North Texas church that called for gay executions won’t be kicked out

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

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

Church attorney R. David Weaver said church and building owner Dallas-based Cider Property has settled the matter “for now.” Weaver declined to provide further details.

Stedfast has drawn widespread protests and complaints after its leaders promoted violence against gay people.

The congregation moved to a mall in Watauga this year after being evicted from their home in Hurst in February for breaching the terms of their 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 gay man in our country should be charged with a crime, the abomination of homosexuality that they have,” Awes said. “They should be found guilty in a legal trial, they should be sentenced to death, they should be lined up against a wall and shot in the back of the neck.”

Senior Pastor Jonathan Shelley defended the church’s position, saying it only follows the teachings of the Bible.

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

In 2016, his former pastor Donnie Romero hailed the 2016 shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub and condemned the victims.

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

About Chris Stevenson

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