UPDATE: 11/20/13, 10:30 A.M. EST:
Funeral services for Rev. Teddy Parker, Jr. were held Saturday, Nov. 16 and broadcast over the internet, reports Christian News Network.
According to Parker’s friend, Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., the pastor was suffering with mental illness when he committed suicide:
“He was suffering with manic depression and he had some emotional issues that he had been dealing with,” Smith told reporters. “[He was] in treatment, but he just couldn’t step away from ministry.”
Parker had recently stopped a young man in his congregation from committing suicide, said Deacon Shawn Stafford. He called him everyday for a month to make sure he was well.
“He was loving. You could feel his love,” Stafford said at the pastor’s funeral service on Saturday. “It wasn’t just an ‘I love you.’ He was a loving man. He didn’t have a selfish bone in his body. … He would give you anything and everything. … He would do without.”
Rev. Teddy Parker, Jr., 42 (pictured above), senior pastor of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, committed suicide in front of his home while his family and the congregation were waiting on him to preach Sunday morning, reports 13WMAZ.com.
His wife, Larrinecia Parker, 38, found him in the driveway of their home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin.
Russell Rowland, a member of Parker’s congregation, told the Christian Post that Parker sent his wife and two daughters ahead of him to church. When he didn’t show up to preach, they went looking for him.
“I’m very surprised because he didn’t preach that,” said Rowland. “He preached totally against it. It’s something that the congregation don’t really understand.”
“Everybody is just kind of stunned right now. I think a lot of people are just trying to understand why that happened. We’re just praying to the Lord for guidance on this,” he said.
Read more on Parker from Bibb Mount Zion’s website:
Pastor Parker exercised his prophetic ministry at the age of 22 when he was licensed and ordained at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church. While being a faithful steward at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church he taught Sunday School and Bible Study and served as Youth Minister.
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.
In a 2010 sermon titled, “Facing Your Storm With Confidence,” Parker revealed that sometimes he didn’t feel that God was there or listening to him:
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.