One Alabama pastor took his own life last Friday after a news outlet posted photos of him donning a transgender persona.
As reported by The Christian Post, F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, the mayor of Smiths Station and pastor of First Baptist Church of Phenix City, shot himself when sheriff’s deputies were pursuing him after calls for a welfare check were made around 4:15 P.M.
During the pursuit, Copeland pulled over onto Lee Road 275. According to officials, he shot himself with a handgun after exiting his vehicle.
“The deputies pursued the vehicle at low speed to a point on Lee Road 275 near Lee Road 279 where the vehicle stopped at 4:34 P.M. central standard time,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said, CNAW 2 News reported.
In a statement, First Baptist Church of Phenix City asked people to pray for Copeland’s family in the coming days and thanked them for their support.
“We greatly appreciate your messages, comments, and encouragement. Please continue to pray for us as we move forward in sharing God’s love with all people,” a Saturday post on the church’s Facebook page reads.
The church also placed a cross on the front lawn if people wanted to put flowers and memorials in remembrance.
On Wednesday, Copeland addressed his church from the pulpit after 1819 News, a news outlet launched by the conservative think tank the Alabama Policy Institute, published a report on the pastor living a double life.
The report noted that Copeland posted photos on several social media accounts where he presented himself as a transgender woman named by the name of Brittini Blaire Summerlin.
Some photos showed Copeland wearing his wife’s clothes and a blonde wig. Additionally, the outlet noted that he posted transgender pornography and pornographic sex stories.
“The article is not who or what I am. Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home on an attempt of humor because I know I’m not a handsome man, nor a beautiful woman either,” Copeland told the congregation on Wednesday. “I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private personal life that has gone publicly.”
In an update by 1819 News, the media outlet issued a statement acknowledging Copeland’s death.
“Our prayers are with the residents of Smiths Station, the parishioners of First Baptist Church of Phenix City, and Copeland’s family.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Ernest Brillo/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
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