updated 3/5/2007 6:17:42 PM ET 2007-03-05T23:17:42

The megachurch founded by the Rev. Ted Haggard, who was fired over drug and sex allegations, has laid off 44 people amid falling income following the scandal.

The cuts announced during services Sunday amount to about 12 percent of the church's work force, associate pastor Rob Brendle said.

Brendle estimated that church income has fallen 10 percent since the scandal last fall, forcing layoffs including pastoral staff, support staff and nursery workers.

"The reality is, we ask our people to be faithful stewards of their money and living within their means. We have to do the same," Brendle said.

Ross Parsley, the church's interim senior pastor, said some positions will be consolidated, and volunteers could replace some paid staff.

The 14,000-member church had experienced 22 years of attendance and financial growth, Brendle said.

Haggard was fired in November after a Denver man alleged Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence and paid him for sex. Haggard has acknowledged "sexual immorality." He also stepped down as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

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