Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark is on leave and in counseling after a sermon telling wives to make themselves “hot” and not look “butch” for their husbands.
The First General Baptist Church from Malden, Missouri inadvertently went viral after a clip from his February 28 sermon was posted to Facebook. User Reagan Williams published over 22 minutes from Clark’s pulpit diatribe against the evils of women who “let themselves go.”
Clark placed the onus on women for keeping their husbands’ eyes from straying. “It’s important that he thinks you’re hot! It’s important because he’s going to look, and you want him looking at you,” he said.
“Now look, I’m not saying that every woman can be the epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump,” Clark said at one point in the video, positioning the former First Lady as an ideal. “Most women can’t be trophy wives — but maybe a participation trophy. All I can say is not everybody looks like that, Amen? But you don’t need to look like a butch either!”
The sermon excerpt is full of similar statements, but Clark made sure to put the burden of his words on God. “God made men to be drawn to beautiful women,” he explained. “We are made this way. We can’t help ourselves.” He did pause to give God thanks for makeup.
On this lovely Sunday morning I spent my time getting ready listening to a head pastor in Malden who so nonchalantly decided to exercise pastoral abuse towards women. His name is Stewart Allen Clark and he preaches at First General Baptist. He goes on to blame women for the actions of men and says it is of God and it should be accepted as normal. Instead of teaching men and boys to take accountability for their actions and control themselves, 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 says that lusting after other women in a relationship or marriage is acceptable if you are not perfectly up to par with the man’s expectations and implies you should be blamed if the man cheats or fails you. He objectifies women, antagonizes them, and practices sexism, all while acting like it’s hip or cool. He also claims your looks should be only of what the man wants and you should have zero bodily autonomy and zero individuality which is abusive and controlling. He states he no longer practices marital counseling which is a good thing. He should not be in that kind of space with his toxic and damaging ideology. Honestly, he should not be a preacher either.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. I believe he hasn’t been reprimanded, taught better, or held accountable for his actions, and that is so desperately needed. 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. This deserves recognition outside SEMO as an example, even if he eventually is held accountable. This is one example of the abuse in churches and religion that is still practiced today. It shouldn’t be swept under the rug. It’s disgraceful and embarrassing and disheartening to those who know better. Let’s do better.Edit: he’s apparently extremely homophobic and transphobic too. He also encourages marital rape. I also want to add this is a video recording of a sermon he did February 21st that was brought to my attention today by a friend. Although he did preach at the same church today, this specific sermon did not occur today, but last Sunday instead.Please report your concerns to https://m.facebook.com/1gbmalden/ if you want to try to make this right… even though they support and defend him.
Posted by Reagan Williams on Sunday, February 28, 2021
On March 1, General Baptist Ministries posted a Facebook statement confirming the Executive Committee of the General Baptist Council of Associations had discussed the matter and recommended “appropriate action.”
Soon after, Malden First General Baptist Church stated Clark had “taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling” as of March 2.