A Texas Baptist pastor who praised the gunman of the Pulse nightclub shooting resigned from ministry for allegedly smoking marijuana, gambling and having sex with prostitutes.
Donnie Romero, founder of Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, announced his resignation to his congregation on Jan. 2, saying that he had not “been ruling my house well” and had “been a terrible husband and father,” The New York Times reported Wednesday. Romero did not elaborate on his shortcomings, but Pastor Steven Anderson explained in a follow-up video to the announcement that Romero had allegedly engaged with drugs and prostitution. (RELATED: Lead Pastor And Elders Of Famous Chicago Megachurch Resign Over Sexual Harassment Scandal)
“Basically, the major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling that were also discovered,” Anderson said.
Anderson clarified that the none of the congregation “have been tainted with this. None of them were involved in any of this.”
Romero gained infamy in 2016 for comments in which he praised Omar Mateen for killing 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, called Pulse nightclub, according to The New York Times. Romero said in a sermon that he hoped the more than 50 people wounded in the attack would die of their wounds “so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children,” as he believed that all gay men are pedophiles.
“I’ll pray to God that God will finish the job that that man started,” Romero said of Mateen, according to NYT.
Stedfast Baptist Church is part of a network of independent Baptist churches that also includes Anderson’s church in Arizona, Faithful Word Baptist Church. Anderson, too, has come under fire for a 2009 sermon in which he said he prayed for former President Barack Obama’s death, and for a documentary he helmed, ostensibly, about “the history of the Jews,” which the Anti-Defamation League denounced as overtly anti-Semitic.
Jonathan Shelley will serve as the new pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church.
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