December 1, 2023


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Alabama pastor ‘uncovered’ by right-wing web site kills himself

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"Bubba" Copeland

An Alabama mayor and a pastor died by suicide, authorities mentioned, days after a conservative information weblog printed photographs of him carrying girls’s clothes and claimed he was residing a secret life as a transgender lady.

Florida “Bubba” Copeland, mayor of Smiths Station and pastor of First Baptist Church in Phoenix, “dedicated suicide” Friday night, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones mentioned.

The Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned it obtained a request for a welfare examine on Copeland at roughly 4:15 p.m. Friday.

Deputies discovered Copeland’s automobile in Beulah, about 15 miles north of Smith Station, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

After a sluggish chase, Copeland stopped, acquired out of the automobile, pulled out a gun and dedicated suicide, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

"Bubba" Copeland
Mayor Bubba Copeland. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones mentioned the pastor and mayor of Smith Station “dedicated suicide” on Friday night.
Mayor Bubba Copeland’s Workplace

Copeland’s demise got here after 1819 Information on Wednesday printed photographs of Copeland wearing girls’s clothes and claimed the priest was residing a secret life as a transgender lady.

The article reported that Copeland ran social media accounts that recognized as “curvy trans woman,” and shared transgender novels and erotica on-line.

Copeland advised 1819 Information in an interview that the posts had been a “pastime” and a “fantasy,” including that the character was “a fictional character that I made as much as relieve stress” and that the erotica was “pure fantasy.” Copeland deleted the accounts and requested to not publish them, citing his household and place as a pastor.

The Sheriff’s Division has not linked the article to Copeland’s suicide and there’s no proof that it was a consider his demise.

Copeland addressed the article throughout an announcement at a church service Wednesday night.

“I used to be the goal of a cyber assault in an article written about my place as mayor and as a pastor,” he mentioned.

“The article will not be who or what I’m,” Copeland mentioned.

“Sure, I’ve taken footage with my spouse within the privateness of our dwelling in an try and be humorous as a result of I do know I’m not a good-looking man or a stupendous lady both.

“I apologize for any embarrassment brought about to me by my personal and private life turning into public. This won’t trigger my life to alter. This won’t deter me from being devoted to my household, serving my metropolis, and serving my church.”

Copeland added, “I’m grateful for God’s grace and willingness to forgive. I’ve nothing to be ashamed of. Lots of the issues that had been mentioned had been taken out of context.”

Some took to social media to precise their outrage on the circumstances surrounding Copeland’s demise.

“This priest took his personal life not removed from right here in the present day,” Rev. Dr. Kevin Younger wrote in a beforehand posted Twitter publish on X. “We should finish the oppression of the LGBTQ+ group.”

“This did not should occur. Then,” columnist Kyle Whitmire wrote @1819 News She printed footage of the mayor of Smith Station, Bubba Copeland, carrying girls’s garments and make-up, and the official dedicated suicide.

In a Fb publish on Saturday, First Baptist Church of Phenix Metropolis wrote: “Thanks all in your prayers and expressions of sympathy and help. Initially, we ask that you simply preserve Pastor Bubba Copeland’s household in your prayers in the present day, and always.” “The approaching days.”

Newsweek I’ve contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace and the church for additional remark.

In case you or somebody is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Disaster Lifeline by calling 988, texting “988” to the Disaster Textual content Line at 741741 or going to