A Missouri pastor who told women in his congregation to keep slim, wear makeup and be sexually available for their husbands to keep their marriages healthy is now under investigation by his denomination and is “seeking professional counseling” after backlash over his advice.
First General Baptist Church in Malden announced Tuesday that their embattled Pastor, Stewart-Allen Clark, has also “taken a leave of absence” in the wake of the controversial statements he made in a Feb. 21 sermon.
“As of March 2, 2021, Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark has taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling,” a statement on the church’s website said.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
The denomination also noted that Clark has resigned as moderator for the General Association of General Baptist meeting scheduled for 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,” the denomination said, explaining that they have no control over his future employment.
“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 General Baptists noted.
Clark’s controversial sermon was first highlighted by artist Reagan Williams in a Feb. 28 Facebook post.
“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 toward women,” she said in the post in which she shared the video.
Clark quoted 1 Corinthians 7:4 to encourage the women to be sexually available for their husbands, which says: “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
“So whenever she’s not in the mood [take out your body],” he said.
To kick off the sermon, however, Clark quickly explained to the audience that husbands need their wives to stay attractive to keep them interested in marriage.
“I want you to know a need that a man has that he won’t ever tell you about, but since I’m the preacher man, I’ll say it. Your man needs an attractive wife,” he declared.
“I really don’t believe women understand how visual men are. … I really don’t think women understand how important it is for a man to have a beautiful woman on his arm. It’s really important to a man to do that,” he said, questioning why women appear to stop paying attention to their physical appearance after marriage.
“Why is it that so many times, women, after they get married, let themselves go? Here’s how way too many women are — ‘I’ve got him now the chase is over.’ Hey, that’s where you’re wrong. The chase ain’t never over,” he said.
Clark argued that women didn’t have to be trophy wives, like former first lady Melania Trump, but they should at least try to get a “participation trophy.”
“Now look, I’m not saying that every woman can be the epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump. I’m not saying that at all, you know. Most women can’t be trophy wives, but you know, like her, [maybe you can] get 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,” he said. “Men have a need for their women to look like women. Sweatpants don’t cut it all the time. Wearing flip-flops and pajamas to Walmart, that ain’t gon’ work. Ain’t nothing attractive about that. Men want their wives to look good at home and in public. Can I get an Amen?”
Clark also quoted from licensed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley Jr.’s 2011 book,His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, when he noted that women should “take great pains to look like the woman he fell in love with.”
“God made men to be drawn to beautiful women. We are made this way. We can’t help ourselves. We are like that. That’s how God made us. Do you think Eve wasn’t attractive in the garden? He made men to be attracted to beautiful women,” the Missouri pastor who said he doesn’t care what people think about his views, declared.
“You can call it juvenile, you can call it immature, you can call it sexist, whatever you want to, but here’s another secret for you to know. ... Men are going to look; you want them to look at you,” he said.
Clarke revealed he used to do marriage counseling and recalled a time when he once counseled a couple where the wife looked like a “Sumo wrestler” and the husband was “a little guy,” and the wife’s weight was at the center of their problems.
He explained that his wife, who has had three kids, gained weight during her pregnancies but she responded to her weight gain by getting involved with the popular Weight Watchers program and he joined her to show his support.
“Because she knows it’s important. I want a good-looking woman on my arm,” he said of his wife. “She wasn’t always a bean pole but she is now. She has lost a lot of weight. She is thin and she wants to look attractive herself and she wants me to look at her and nobody else. One of her favorite expressions is ‘food never tastes as good as skinny feels.”