Faithful Word Baptist Church

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Coordinates: 33°23′31″N 111°58′39″W / 33.391824°N 111.977496°W / 33.391824; -111.977496

Faithful Word Baptist Church
Steven L Anderson preaching at his church in April 2017.jpg
Steven Anderson preaching a sermon on the post-tribulation rapture, a core doctrine of his church, on April 30, 2017
TypeIndependent Baptist
ClassificationFundamentalist Baptist
ScriptureKing James Bible
PastorSteven Anderson
AssociationsNew Independent Fundamentalist Baptist
RegionUnited States
HeadquartersTempe, Arizona, U.S.
FounderSteven Anderson
OriginDecember 25, 2005
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.
Members300 (2015)[1]

Faithful Word Baptist Church is a fundamentalist Independent Baptist church in Tempe, Arizona, that was founded by Steven Anderson. The church describes itself as "an old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible-only, soul-winning Baptist church."[2] Members of the church meet in an office space that is located inside a strip mall.[2][3] Anderson established the church in December 2005 and remains its pastor.

In August 2009, the church received national attention when Anderson stated in a sermon that he was praying for the death of then-president Barack Obama. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed Faithful Word Baptist Church as an anti-gay hate group, citing its pastor's "extremely radical stance" that homosexuals should be judged and executed according to the Law of Moses.[4] Since then, as the church has grown, it has received media attention for its documentary titled Marching to Zion, which the Anti-Defamation League labeled antisemitic;[5] media attention has also focused on the pastor being refused entry to South Africa, Botswana, Jamaica, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Republic of Ireland,[6] Australia,[7] and New Zealand.[8]


Faithful Word Baptist Church believes that the King James Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. It is Trinitarian and rejects modalism. The church also believes in the post-tribulation rapture, salvation by grace through faith, and eternal torment in hell for the unsaved. Among the church's beliefs is the view that life begins at conception, the view that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty, and opposition to worldliness, formalism, modernism, and liberalism.[9]

Faithful Word Baptist Church is strictly anti-abortion. In vitro fertilization is seen as murder, because embryos are discarded during the process.[10][11]

In contrast to other KJV-only independent fundamental Baptist churches, Faithful Word Baptist Church teaches supersessionism (replacement theology).[12] Although the church rejects traditional Calvinism, it teaches a doctrine of "reprobation" (named after Romans 1:28), which states that people who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ too many times are "given over" by God to a reprobate mind, after which time they can never be saved.

The church is also strongly anti-Catholic, with Anderson having repeatedly attacked and mocked the Catholic Church. Anderson has also expressed anti-Orthodox Christian views as well.

Anderson has preached against feminism, including stating that men are meant to be the leaders[13] and called Iceland "a feminist hell."[14]



Anderson established the church on Christmas Day, 2005.[4] The church's website states, "Faithful Word Baptist Church is a totally independent Baptist church, and Pastor Anderson was sent out by a totally independent Baptist church to start it the old-fashioned way by knocking on doors and winning souls to Christ."[15] About a year and a half later the church was moved to a strip mall that was also used by Anderson's fire alarm installation business. When he was questioned about the relationship between his for-profit business and his not-for-profit church in 2009, Anderson responded angrily.[16][17][18][3] By 2015, the congregation numbered around 300 members.[1]

National attention over Anderson's sermon on President Obama[edit]

The church received national attention in the United States in August 2009, when Anderson reportedly gave a sermon—entitled Why I Hate Barack Obama—in which he said he prayed for the death of the president.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Anderson did not solicit the killing of Obama but he did suggest that the country would "benefit" from his death.[26] Anderson also told the local television station KNXV-TV that he would like it if Obama were to die of natural causes because he does not "want him to be a martyr" and he also believes that "we don't need another holiday."[26] Anderson told columnist Michelangelo Signorile that he "would not judge or condemn" anyone who killed the president.[4]

Anderson's invective against Obama is partially based on his opposition to Obama's support for abortion rights.[27][28][29] Anderson was then the recipient of death threats while a group, People Against Clergy Who Preach Hate, organized a "love rally" which was attended by approximately one hundred people outside the church.[3][27][30]

The day after Anderson delivered his Why I Hate Barack Obama sermon, a church member, Chris Broughton, carried an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a pistol to the Phoenix Convention Center, where President Obama was speaking.[3][31] Broughton explained that he was not motivated by the sermon although he agreed with it.[27] The New Mexico Independent reported that Broughton's appearance at the rally was part of a publicity stunt that was organized by conservative radio talk show host Ernest Hancock, who also came to the rally armed, and engaged in a staged interview with Broughton which was later broadcast on YouTube.[29] Anderson told ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix that the Secret Service contacted him after this event.[3]

Anti-gay comments and hate group designation[edit]

The SPLC has listed the church as an anti-gay hate group,[32][33] noting that in his anti-LGBT rhetoric, Anderson described gays as "sodomites who recruit through rape" and "recruit through molestation."[4] In explaining the hate group designation, the SPLC noted Anderson's position that homosexuals should be killed, citing a sermon in which he said, "The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers but not in the death penalty for homosexuals."[4][29] A few days after the listing, Anderson stated, "I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are." In late 2014 Anderson told his congregation that an AIDS-free Christmas would be possible "Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant."[34][35] Anderson has also been vocal in expressing his hatred for transgender people, stating during a sermon titled 6 Types of Prayer that he hopes that Caitlyn Jenner's heart explodes.[36]

In a sermon, Anderson said that in the November 2015 Paris attacks the victims brought the attack upon themselves by being devil worshipers for attending a concert by the Eagles of Death Metal band, and he also said that France was a sinful nation.[37] In a video which he posted on YouTube following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Anderson said it was good that there were "50 less pedophiles in this world," but he also said that it was bad that there were survivors. He also said that there would be a backlash against gun rights and religious fundamentalism, both Christian and Islamic. He also said that the killings should not have been carried out by a vigilante, instead, he believes that they should have been carried out "through the proper channels by a righteous government."[38][39][40]

Controversial videos[edit]

In March 2015, Anderson produced a documentary titled Marching to Zion, in which he argued that the anticipated Jewish messiah is the Antichrist, the Star of David is, in fact, the Star of Remphan, and the Talmud is blasphemous.[12] In May 2015, Anderson promoted Holocaust denial by posting a YouTube video titled The Holocaust Hoax Exposed.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Magahern, Jimmy (June 2015). "West of Westboro". Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Faithful Word Baptist Church. "Faithful Word Baptist Church - Phoenix, AZ". Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e James, Susan Donaldson (September 7, 2009). "Protesters Rally Against Pastor's 'Why I Hate Obama' Sermon". ABC News. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e Schlatter, Evelyn. "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda: Faithful Word Baptist Church". SPLC. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  5. ^ "ADL Deeply Troubled at Upcoming Documentary Film Denigrating Jews and Judaism". Anti-Defamation League. November 24, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  6. ^ McGee, Harry. "Anti-gay preacher is first-ever banned from Ireland under exclusion powers". The Irish Times.
  7. ^ Eno Adeogun (July 23, 2019). "Australia becomes 33rd country to ban entry to pastor who said gay people should die". Archived from the original on July 23, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "New Zealand Bans Homophobic Pastor Steven Anderson". On Top Magazine.
  9. ^ "Doctrinal Statement". Tempe, Arizona: Faithful Word Baptist Church. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  10. ^ Evans, Jenni (September 6, 2016). "Wife of homophobic US pastor slams SA blogger over IVF". News24. IAB South Africa. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Anderson, Steven. "Faithful Word Baptist Church invitation to church" (PDF). Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Borkett-Jones, Lucinda (December 10, 2014). "Anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson tricks rabbis into making anti-Semitic film". Christian Today. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  13. ^ "Feminism in light of the Bible". Faithful Word Baptist Church's Youtube channel.
  14. ^ "Watch: American preacher denounces Iceland as a "feminist hell", "a nation of bastards"". Icelandmag. April 27, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "Our pastor". Faithful Word Baptist Church. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  16. ^ Lemons, Stephen (September 10, 2009). "Steven Anderson's Three Alarm Baptist Church: Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Weighs In". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  17. ^ Lemons, Stephen (September 6, 2009). "Steven Anderson Flips Out, Admits Business and Church Share an Address, Says He's Been Contacted by U.S. Secret Service (w/Update)". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  18. ^ Riley, Jennifer (September 8, 2009). "'I Hate Obama' Pastor Draws Protesters Outside Church". Christian Post. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  19. ^ Allen Jr., Eddie B. (August 31, 2009). "Arizona Pastor Calls for Obama Death". BET. Archived from the original on September 7, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  20. ^ Felten, David; Procter-Murphy, Jeff (2012). Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity. HarperCollins , ISBN 9780062201287
  21. ^ Blewett, James (2010). Can I Get Baptized in Fruit Punch? Tate Publishing, ISBN 9781617390142
  22. ^ Wright, John (2011). The Obama Haters: Behind the Right-Wing Campaign of Lies, Innuendo & Racism. Potomac Books, ISBN 9781597975735
  23. ^ John Avlon. (2010). Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America. Beast Books, ISBN 9780984295104
  24. ^ King, Colbert I. (September 20, 2009). "Obama haters see him as the enemy". Nashua Telegraph.
  25. ^ Brody, David (August 31, 2009). "A Hateful 'Sermon' Against President Obama". CBN. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Sundby, Alex (September 8, 2009). "Minister in Spotlight After Obama Death Prayers". CBS News. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  27. ^ a b c "Phoenix Pastor Draws Protests After Telling Church He Prays for Obama's Death". Fox News. August 31, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  28. ^ Hodges, Corey J. (September 11, 2009). "Preacher's anti-Obama sermon goes against the Bible". Salt Lake Tribune.
  29. ^ a b c Doland, Gwyneth (December 4, 2009). "Kokesh and the guy who brought an assault rifle to an Obama event". New Mexico Independent. American Independent Institute. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  30. ^ Reid, Betty (September 6, 2009). "Church defends pastor; protesters rally". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  31. ^ Reid, Betty (September 6, 2009). "Church defends pastor; protesters rally". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, AZ. p. B.8. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  32. ^ Lengell, Sean. "Family Research Council labeled a 'hate group'". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  33. ^ King, James. "Tempe Church Labeled Hate Group; Pastor Tells New Times Government Should Put Homosexuals to Death". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  34. ^ "US pastor says gay people should be executed". The Independent. December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2019. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”
  35. ^ "Small church makes big news with 'America, love it or leave it' sign". Baptist News Global. July 19, 2019. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  36. ^ Salandra, Adam. "Pastor Prays Caitlyn Jenner's Heart Explodes In Her Chest". NewNowNext. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  37. ^ Hogan, Shanna (November 19, 2015). "Extremist Arizona Pastor Attacks Victims of Paris Attacks". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  38. ^ Lemons, Stephen (June 13, 2016). "Tempe Pastor Steven Anderson Praises Orlando Massacre for Leaving '50 Less Pedophiles in This World' (Video)". Phoenix New Times.
  39. ^ Woods, Mark (June 13, 2016). "Orlando shootings: There's only one answer to people who peddle hate". Christian Today.
  40. ^ Bever, Lindsey (June 14, 2016). "Pastor refuses to mourn Orlando victims: 'The tragedy is that more of them didn't die'". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  41. ^ "Anti-Semitic Pastor Steve Anderson Promotes Holocaust Denial". Anti-Defamation League. June 1, 2015.

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