tea.

But who knows, Brian Houston might do better by looking at his friend Ted Haggard.

The lesson: Fall from grace should not be fatal and final. Genuine repentance and humility before God and people can give you a wonderful comeback! Look at Perry Noble!

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Bhojraj Bhatta

Hindu by Birth. Christian by Choice. Nepalese by Citizenship. Writes About Life, Family, Bible, Church, Missions. Etc. http://youtube.com/brbhatta