A Baptist pastor from Malden, Missouri, has taken a leave of absence from his position at First General Baptist Church after a sermon he gave on Sunday, February 21, took aim at women who “let themselves go after marriage” and at wives who look too “butch” to please their husbands.
Related: After Sermon Criticizing Wives’ Weight, Pastor Faces Backlash
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark said in his sermon, “Men have a need for their women to look like women. Sweatpants don’t cut it all the time. Wearing flipflops and pajamas to Walmart—that ain’t going to work. Ain’t nothing attractive about that. It ain’t,” he added. “And men want their wives to look good at home and in public. Can I get an ‘amen’!”
In addition, he called former first lady Melania Trump the “epic trophy wife of all time.”
The video was posted to Facebook on February 28 and immediately went viral.
In an opinion piece last week, Christian News Journal called out Clark’s reprehensible remarks, noting that this so-called “preaching does not belong in the pulpit.”
Rather, “it’s bullying. Not the Word.”
“Most women can’t be trophy wives,” Clark also told his congregation. “All I can say is, not everybody looks like that. Amen. But you don’t need to look like a butch either … Men have a need for their women to look like their women.”
He also spoke directly to women in the pews that day, telling them, “Your man needs an attractive wife … I really don’t believe women understand how visual men are. I really don’t … I really don’t think women understand how important it is for a man to have a beautiful woman on his arm … Why is it that so many women, after they get married, let themselves go?”
The woman who posted the video to Facebook wrote about it, in part, this way: “[The pastor] goes on to blame women for the actions of men and says it is of God and it should be accepted as normal … He degrades women, victim-blames, and points the finger at their mere existence. He fails to use Bible verses to back up his nonsense … He objectifies women, antagonizes them, and practices sexism, all while acting like it’s hip or cool.”
She also wrote, “As far as I know, this isn’t his first time doing this. According to someone whose family members attended his last Mother’s Day sermon, they walked out because his message was worse than this, and toxic and degrading.”
Importantly, she added, “Women, teach your friends and daughters to not put up with this abuse and behavior. Men, teach your friends and sons to take accountability for their actions, to not victim-blame, and to be better than this. Christians, hold your peers accountable and teach the truth about the Gospel. Do not support these things.”
She noted, “I also want to add [that] this is a video recording of a sermon he did February 21st that was brought to my attention today [Feb. 28] by a friend. Although he did preach at the same church today, this specific sermon did not occur today, but last Sunday instead.”
Her video posting received 5,200 comments and another 5,400 shares. One commenter wrote, “Eleven minutes in, and still, no Scripture at all! I am what everyone calls a ‘conservative evangelical Christian’ and I find this repugnant!’”
The Baptist church has now deleted the video from its own website.
The church released a statement on March 1, saying that the sermon by Clark is “not consistent with the positions and values” of the church. “General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason,” General Baptist Ministries wrote on Facebook.
It also wrote, “Furthermore, we believe that all individuals regardless of any other factors are so loved by God that Christ died for them.”
It also noted that “Pastor Clark was to be the moderator of the General Association of General Baptist meeting in July 2022. He has resigned from that position.”
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Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content strategist, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.