Mayor of Alabama and a popular Baptist pastor in the United States, Bubba Copeland, on Friday, committed suicide.
The cleric killed himself just a day after a conservative news site published a story about his “secret life” and shared photos of him wearing women’s clothes.
According to Yahoo News, the mayor, who served as the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Phenix City, spoke on the issue on Wednesday.
He told his church members that the photographs were a private matter, adding the incident would not change “my devotion to my family, to serving my city, serving my church.”
Copeland said, “Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt of humour because I know I’m not a handsome man nor a beautiful woman, either.
“I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private, personal life.”
Authorities in Lee County, on Friday, were asked to perform a welfare check on the mayor, according to a local television station WTVM reported.
Copeland was found in Beulah, an unincorporated community in the northeast corner of Lee County, authorities said.
Deputies began slowly pursuing Copeland, who at one point, pulled over, exited the vehicle and produced a handgun, which he used to take his own life.
The church, on Saturday, posted a message on Facebook thanking people for their “prayers and expressions of sympathy and support.
“First and foremost, we ask that you keep Pastor Bubba Copeland’s family in your prayers today, and in the days ahead.
“We greatly appreciate your messages, comments, and encouragement. Please continue to pray for us as we move forward in sharing God’s love to all people”