An unmarried American preacher, Desiree Allen, who got pregnant with twins after engaging in premarital sex with her fiancé, has said that worse things happen in the church leadership.
Pastor Allen serves as the pastor of arts and spiritual formation of First Corinthian Baptist Church in New York City, as well as the director of Harlem’s The Dream Center. She said she was proud of her pregnancy and would continue to stand on the pulpit to talk about the danger of sin.
Miss Allen, in a long account she shared on her blog, noted that some top members of her church drink, engage in hard drugs, have sex outside marriage and so forth, but people don’t frown at those acts.
“What had my stomach turning, other than nausea, was me being pregnant AND a pastor. “Let’s face it. The church has not had a good track record of accepting unmarried women who got pregnant. “If you’ve been in church for any period of time you’ve heard or witnessed the aftermath. “Shunning, slut shaming, being sat down from your position, having to go up in front of the church and confess your sin, etc. etc. No one can be naïve enough to say this type of stuff doesn’t happen in church.
“An ugly truth is people in church leadership have sex outside of marriage, affairs, do drugs, drink, so on and so forth. Generally, these are not considered acceptable acts. “BUT I have seen many churches turn a blind eye to this behavior because it can be hidden. Don’t ask. “Don’t tell. To be pregnant is a very visible indication of a private act and for some reason provides people with more of a need to respond.
“You may as well Scarlet Letter it up and place a big ole S on your chest for sex Hester Prynne-style. “The church’ is already harsher on women for their ‘crimes,’ but being a pastor also meant that both me and my fiancé were going to go through this publicly.
“I didn’t know what that meant, how it would affect my job and if I was prepared to deal with it. “Pregnancy already inherently diminishes some anonymity as people feel it their right to invade your personal space, offer up unsolicited advice and ask you private questions.
“Pastorship inherently makes some feel your personal life is their public business as you lose some sense of individuality for the sake of belonging to the church.
“As a pretty private person I had always struggled with the latter. Adding pregnancy seemed like my worse nightmare.
“It was not as if I had a blueprint for this in my church. My pastors had been very open about having their first child while unmarried in college. That was more than 20 years ago. “They were young. None of us were there. They were not pastors then. It was in the past enough to be hazy memory and turn into a testimony.”