Bubba Copeland, an Alabama mayor and prominent Baptist pastor, passed away by suicide last Friday in the United States.
His suicide occurred within 24 hours of a conservative news outlet publishing an article about his “secret life” and showcasing images of him donning women’s garments.
The mayor, who wore dual hats as both the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Phenix City and the city’s leader, addressed the issue on Wednesday, reported Yahoo News.
He assured his church congregation that the images were a matter of privacy, and he underscored that the incident would not alter “my devotion to my family, to serving my city, serving my church.”
‘Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt of humor because I know I’m not a handsome man nor a beautiful woman, either,” Copeland told the congregation. “I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private, personal life.’
According to a report by local TV station WTVM, on Friday afternoon, authorities in Lee County were called upon to carry out a welfare check on the mayor.
Authorities revealed that Copeland was found in Beulah, an unincorporated community situated in the northeast corner of Lee County.
Copeland was subject to a slow pursuit by deputies, during which he eventually stopped, got out of his vehicle, and employed a handgun to tragically take his own life.
Early on Saturday, the church posted a message on Facebook thanking people for their “prayers and expressions of sympathy and support.”
‘First and foremost, we ask that you keep Pastor Bubba Copeland’s family in your prayers today, and in the days ahead,’ the message read.
‘We greatly appreciate your messages, comments, and encouragement. Please continue to pray for us as we move forward in sharing God’s love to all people’