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The announcement—and exile—hurt not just Ted and Gayle. It also deeply affected their five kids.

Marcus and Christy, the two oldest children, recall hearing the news in a family meeting. While they knew about the accusations through the media, Marcus—who is also a preacher—says hearing his father's admission of the truth was different. "It was a sad meeting, but the decisiveness—it was so humbling," he says. "There was an immediate relief that I think we felt as kids—mixed with anger, frustration."

Christy also says that family meeting was a revelation. "I never had a dad I felt I could really relate to," she says. "And suddenly to see this vulnerable, honest man in front of me opened an opportunity for me to really know who my father really was for the first time."

Marcus says the children did not dwell on the details of their dad's sexuality. Instead, they focused on keeping the family together. "We knew that this kind of thing had the potential to rip our family apart. ... We committed to working through the anger, the frustration, the sadness, the yelling and stomping out, the fights that we would have to go through," he says. "We committed to go through that process so that we could be committed to each other."
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FROM: Evangelist Ted Haggard, His Wife and the Gay Sex Scandal
Published on June 30, 2009

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