Stewart-Allen Clark is the pastor of the First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri who provoked controversy with a video that urged women to lose weight in order to make their marriages happier.
Clark, in the video that sparked the firestorm, also referenced former First Lady Melania Trump, indicating that she was the ultimate “trophy wife” whose looks other women should emulate, despite the fact that she has worked as a model.
That didn’t sit well with a lot of people, and it’s cost Clark his leadership position after the February 2021 video went viral.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The General Baptist Council of Associations Recommended an Investigation Following the Outcry
According to Religion News, leaders of the General Baptist Council of Associations “have recommended an investigation” of Clark.
According to the news site, he argued that “weight control” is a good way for women to keep their husbands happy.
General Baptist Ministries wrote a lengthy Facebook post on the matterx:
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.
2. Clark, Who Is Seeking Counseling, Stepped Down as Pastor
The consequences have been swift for Clark.
According to Kansas City.com, he has now gone on leave. The newspaper reports that Clark’s wife used to be “robust” but went to Weight Watchers.
Clark is now getting counseling, the newspaper reported.
The first site to report on the videos is called the Friendly Atheist blog. That site preserved the video, titling it, “Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark Tells Women to Look Hotter.”
3. Clark Wondered Why Women ‘Let Themselves Go’ After They Get Married
Even though Clark thinks Melania Trump is the standard all women should hold themselves up to, he admits in the video, “Most women can’t be trophy wives.” He added, “you don’t need to look like a butch, either.”
He says that he has a friend who gave his wife a “divorce weight.”
“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?”
“Don’t give him a reason to be like this distracted boyfriend,” he said, sharing a meme. “You hear me? Don’t give him a reason to be looking around. Hello?”
He also praised the wearing of makeup. He argues that men are the ones who look. “Ladies, it’s the way God made us. It’s the way we are. Men are going to look. He made us to look. We can’t help ourselves. We are like that. That’s how God made us.”
He added, “I really don’t think women understand how important it is for a man to have a beautiful woman on his arm. Amen, ladies?”
4. Reaction on Social Media Was Harsh
People on social media reacted critically to Clark’s comments about women. Some people noted that Clark isn’t in perfect shape himself.
“I’m gonna need Stewart Allen Clark, the pastor who told women to slim down, pretty up and look more like Melania Trump to slim down, tone out, and look more like Henry Cavill,” wrote one woman on Twitter.
“Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of MO says women should keep their figures and lose weight in order to keep their husband’s attention. He thinks women should aspire to be Melania Trump! Normally I would never say this but: Has he looked in a mirror lately?” wrote another.
“Missouri Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark, who looks 328 weeks pregnant said women should strive to look and be like Melania Trump,” another wrote.
5. The Church Has Deleted Its Facebook Page
The church’s Facebook page was deleted. Clark’s LinkedIn page is too.
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….’”