Pastor Teddy Parker Jr. (GA) takes his life as church waited for him to Preach Sermon

Pastor-Teddy-Parker-Jr.-Suicide

RIP Pastor Teddy Parker Jr.!   May God send angels to comfort his family during this time.

Pastor-Teddy-Parker-Jr.-Suicide
As reported by the Christian Post

A Georgia pastor and father of two who once confessed that sometimes “I don’t feel like God is hearing me” killed himself outside his home while his wife, kids and 800 member congregation waited for him to show up for church on Sunday.

According to 13 WMAZ, Pastor Teddy Parker Jr., 42, of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Ga., was discovered by his wife, Larrinecia Parker, 38, in the driveway of their Warner Robins house with a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The Christian Post left messages for the family and the church office on Tuesday and responses are still pending.

Lakesia Toomer, a church official, told WMAZ, “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.”

Russell Rowland, a member of the church who employs the pastor’s brother at his landscaping business, revealed to CP in a telephone interview that the pastor had sent his wife and two daughters to church ahead of him on Sunday morning and they were all waiting for him to show up with the morning’s message from God.

“When he didn’t show up they went looking for him,” said Rowland. “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.”

Rowland explained that church members came together on Monday night and the mood was “solemn.”

“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.


The family he said is devastated because none of them saw it coming. The incident report from the Houston County Sheriff’s office shows that the suicide was reported at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The pastor’s wife and brother, Anthony Parker, were on the scene.

Rowland describes his pastor as a “very caring upbeat guy that cared for people especially with the kids. He was a good man” who inspired him and show no signs of trouble financially or otherwise. The church was doing well and they are in the process of building a new church.

But perhaps there were signs from Pastor Parker.

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.

Rowland continued, “Can’t nobody know what was on his mind when he did that.”

When asked how he felt about God and his faith, now that his pastor had taken his life, Rowland said he won’t stop believing.

“I still believe in my faith. I still believe in God. I still believe in all his (pastor’s) teachings. I believe in what pastor Parker has been teaching me. As I said, that’s one of the reasons I am a member of that church, because of him and nothing has changed. I’m just in awe right now and I’m wondering what happened to him. I can’t say, you know. I guess it’s between him and the Lord. All I can do is pray,” he said.

According to Burnout.com, a website dedicated to helping clergy members to survive the stressors of ministering, pastors suffer disproportionately from stress-induced issues. The website quoted a New York Times story from 2010 that said: “Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could.”

The story listed some dazzling statistics on pastors: 13 percent are divorced; 25 percent reported not knowing where to turn for help when dealing with a personal conflict; 33 percent feel burned out within the first five years; 33 percent say ministry poses a hazard to their family life; 45 percent of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout severe enough to make them need time away from the job; and 57 percent would do another job if they were able to move on.

“1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure,” the Times reported. “Doctors, lawyers and clergy have the most problems with drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide.”
According to Parker’s section of the BMZBC website, he was born on June 10, 1971. His father was pastor of a church in nearby Warner Robbins. He had one brother and two sisters.

Pastor Teddy Parker Jr. graduated from high school in Alaska and attended the Theology International Seminary in Plymouth, Fla. He was ordained at age 22 at Fellowship Bible Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School, conducted Bible study and worked as the church’s youth minister.

Parker was “a man of profound spiritual vision, gifted with intellectual qualities,” according to the website. He became pastor of BMZBC in July 1997. Under his administration, the church built a family life center, renovated the sanctuary and added 20 new ministries.

He also served as CEO of Next Level Community Development Center, which offers summer and after-school programs for children, the website said.

Update: November 15, 2013
Pastor E. Dewey Smith (Greater Travelers Rest Church, Atlanta, GA) who allegedly will eulogize his friend. Recently Pastor Smith noted:

[quote]“People have been saying absolutely diabolic stuff. My friend wasn’t even cold yet, he hadn’t even left the crime lab. … My friend was not in anything illicit or immoral,”[/quote]

[quote]“My friend was sick. He was the most kind, loving, humble, most genuine, loyal person I’ve ever met in my life and he was sick. He had a sickness and that’s it. He had a sickness just like somebody who had cancer and it was a sickness that was beyond his control,” he said.[/quote]

Smith had revealed that his friend the late Pastor Teddy Parker Jr. had struggled with manic depression and had emotional issues, and had sought treatment.

[quote]“It’s terrible how we blame people. Is it fair to blame a victim for being sick? Is it fair? Is it fair to expect sick people to always be rational? It’s terribly painful for me to watch pundits and people who don’t even know the story to assail and assassinate my friend’s character. I know him. I know his heart. He struggled. He was loving, he was kind,” said Smith.[/quote]

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