Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching- C.S. Lewis
People that are called to preach the word of God are special people. It takes a lot to in the forefront of a church community where parishioners place you upon a pedestal and worship you like your a God. Often times, we forget that church leaders are people too and they sin like everyone else. However, although many of us may not admit it, we expect our spiritual leaders to be examples of Christ or at least pretty close. Pastor Desireé Allen, who 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 was shocked to find out that she was pregnant by her fiancé Tony Elder. Despite finding out that she was pregnant, Allen decided that she wouldn't allow her pregnancy to prevent her from doing God's Will. Sure, she was an unmarried woman who had premarital sex, however, she vowed not to be slut shamed. In a lengthy Facebook post, Allen shared the following: I was pregnant. My immediate reaction was shock. This was not planned.
Yes, I know it's a potential consequence of having sex, but not one readily expected. With the exception of living a pretty much celibate lifestyle in my twenties I had been having sex on and off since I was 15 and had never been pregnant. In fact, I assumed when I was ready it would be very hard for me to conceive. Boy did I miscalculate that, she wrote. Of course Allen was happy with the thought of having a baby but she wrestled with the fact that she would be an unwed pastor pregnant. What message would that send to her followers? "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," she said. Allen was raised in the church and often witnessed members turning a blind eye when their pastors were caught doing ungodly things such as drugs, drinking, and having premarital sex. Yet, they were still allowed to do their ministry. Why shouldn't she?
So, Allen decided to ignore the judgments of others and celebrate her pregnancy. She shared with her executive pastor as well as the other members of her church. To her surprise, they vowed to love and protect her. They then surrounded her with prayer. In a moment I will never forget, our executive pastor had the staff encircle around me and they begin to pray. A noise that can only be described as a wail left my mouth and I broke. To the point of needing a chair to sit in. I broke in the most beautiful way possible. In the breaking I was free.
That ugly Jesus cry released every anxiety, fear and worry holding me down. They promised to protect me and support me. In that moment I saw God. It was a moment that transcended boundaries or judgment. It was pure love. I felt free," she explained. Information highlighted on
Allen's Facebook page says her due date is on January 16 and that she is expecting twins with her fiancé Tony Elder.
Allen has decided to keep on preaching until she physically isn't able to do so.