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A Pastor's Suicide: Addressing Mental Health in Black Churches

What are we to do when the spiritual leaders we expect to give us life take their own? 
I have been pondering this question, among many others, in the wake of national media reports about the suicide of 42-year old Teddy Parker Jr., pastor of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Macon, Georgia. 
  • Detail of a photo montage of Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr.'s life from his memorial page.
According to reports, Rev. Parker sent his wife and children to their church ahead of him on Sunday, November 10th. After Parker failed to appear at the church where he was expected to deliver the sermon, his wife, Larrinecia Parker, returned home and found him in his car, still parked in the driveway, dead of a self-inflicted gun wound.
Parker's loved ones are shocked and confused that he committed suicide. Indeed, one media outlet reported a congregant mentioning that Parker preached against suicide, but Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., a friend of Parker and pastor of a church in Atlanta, admittedthat he was aware that his friend was suffering with manic depression and had been dealing with emotional issues. Smith went on to note that he knew Parker was in treatment but “couldn't back away from ministry.”  >>more from Religion Dispatches<<


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1914 Germany Afrikaner farmer Agreement

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So what has happened to all your rights
Been taken away without a fight
Speak your mind youre locked away
An American citizen without a say
Theyve stolen your guns but you don�t care
You think democracy is just and fair
Youll find out its all al lie
When the government comes and sucks you dry
Fear the government that fears your guns
When youre unarmed you can only run
Preparation will decide your fate
When your rights are abolished
For the good of the state
So what has happened to the American dream  
Red, white, and blue is not what it seemed
Bureaucratic shit has tied your hands
Now its illegal to defend your own land
You dont care about whats going on
In their game youre just a pawn
But youll find out its all a lie
When the government comes and sucks you dry
Gun Control-dont believe their lies
Gun Control-cause no ones safe
Gun Control-our freedom dies
When the systems laws make you a slave

Judas Priest - Halls Of Valhalla