The pastor of a Missouri church landed himself in hot water after preaching that autism is caused by “demonic” powers — insisting parents should “just cast the demon out” to cure their children.
Pastor Rick Morrow, of the Beulah Baptist Church in Richland, sparked outrage among parishioners following the live-streamed sermon when he made the controversial remarks on September 6.
“If it’s not demonic, then we have to say God made them that way,” he said. “That’s the only other explanation.”
“Either the devil has attacked them, he’s brought this infirmity upon them, he’s got them where he wants them, and/or God just doesn’t like them very much, and he made them that way. “
“Well my God doesn’t make junk. God doesn’t make mess ups.”
Morrow also claimed to know a minister who had cured “lots of kids that are autistic” just by praying for them.
“He had to pray and their brain was rewired and they were fixed,” he said.
The sermon was later posted to the Beulah church’s Facebook profile, where it quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views and scores of comments demanding Morrow’s resignation. It has since been taken down.
Samantha Jaramillo, a mother and autism awareness advocate, called Morrow a “false prophet” in a heated response on Facebook.
“Imagine someone getting up on a pulpit and preaching that your child was junk,” she said. “People entrust you with leading them in their faith. They look to you to help guide them to the Lord. How sad that you take complete advantage. How sad that you’ve led so many lives astray.”
Mia Daughtery, the mother of an autistic boy, vowed to avoid Morrow’s church.
“I’ll never think that me or my children or others that I know and love who have autism are demonic. They were made exactly how they were meant to be made,” she wrote.
“This is not preaching love. I am so sad listening to this. I’ll never step foot in this church again.”
Morrow somewhat recanted his comments during another sermon Sunday, explaining he thought autism was junk, not the children affected by it.
“I have been told that autism is a blessing from God. I have been told that I’m the evil one,” Morrow said, according to The Kansas City Star.
“But you know what? If I was to stand up here and say cancer is junk, people would agree. If I were to stand up here and say addiction is junk, people would agree.”
The backlash led to Morrow’s resignation on Tuesday from a position he also held on the Stoutland School Board, KY3 reported.
Beulah Church could not be reached for comment when contacted by The Post.