Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of the First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, preaches a sermon telling women that "weight control" is the solution for marital problems. (Source: Video screengrab)

After Sermon Criticizing Wives’ Weight, Pastor Resigns as Moderator of General Baptist Meeting

By Adelle Banks

A pastor who preached that “weight control” by wives is the solution for marital problems has resigned as moderator of a meeting of the General Baptist Council of Associations and is being investigated by his denomination.

Stewart-Allen Clark, pastor of the First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, is seen in video clips of a Feb. 21 sermon questioning the appearance of women after they marry their husbands.

“Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go?” he asks, standing on a stage with what appears to be a large open Bible in his left hand. “Why do they do that?”

Links to sermons from the church’s website are no longer available, but the Friendly Atheist blog featured a series of clips from the mid-February sermon.

The General Baptist officials stated in a Monday Facebook post that Clark had been scheduled to be the moderator of the General Association of General Baptists meeting in July 2022.

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“He has resigned from that position,” the post reads.

Clark’s church could not immediately be reached for comment. Its website’s contact form is “currently not available.”

At one point during his sermon, Clark makes a comparison to the former first lady, showing a picture of her in a long, sleeveless blue dress.

“Now look, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump,” he said. “All I can say is not everybody looks like that, amen? … But you don’t need to look like a butch either.”

Clark, who noted he no longer does marriage counseling, cited a friend who had “a divorce weight on his wife. That’s how important this is.” He also referenced a joke about a boy’s discussion on why females wear makeup and perfume before saying, “You don’t want to be ugly and stink.”

He added another joke that prompted his laughter and others’: “Scientists have discovered, by the way, a food that diminishes a woman’s sex drive. It’s called wedding cake.”

General Baptist Ministries said in its Facebook post it has recommended its Council of Associations and a local presbytery “take appropriate action” about the statements in the sermon.

“The sermon included comments that are not consistent with the positions and values of General Baptists,” it said. “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.”

UPDATE: According to the 1st General Baptist Church website, Pastor Clark is taking a leave of absence effective March 2 and is “seeking professional counseling.”

Adelle Banks is production editor and a national correspondent at Religion News Service.

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83 thoughts on “After Sermon Criticizing Wives’ Weight, Pastor Resigns as Moderator of General Baptist Meeting”

  1. I am going to say this as politely as possible. Look down Stewart.
    Pot meet kettle.
    It seems as if I am living in a dystopian novel.

    1. That was the PERFECT reply. I was thinking the same. Honestly, I feel bad for his wife if he really thinks this way.

    2. This man is a fool and should never be allowed to preach, teach, or counsel anyone. He needs to read 1 Peter 3:7, repent, and then find a new line of work.

  2. That’s quite sad. Apparently men aren’t held to a similar standard.

    If you boil it down to what it is, church leaders are getting paid to express their opinions and interpretations on various matters. It’s for us to discern which ones we listen to.

    I’m sure someone will come back to say “ The word of God says “ , or “His comments are not biblical…”. The hard part is distinguishing who is worth our time.

    With attitudes towards women presented in this article, and the reluctance to let women lead, makes it understandable why some (perhaps many) women are untrusting of church leaders.

  3. At least he’s going to be held accountable by his denomination. How many similar comments go undisciplined?

  4. Lars Jacobson

    He’s no “Slim Jim” himself. Just sayin.

    Makes you wonder how folks like this find their way into full time ministry.

  5. Are you kidding me? That would have been a walking out never to return “sermon” for us. So many things hideously wrong with it, not to mention my wife would be shunning me in the car afterwards for my ever subjecting her ears to that garbage. This guy needs to go back to seminary or be held accountable/trained/admonished by his Elders or his denomination. Unbelievably insensitive, if not hypocritically incoherent.

    1. Agreed. If I was a member of this church, I’m fairly certain it would have been a “confront the man in the pulpit” moment.

  6. It looks like the pastor himself needs to check his own weight in the mirror. If he is going to expect wives to look like Melania, then he better provide them the means to eat well, exercise, sleep enough and have the help to cook, clean, and do all the other chores they have so they can devote themselves to their “goal weight” for their husbands. Interesting that only the wives seem to have this tagged on them but not the men.

    1. Don’t forget the cost. Wednesday Martin in “Primates of Park Avenue” wrote about figuring up what it cost to maintain the appearance expected of a rich New Yorker’s wife. Tens of thousands of dollars per year, and that’s not counting cosmetic surgery or household staff: just clothes, hair, makeup, dietician, supplements, exercise classes, spas …

  7. Maybe some women kinda let themselves go….because quite frankly they dont care if their arrogant and sexist and overweight husband is attracted to them……attitude is everything for a wife…..

  8. I also was thinking that he was probably not quite as slim as he had been before marriage. Oh, my gosh. Such sad humor and shortsighted thinking.

  9. Me thinks, when more men, especially leaders in the church, take Ephesians 5:26-27 to heart, there may be some healthier marriages. And women. 😏
    NIV Eph. 5:26-7
    to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, WITHOUT STAIN OR WRINKLE OR ANY OTHER BLEMISH, but Holy and Blameless.(emphasis added by me.)

    And just one more fun tidbit, Paul tells husbands to Love their wives FOUR TIMES, yes 4 x in 8 1/2 verses. Perhaps if men read 1 Cor. 13 each week, or 4x a month marriages would be healthier.

    Healthy marriages=healthy families= healthy churches etc.

    1. “Me thinks, when more men, especially leaders in the church, take Ephesians 5:26-27 to heart, there may be some healthier marriages. And women. 😏
      NIV Eph. 5:26-7
      to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, WITHOUT STAIN OR WRINKLE OR ANY OTHER BLEMISH, but Holy and Blameless.(emphasis added by me.)”
      ———————-

      i can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or serious.

      as if women needed men to do this for them…. beyond ludicrous.

      1. Venturing a guess here. The basic idea is that in marriage, the husband is told to emulate Christ’s self-sacrificial love for the Church. In this way, Christian marriages will in a small way reflect the perfect love between Jesus and His Bride, the Church. The true realization of that, if course, will not be fulfilled until we all reach full, heavenly perfection. But for the here and now, husbands are told to live like Jesus, to the point of death. As G.K. Chesterton said, it’s not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting; it’s been found difficult and left untried.

        But this “pastor’s” words seem to indicate that he’s never even faced up to what it is that is so difficult. The blind attempting to lead.

  10. Some real answers to his “Why?” though: Marriage sometimes isolates a woman, and it is harder for her to get out and socialize and get the exercise she needs. If she’s the cook, guess what? Cooks sometimes tend to gain weight. Are they eating cheaper food because they’re trying to live on one paycheck and/or save money? Cheaper food is often starchy and puts the weight on. Good for Martha, for her comments above. I totally agree with her. That man’s comments seem horribly selfish and unrealistic.

  11. This is one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever heard coming from a pulpit! I agree with many of the comments made by others, but can we also discuss how degrading he is to Melania Trump by calling her a “trophy wife” and only focusing on her appearance? Yes, she is gorgeous, but she is also an intelligent dignified woman who kept her dignity amidst a horrific media for the past four years.
    The sad thing is, that I have also heard messages like this over the years. At one women’s meeting, the pastor’s wife was told to convey a message from her husband: many of the men in the church who were turning to porn complained that they did so because their wives had “let themselves go”. So….I guess the underlying message was that women were responsible for the men’s sin and somehow we needed to live up to airbrushed, photoshopped fake figures.

    1. “”It was the woman you put here with me,” the man said. “She gave me some of the fruit, and I ate it.””

      sigh….. not much progress.

  12. Wow!!! “Divorce weight”?!?! That is absolutely appalling coming out of anyone’s mouth, but from someone supposedly shepherding a flock and likely raising children, that is unconscionable….and how sad that no one had the courage to stand up and put an end to that ridiculousness (both the shameful comments and the audacity of others present to laugh at his “jokes”). That is just truly astonishing.

  13. I can’t believe that people say through this without walking up to the pulpit and doing a mental health check.

  14. From a guy dressing like a 13 year old. Too much of this sloppy, frat boy, immaturity in our pulpits. Preach the Word with dignity and reverence; not some bad stand-up routine spouting opinions and inappropriate comments. It’s like he gets his joke material from a google search and rips off the stupidest stuff with no righteous filter. This is what happens when you chase a joke rather than the truth.

    1. Either go with coat and tie, Geneva Gown, or Anglican black outfit with white collar.

      No skinny jeans and t-shirt, frat boy, teen gangbanger, or hawaiian t-shirt looks.

    2. preaching and sermons are a very poor use of everyone’s time and money. i hope they and the the word ‘pulpit’ mutate away.

  15. News flash: Pastors are handling the Word of God. They’re not supposed to be yammering about their own opinions. Nowhere in Scripture does it say any of this stuff. I think pastors should be afraid to stand up there and say anything they haven’t checked and rechecked for biblical accuracy. God is not mocked. Not many should be teachers; they’ll incur greater judgment.

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