By: Yelena Dzhanova/Business Insider
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri’s Malden First General Baptist Church is on leave and in counseling, the church told local CBS News affiliate KCTV. Clark made waves with a Sunday sermon in February where he said that women should strive to stay slim to keep men interested.
“Now look, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump. I’m not saying that at all,” Clark said during his sermon, as a photo of Trump was shown behind him on screen.
“Most women can’t be trophy wives, but you know, maybe you’re a participation trophy,” he continued. “I don’t know, but all I can say is not everybody looks like that. Amen! Not everybody looks like that. But you don’t need to look like a butch either.”
Clark also said men need to be accompanied by beautiful women and wives.
“Ladies, it’s the way God made us. It’s the way we are. Men are going to look,” he said. “He made us to look. You want them to be looking at you. Don’t let yourself go.”
His sermon was shared in a viral Facebook post written by a woman who streamed the service. The post attracted more than 3,000 comments criticizing the sermon as sexist, misogynistic, and offensive.
General Baptist Ministries, the national organization overseeing all local church branches, said in a Facebook post that Clark’s sermon fell out of line “with the positions and values of General Baptists.”
“General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason,” the post continued. “Furthermore, we believe that all individuals regardless of any other factors are so loved by God that Christ died for them.”
General Baptist Ministries also tried to distance itself further from the controversy, saying each church “has autonomy from the national organization.”
“General Baptist Ministries does not have authority related to the employment of any pastor or church leader in a local congregation,” the post read.