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The pastor of a church in Macon, Ga., fatally shot himself between Sunday services.
Larrinecia Sims Parker, wife of the Rev. Teddy Parker Jr., found the pastor in the driveway of their home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Houston County coroner Danny Galpin reports. The couple has two daughters.
Parker, 42, was pastor of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church (BMZ). The Houston County sheriff confirmed Parker died from a self-inflicted gunshot, according to the International Business Times.
In a 2010 sermon posted on YouTube, titled “Facing Your Storm With Confidence,” the preacher told his congregation that God doesn’t always immediately respond to struggle.
“I try to pray, but I don’t feel like God is hearing me,” Parker said at the time. “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 also said, “There are times when God wants you to have faith. You might not be able to feel Him. You might not be able to see Him. You might not be able to hear His voice, but you’ve got to walk by faith. Not by sight, not by hearing. Walk by faith."
“God might not show up when you want Him, but when He shows up, He is always right on time,” Parker continued. “And sometimes He waits until it is darkest before He shows up, but you can rest assured that He’s going to be there to deliver and see you through.”
Parker’s death has shocked the faith community. The Rev. Robert Earl Houston, pastor of First Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky., posted on his website, “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.”
Craig L. Oliver, pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church, tweeted, “Wow equally shocked to hear of his passing. A tremendous brother and preacher!”
Church officials are asking for privacy during this difficult time.
“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,” church spokeswoman Lakesia Toomer said in a statement.