Pastor Teddy Parker of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, committed suicide while his congregation waited for him to arrive last Sunday.
The 42-year-old Georgia pastor tragically killed himself with a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” on Nov. 10.
The father-of-two’s body was discovered by his wife Larrinecia Parker in the driveway of their home after he did not show up for service at his church.
Russell Rowland told The Christian Post that Parker had sent his wife and children to church ahead of him on Sunday morning. His family and congregation were waiting for him to show up and preach the message.
“When he didn’t show up they went looking for him. I’m very surprised because he didn’t preach that. He preached totally against it. It’s something that the congregation don’t really understand.”
His death comes as a shock to the church and family, as no one saw it coming.
The pastor had also reportedly once confessed that sometimes “I don’t feel like God is hearing me”. In a sermon titled “Facing Your Storm With Confidence”, Parker said, “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 continued: “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.”
The website of Bibb Mountain Zion church states: “Pastor Parker, a man of profound spiritual vision, gifted with intellectual qualities, was called to serve as Pastor of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in July 1997. Under his God-given leadership Bibb Mount Zion along with the Middle Georgia community has benefited from his accomplishments such as Camp Zion and the construction of She Family Life Center. Under his leadership 20 new ministries were implemented, major renovation to the sanctuary as well as growth to the membership.”
Pastors from around the world posted condolences upon hearing the news of Teddy Parker’s apparent suicide.
Rev. Earl Houston, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Frankfot, Py., stated: “Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr., senior pastor of the Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, November 10, 2013.”
Twitter user Moms Babely tweeted: “Oh wow. It’s deep when he takes his own life. Ministry is a heavy yoke. Many don’t fully realize how heavy until it’s too late.”
After graduating from high school, Parker had attended the Theology International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida. He was ordained aged 22 at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church.
Officials of his church have asked for privacy as Parker’s family and congregation deal with his death.
Church official Lakesia Toomer told 13WMAZ: “We consider this a private matter between the family and the BMZ church family. We kindly ask that the public respects our privacy at this time.”
Parker is survived by his wife and two daughters Kamry Tednae and Kerrington Tyier Parker.