A pastor in Missouri has taken a leave of absence and is “seeking professional counseling” after a video surfaced of a sermon in which he emphasized that women need to look attractive for their husbands because “God made men to be drawn to beautiful women.”
The video was posted on Facebook on Feb. 28 and runs more than 22 minutes. In it, the pastor, Stewart-Allen Clark of the 1st General Baptist Church, in Malden, Mo., can be seen standing on a brightly lit stage, wearing an oversize, untucked shirt and bluejeans, and holding a book open in his left hand. “Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go?” he asks.
“I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump,” Mr. Clark says, adding, “Maybe you’re a participation trophy.” He went on to discourage women from wearing sweatpants, flip-flops and pajamas, saying: “That ain’t going to work. Ain’t nothing attractive about that.”
The 1st General Baptist Church in Malden, about 130 miles north of Memphis, posted a brief statement on its website: “As of March 2, 2021, Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark has taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling.” A telephone message left at the church was not immediately returned on Monday night.
a statement posted on Facebook last week that Mr. Clark’s sermon “included comments that are not consistent 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 statement said.
The pastor also resigned from a moderator position at the General Association of General Baptist meeting in 2022, the statement said.
In the video, after an image of Ms. Trump in a blue dress appears on the screen, Mr. Clark tells the audience, “Not everybody looks like that.” Then, as Mr. Clark is seen on the screen, he says, “But you don’t need to look like a butch either.”
“You need to know this,” he adds. “Men have a need for their women to look like women.” Later, Mr. Clark says that husbands’ views of their wives matter above all else. “Do I think you’re hot in that hairstyle? That’s what matters,” he said.