Under fire. Anna Duggar’s dad, Mike Keller, is facing backlash for a controversial sermon he delivered at Fairpark Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, in June 2023. Keep reading to learn more about Mike and why he’s being criticized. 

Who Is Anna Duggar’s Dad Mike Keller?

Mike, a devout Christian preacher, is married to Suzette Keller. Mike and Suzette raised Anna and her seven siblings under strict religious rules, much like the way Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar raised their 19 children. Anna’s parents are both authors, as well, having cowritten a book titled When Tragedy Hits You in 2000. The book discusses how it helps to turn to God when tragedy strikes. 

Why Is Mike Keller Facing Backlash?

Mike guest preached at Fairpark Baptist Church on June 25, 2023. His sermon was recorded and shared in a since-deleted YouTube video that went viral because of Mike’s shocking comments comparing slavery to the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol, according to Daily Beast

“A hundred-fifty years ago, or 200 years ago when the Blacks were slaves, did they ever go to Washington, D.C., and have a rally 200 years ago to protest against slavery? No. What did they do?” he asked. 

Mike proceeded to offer a baseless account of the way enslaved Black people were treated, claiming that “good people on the plantations” — possibly slave owners — built churches where they could “love” enslaved Black people and “[teach] them how to read so they can read the Bible.”

“Here’s what the Blacks did about 150 years ago,” Mike added. “They humbled themselves, they prayed. They sought God’s face and they turned from their wicked ways and God made slavery illegal through several white presidents. It worked, didn’t it? They didn’t protest.”

Though Fairpark Baptist Church has removed the video from their YouTube page, clips of the sermon circulated around TikTok and Twitter as viewers shared their disgust over the indirect racism in Mike’s comments.

“It just kept getting worse with each word,” one TikTok user commented on a viral video.

“This makes my stomach turn I swear!” another user wrote.

“I see where Anna gets it from. Help her!” wrote another TikTok user.

In an email statement shared with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fairpark Baptist Church’s media manager said the church did not agree with Mike’s comments, calling them “hurtful” and “a misrepresentation of racial and historical issues.”

“Fairpark Baptist Church affirms that racism and slavery are wrong, sinful and violate the Scriptures. As a part of our faith we would never condone slavery, or tolerate any kind of prejudice against people of color,” the statement read. “We seek to follow God’s words found in Romans 12:9: ‘Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.’”

What Did Anna Duggar’s Dad Say About Josh Duggar?

This was not the first time Anna’s dad came under fire. As those who follow the Duggars know, Anna’s husband Josh Duggar was found guilty of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography in December 2021. The latter charge was dropped, and Josh was sentenced to serve more than 12 years in prison. 

Just before Josh’s sentencing in May 2022, the prosecution and defense submitted sentencing memorandums. The defense received character reference letters on Josh’s behalf from friends and family, including Mike. In his letter to Judge Timothy Brooks, shared by Duggar Data, Mike described Josh as “very gentle, kind, and polite to everyone.” He asked the judge to “be merciful” to Josh, whose “wife and seven children that love him and need him.”

“He is a truly fantastic daddy and he truly loves his family,” the letter concluded. 

Josh’s cousin, Amy King (née Duggar), referenced Mike’s character reference in an open letter to Anna urging her to divorce her husband.

“I cried as I read the letter your own father wrote in support of your husband this week. It’s no wonder you’re struggling to know what to do to protect your own kids … you’ve obviously never had an example there,” Amy wrote on Instagram. “That’s awful and I’m so sorry for that.”

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at contact@intouchweekly.com.