Anti-Gay Pastor Who Said He Hoped God Would ‘Finish the Job’ Of The Orlando Nightclub Shooter Resigns After Reportedly Gambling, Using Drugs, And Picking Up Prostitutes
The pastor of a Baptist church in Texas who spoke favorably of the deaths of 49 people in the 2016 Pulse gay nightclub massacre, has resigned after reportedly admitting to being involved with prostitutes, gambling and drugs.
Donnie Romero, who founded the Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas in 2014, told congregants at a church meeting on Jan. 2 that he had not “been ruling my house well.” “I have been a terrible husband and father,” Mr. Romero said, according to video of the meeting that was posted to the church’s official YouTube channel. “This is the best decision — for my family and my church — to make.” Mr. Romero did not elaborate on his alleged impropriety at that meeting, which was largely run by another pastor, Steven L. Anderson. Mr. Anderson told congregants that “the lord says” Mr. Romero was “disqualified” to lead them.
Later, in a video he posted to YouTube, Mr. Anderson expanded on what he called the pastor’s “major sins.” "Basically, the major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling that were also discovered,” Mr. Anderson said.
He added that no one else at the church had been “tainted with any of this or were involved with any of this.” Mr. Anderson did not specify the gender of the prostitutes or provide a timeline for the infractions. Neither Mr. Anderson, Mr. Romero nor the front runner for new pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church, Jonathan Shelley, responded to messages from The New York Times seeking comment on Tuesday.
Stedfast Baptist Church is part of a nationwide network of almost 30 independent Baptist churches associated with Mr. Anderson, who founded Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.
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