Stewart Allen Clark, a Baptist pastor from Malden, Missouri came under fire after he told his female congregants they should model themselves after "epic trophy wife" former First Lady Melania Trump.
The sermon was rife with sexist clichés about women "letting themselves go" after marriage and resulted in a national organization of Baptist churches censuring the pastor for his remarks.
Clark has gone on leave and resigned from at least one speaking engagement as a result.
Clark's comments came during a 20-minute sermon in February at First General Baptist Church that was posted on Facebook.
Clark decried the tendency of women to neglect their personal appearance after marriage, and instructed women to take great care with their hair and makeup and avoid sweatpants and flip-flops.
Clark also claimed their wives' personal appearance is a priority for all men.
"Men want their wives to look good at home, and in public. Can I get an amen?"
Clark then invoked Trump as the standard on which women should model themselves, while also admitting she represents an unattainable ideal.
"I'm not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump. I'm not saying that at all. Most women can't be trophy wives, but you know like her, maybe you're a participation trophy."
Clark also stressed just because you can't achieve Melania Trump-level greatness, "you don't need to look like a butch either."
In response to Clark's comments, General Baptist Ministries, a national organization of which Clark's church is a member, issued a public statement on Facebook calling Clark's sermon "not consistent with the positions and values of General Baptists."
The statement went on to clarify those values:
"General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason."
On Twitter, Clark's comments went deeply unappreciated.
Good morning to everyone who does NOT look like Melania trump and doesn't feel the need to look like her because so… https://t.co/at0b8XON6n— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!)1615134289.0
@thehill Jimmy Carter, who left the Baptist church because of this garbage, would like a word. https://t.co/4vMbF1aDum— CMMV (@CMMV)1615127249.0
In addition to going on leave, Clark has also resigned from speaking at the General Association of General Baptist meeting in 2022 and is seeking out counseling.