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A Macon, Georgia pastor committed suicide last Sunday, as his family waited for him to arrive at church. Rev. Teddy Parker Jr., 42, of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Ga, and father of two, was discovered by his wife in the driveway of their Warner Robins house from an apparent gun shot wound.

In an interview with the Christian Post (CP), Russell Rowland said the pastor sent his family to church before him but when he didn’t show up, people went looking for him.

Family members and parishioners say there were no signs that the pastor was going through things, but the CP  found a sermon from the pastor that says otherwise:

In a sermon posted on YouTube titled “Facing Your Storm With Confidence” Parker bared his struggles with his faith walk:

“You know a lot of times, we feel like when we are going through stuff and it’s a lot that there’s nobody there with us. And guess what? God intends for you to feel that way. I know y’all been saved a long time. I know you super spiritual and you know you real holy but there are times in your life, not y’all but me. There are times in my life when I’m going through some stuff where I can’t feel God there,” he confessed.

“I try to pray but I don’t feel like God is hearing me. I try to serve but I don’t feel like God is using me. And there are times in your life when God purposely withdraws from you, he doesn’t withdraw for the sake of leaving you but he withdraws so you can grow and mature,” he added, in a show of encouragement.

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  • apple

    -i told my religious hairdresser i was clinically depressed.. she asked me if i went to church
    -at 15 my school put me on suicide watch and told my mom to send me to church instead of a doctor
    – once mention depression to my church members they told me there was no such thing and all i need was the lord and it would go away

    so i could understand how this could happen

    • Sanura Rose

      Those people were wrong. Mental health should be treated just as swiftly as any physical ailment. Just like someone mentioned here, you can go to God AND go to the doctors, you can pray AND seek medical advice from a physician. No one should tell you that you’re wrong for that!

    • Sunny

      Agreed.

  • Rhonda

    According to a story on the Christian Post, this man was being treated for manic depression and had prescription meds for his condition but he refused to step away from the pulpit and take time to care for himself. Even though the bible instruct leaders to step away when they need to deal with personal issues, many refuse to because they know that members are drawn by a particular preacher and that they may leave and the collection plate will suffer when the regular pastor is not there.

    On Pastors of LA when Deitrick shared with Noel Jones that his (Deitrick) dad asked him to stop preaching and step away from the pulpit when they discovered his girlfriend was pregnant with his child while his was married, Noel Jones told him that you preach through everything. That’s not biblical. The man’s father did the right thing.

    It also made me think of the pastor who died in NY from a drug overdose – Zachery Tims – and his ex wife ended up in a big public fight with Paula White claiming that she (ex-wife) was entitled to lead the church even though she had been away for years and built a new church. Tims had serious issues with drugs and had a long term affair with a stripper before he died but he only took a short time away from the pulpit and was asked to come back too early.