F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, a respected pastor and mayor in Alabama, was found dead by suicide just two days after a news outlet exposed a hidden aspect of his life.
The 49-year-old’s “secret life” as “transgender curvy girl” Brittini Blaire Summerlin came to light, causing an emotional upheaval within his community.
Copeland, who served as the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Phenix City and as the mayor of Smiths Station, ended his life with a handgun. His tragic decision followed a slow pursuit by the police. This sequence of events was set in motion after the news report unveiled his transgender alter ego.
The news report, published last Wednesday, shared photographs of Copeland portraying himself online as Brittini. In these images, he was seen wearing a blonde wig, makeup, and women’s clothing. The report also accused Copeland of creating transgender erotic fiction, sharing transgender pornography, and encouraging others to undertake hormone replacement therapy.
Prior to his death, Copeland addressed the claims against him in front of his church congregation, referring to the news report as an “attack.” He explained that his history of cross-dressing had led him to create the online persona as a means to relieve stress, with no intention of transitioning. He expressed his sincere apologies for any embarrassment caused by the public exposure.
In the wake of Copeland’s tragic passing, the First Baptist Church extended its love and support to him. A heartfelt post was published on the church’s Facebook page, urging people to keep Pastor Bubba Copeland’s family in their prayers. It read, “Thank you all for your prayers and expressions of sympathy and support. Please continue to pray for us as we move forward in sharing God’s love to all people.”
During a Facebook broadcast of the Sunday service, a church member shared the congregation’s “sadness and loss” over the pastor’s untimely death. The member clarified that despite the media’s implications, the church members had remained steadfast in their love and concern for Copeland. They emphasized that their primary mission was to continue demonstrating God’s love to all people, regardless of the difficult circumstances they were facing.
A memorial service to honor Pastor Bubba Copeland is scheduled for November 8th, allowing the community to come together to remember the pastor and mayor who had served them faithfully for years.