A Macon, Georgia pastor who expressed concern over his connection to God killed himself while his family and congregation were at his church, WMAZ-TV reported on Monday.
The Rev. Teddy Parker Jr. was found dead outside his home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head following the Sunday service at Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church.
The Christian Post reported that Parker sent his wife and two daughters to the church ahead of him before the service.
“When he didn’t show up they went looking for him,” a church member, Russell Rowland, told the Post. “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.”
The Post also cited a 2010 sermon, “Facing Your Storm With Confidence,” in which Parker told his parishoners there had been moments in his life when he did not feel his connection with God.
“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.”
Watch Parker’s 2010 sermon, as posted online, below.