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‘Are You a Man?’—Texas Pastor Denounces Men Who Ask Their Wives If It Is Ok To Have Children

Stedfast Baptist Church
Screenshot from GodResource / @Stedfast Baptist Church

Editor’s note: The purpose of this article on Stedfast Baptist Church is to report news that the ChurchLeaders editors believe is important for the church to know. This article is not an endorsement of the perspectives being reported. 

A man who asks his wife when it is all right to have kids is “effeminate,” according to Jonathan Shelley, a pastor who has previously said that women are “really affected by pride” and not as “good at working.” Shelley is the pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church in Watauga, Texas, which made headlines last year when its leaders publicly supported executing gay people.

“I heard an Independent Fundamental Baptist preacher, he’s like, ‘You know, it’s not right for me to just tell my wife when we’re going to have kids. Y’know, I need to ask her permission, or ask when it’s ok to start having kids,’” said Shelley in a Jan. 8 sermon titled, “Postpartum and Pediatricians.” “And I’m like…‘Are you a man? Are you a Baptist? You’re a Fundamental Baptist preacher and you’re going to ask your wife if it’s ok to have children? I’m like, what planet am I living on?”

Stedfast Baptist Church Pastor on Postpartum Women

Stedfast Baptist Church made the national news last year after it was reported in February 2022 that the congregation would be evicted from its building because Pastor Jonathan Shelley said that gay people were “worthy of death.” Then, in a June 5 sermon titled,  “Why We Won’t Shut Up,” Stedfast Baptist Church pastor Dillon Awes said, “Every single homosexual in our country… should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head!”

The church was evicted from its building in Hurst, Texas, and it relocated to Watauga. In a video posted Dec. 18, Shelley announced that the congregation is once more having to move. He requested donations to help with the move, as well as with the church’s legal fees. The pastor also observed people have been protesting at Stedfast “every single week for really years at this point.” 

Protestors can be seen and heard in the background as Shelley speaks; at one point, a man yells, “Jesus is love, not hate.” The video ends showing a protestor mocking Shelley while the theme from “Psycho” plays.

Atheist activist Hemant Mehta, who has tweeted about Stedfast Baptist Church in the past, drew attention to the church once again, posting a clip Monday of Shelley’s comments about the decision to have children.

Pastor Jonathan Shelley began his sermon by reading Leviticus 12, which outlines the purification rituals for Israelite women to complete after childbirth. The pastor explained that parts of Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament have been fulfilled in Jesus and therefore do not apply to God’s people any more, but that there are still truths we can learn from those parts of the Bible. 

Shelley said he wanted to talk about pediatricians and women’s postpartum experience for the sake of young couples in the church. He said that some of what he had to say was his personal opinion, “so take that for what it’s worth,” but he urged people to consider what the Bible “clearly” teaches.