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North Texas church that called for execution of gay people won't be evicted

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 9/7/2022 Sarah Bahari, The Dallas Morning News
A No Hate in Texas protester holds up a fan while protesting Stedfast Baptist Church in July. © Yffy Yossifor/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS A No Hate in Texas protester holds up a fan while protesting Stedfast Baptist Church in July.

DALLAS — A Texas church that has repeatedly called for the execution of gay people will not be evicted from its building.

Stedfast Baptist Church in Watauga reached an agreement with its landlord ahead of an eviction hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning in Tarrant County.

The church’s attorney, R. David Weaver, said the church and building owner, Dallas-based Cider Property, have settled the matter “for now.” Weaver declined to provide additional details.

Stedfast has spurred numerous protests and complaints after its leaders promoted violence against gay people.

The congregation moved to a strip mall in Watauga this year after it was evicted from its home in Hurst in February for violating the terms of its lease, which prohibits violence and threats.

Even then, Stedfast refused to back down. In June, pastor Dillon Awes said gay people should be executed.

“Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime, the abomination of homosexuality that they have,” Awes said. “They should be convicted in a lawful trial, they should be sentenced to death, they should be lined up against a wall and shot in the back of the head.”

Head pastor Jonathan Shelley has defended the church’s position, saying it is only following the Bible’s teachings.

Stedfast, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has made news for its anti-gay rhetoric in the past.

In 2016, its former pastor Donnie Romero praised the 2016 shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando and condemned the victims.

Three years later, Romero was ousted after admitting he had slept with prostitutes, gambled and smoked marijuana.


©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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