by Ralph Routon
Ross Parsley, a central figure in New Life Church's local evolution for nearly two decades and a leader in holding the megachurch intact through challenging times three years ago, is leaving — Colorado Springs, that is, but not New Life.
Parsley, 43, told the New Life congregants Sunday that he will be starting a "new" New Life Church in Austin, Texas. The church put out a news release Monday announcing the news.
Parsley was New Life's interim senior pastor from late 2006 through summer 2007, after the scandal and sudden departure that engulfed Ted Haggard, the church's founder and original senior pastor. Parsley was a finalist to become Haggard's permanent replacement until New Life selected Brady Boyd for the position.
Since then, Parsley has continued as worship pastor, the position he first assumed for New Life in 1991. He also founded and is president of New Life School of Worship, which develops young adults into church leadership roles.
Parsley's job at New Life will be filled by his younger brother Brad, also a longtime New Life staff member.