New York pastor pregnant out of wedlock stays in pulpit

A New York pastor who became pregnant out of wedlock said she is not sorry and that she will stay in the pulpit to preach for as long as she can.

(REUTERS / Stringer)An eight-month pregnant woman touches her stomach at her home in Buenos Aires October 11, 2012

In a written statement, First Corinthian Baptist Church arts and spiritual formation pastor Desiree Allen said she is not sorry for her unplanned pregnancy, as she thought about other women who either resorted to abortion or left the church out of shame. She also said she felt Jesus when she divulged her pregnancy to other church workers, Charisma News relays.

"I thought about the women who were belittled in their churches for being pregnant. The women who felt abortion was a better option than humiliation. The girl or young women of a pastor forced into abortion, because the family couldn't handle the shame," said Pastor Allen in her statement found on her blog. "The woman who would give up everything to be pregnant regardless of the circumstances and still finds her womb bare. So many women who may have made a different choice if they understood the power they had."

Allen recounted how their executive pastor and church staffers formed a circle around her and prayed when she revealed her pregnancy. She took to her blog to explain that she was happy about her pregnancy but had dreaded the prospect of announcing the news as an unmarried pastor. But when the church staff showed her their support, she experienced a moment when she broke free from anxiety, fear, and worry. 

However, some netizens slammed the church's decision to allow Allen to continue her pastoral duties, as some say she has become a bad example to her congregation. One comment said God forgives sins but that forgiveness does not make one "fit to be a pastor."

Another blog commenter highlighted what he saw as Allen's "deep rooted form of pride" amid the situation since he notes she has refused to humble herself and step down to seek God's guidance. Another netizen said a person becomes a stumbling block to other believers when he or she commits adultery or fornication and insists on remaining in a leadership position.

According to Pastor Allen's Facebook page, she is due for delivery on Jan. 16, 2017. She and her fiancé Tony Elder are expecting twins.