Donnie Romero, a Baptist pastor who has made national headlines for his virulently homophobic sermons, recently resigned from his Texas church after admitting he has been “a terrible husband and father.”
“I have not been ruling my house well,” Romero, who has a wife and seven children, told his congregation on Jan. 2. “I’m the one at fault in this situation. I love Stedfast Baptist Church. I love my family. This is the best decision for my family and this church to make.”
While Romero — who has compared LGBTQ people to pedophiles, called gays “scum of the earth” and applauded the 2016 mass killing of gay people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub — did not provide details about his behavior, Steven Anderson, a pastor who joined Romero last week during his resignation sermon, shared insight on YouTube into his friend’s “grievous sins.”
“The major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling,” Anderson, who has more than 100,000 YouTube followers, revealed in a video posted on Jan. 3.
While neither Romero nor Anderson responded to NBC News’ requests for comment, the new pastor of Stedfast Baptist Church, Jonathan Shelley, did. Shelley, like Anderson, said frequenting prostitutes led to Romero’s resignation, though Shelley added that he did not know the gender of the prostitutes.
Like Romero, Shelley strongly condemns homosexuality.
“The bible makes it clear that homosexuals should be put to death according to God's law, and at the founding of America that once was the law,” he claimed. “I personally believe that every homosexual is a pedophile … because of this they should be removed from society.”
Stedfast Baptist Church, which was founded by Romero, has been labeled an anti-LGBTQ “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2015.