Stewart-Allen Clark, pastor of the First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, is under fire after telling women to lose weight to keep their husbands. He also suggested that women try to emulate former First Lady Melania Trump in a discussion about remaining attractive after marriage.
According to Religion News, leaders of the General Baptist Council of Associations “have recommended an investigation” of Clark because he suggested that women practice “weight control” to make their marriages better.
Clark made the comments in February 2021 in a sermon that was captured on video, according to the religious news site.
You can watch video of Clark’s comments below. The video clips were preserved and first published by the Friendly Atheist blog. The video is entitled, “Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark Tells Women to Look Hotter.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Clark Questioned Why Women ‘Let Themselves Go’
In the comments caught on video, Clark says that women should model themselves after former First Lady Melania Trump, who has worked as a model. However, he admitted, “Most women can’t be trophy wives.”
It’s Clark’s belief that women’s marriages would be better if they would stay in shape.
“Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go?” Clark said in the sermon, holding a Bible. “Why do they do that?” He acknowledged that all women can’t look like Melania Trump but added, “you don’t need to look like a butch, either.”
Clark insisted that not gaining weight after marriage is so important that a friend “has put a ‘divorce weight’ on his wife.”
“Don’t give him a reason to be like this distracted boyfriend,” he said, pointing to a well-known meme of a man turning to look at an attractive woman. “You hear me? Don’t give him a reason to be looking around. Hello?”
He also praised the wearing of makeup.
General Baptist Ministries wrote a lengthy Facebook post on the matter after the comments came to light:
The Executive Committee of the General Baptist Council of Associations met today, March 1, 2021, to address concerns related to a sermon from Stewart-Allen Clark at the Malden First General Baptist Church that has received significant exposure. The sermon included comments that are not consistent with the positions and values of General Baptists. In keeping with our structure, the Executive Committee recommended that the Council of Associations and the MoArk Presbytery research the statements and take appropriate action.
Pastor Clark was to be the moderator of the General Association of General Baptist meeting in July 2022. He has resigned from that position.
General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason. Furthermore, we believe that all individuals regardless of any other factors are so loved by God that Christ died for them.
Each General Baptist church has autonomy from the national organization, and as a result General Baptist Ministries does not have authority related to the employment of any pastor or church leader in a local congregation.
The Church Has Scrubbed Its Social Media
The church appears to have scrubbed its online presence after the Friendly Atheist blog’s post. The church’s Facebook page no longer exists, for example.
The website for the church is still up, but it’s contact information is gone.
The church outlines its values as, “We love God. We love God’s people. We love our community.” Under “our vision,” the church explains, “It’s a New Day! Our vision is to be an upbeat and celebratory church, making disciples, and adding value to our community. Isaiah 43:19 – ‘Behold, I am doing a new thing….’”