I AM TEDDY PARKER – Christians & Mental Health

Recently on a Sunday morning, a wonderful, callow pastor left his pulpit after preaching in the first worship service, sat in his car before his second service, and killed himself. This man with a loving wife, two young children, and a church that was in a casa campaign, ended his life.


The questions that are circumnavigating the globe in the aftermath of this tragic doing are reason would Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr. take his own life? How could a man who gives hope lose it? How could a hope peddler lose the very product he peddled? How can a pastor of sum stock take his own life?

As information was disseminated, it came to light that Pastor Parker was Bipolar, also known as Manic Depressive. It is a mental disorder that causes people to swing between two extreme upset poles. Electorate challenged with Manic Depression can be extremely happy one moment and extremely depressed the next. The emotional state concerning such a person vacillates like a pendulum between two emotional poles from elation on the positive end and deep sadness on the negative end of the spectrum. Unlike the average person, when people are challenged with Manic Depression, they tend to struggle with finding emotional stability and balance.

Three modalities are ordinarily used to treat Manic Depression. 1) Medication, which aids in the control of brain chemistry, 2) ECT (electromotive therapy), which is a form regarding handling where electrical currents are sent to the brain that can reverse brain chemistry including bring relief, and 3) Psychotherapy, which is an approach that typically uses cognitive and interpersonal therapy to aid in helping the patient control their emotions. If you didn’t know the extent of this disorder, don’t feel bad. If one of my master’s degrees wasn’t in counseling, I probably wouldn’t know anything about this disorder myself.

The extreme shock and numbness that people continue to experience in the wake of Pastor Parker’s death is that a pastor, God’s man, this champion of good, struggled with this psychological disorder. More importantly, Pastor Parker’s challenge has brought the issue of the need for Christians, leaders, connective especially pastors to seek auspicious for their private psychological further metaphysical struggles. Yes, even pastors need help!


Please, allow me at this point to share something from an particular I wrote a few years before after a scandal erupted and people almost perplexed their minds when a preacher was caught being flawed. Yes, I said caught nature flawed. In your spare time read the matter “The Inconvenient Truth – Part 1”. Here’s part of what I had to say about the humanity of preachers.

“Preachers shouldn’t present themselves like they should be worshiped and followers shouldn’t worship them. Again, I know what the scripture says about leadership, along with the respect that is due unto them and I fully comply; but worshiping preachers and pastors is unacceptable. Peter visited Cornelius, an Italian who was seeking Divine (Jehovah). God profoundly communicates with both men and coordinates a plan that would revivify them together. When Peter approaches Cornelius, he bowed on his knees to elevate him in Acts 10:25-26, “But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” Yes, Peter declared what all leaders and pastors should declare, “I’m just a man.”

I must be anointed, but I’m just a man. I may prophecy, mere I’m just a man. I may release miracles by God’s power, but I’m just a man. I may be called to lead a church, but I’m fit a man. When our leaders start correcting people like Peter did, some regarding this hero-worshiping will stop. I implore every Christian and unbeliever to keep worshiping God and following good leadership.”

Yes, preachers are subject to muff and make mistakes but it doesn’t make them any shortened holy or accepted by God. Pastor Parker’s death has designed a dialogue that cannot subsist overlooked. I’m a supreme believer in the supernatural, but I also know that we can’t spiritualize everything. There comes a speed that after you’ve done the work of God, you need to talk to somebody about what’s ailing you and there’s no shame in that.


While I would have preferred that Pastor Parker still be with us, his death has ignited an awakening within Christendom.

As Religious would have it, Pastor Parker was friends with one of God’s emerging generals in His Kingdom in the person about Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr., pastor of The House of Utopian (Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church) in Decatur, Georgia. Pastor Smith is a man of irrepressible tenacity and legendary homiletic expertise, who has an undeniable passion for Deify and people. Pastor Smith kindly tended to Pastor Parker’s family and graciously eulogized his friend.

Pastor Smith then picked up the servant’s mantle and started a national conversation about mental health among clergy, leaders, and laity. While the first webinar, which consists of two parts, Pastor Smith is aided besides two mental invigorating professionals along with pastors and leaders who’ve dealt accompanying drastic psychological hardships. The webinar was informative, insightful, and cathartic. It was refreshing to detect the poignant and candid advice from Christian professionals in the mental wholesomeness background who clear the ethnic of the church and African Americans.

The message was clear and telegraphic — pastors and leaders must unashamedly seek help when needed and discard unrealistic expectations from people and society. The panel of pastors and leaders who openly expressed their failures and temperamental challenges greatly squelched any viewers feelings of inadequacy about struggling. Additionally, Pastor Smith’s transparency in how he dealt with his own preceding and present issues greatly empowered me and others to constant to fight our own individual battles.

I must admit, Parson Parker’s life story is personal for me. Obviously as a pastor and leader, I can identify with leading period bleeding and other unique complications that go along with the pastorate; nevertheless my empathy for Pastor Parker goes remote superficiality. In the last fifteen years as a pastor, I’ve had multiplied dark emotional days. Although I’m in a good set spiritually and emotionally today, I honestly am still recovering from my own personal storm.


After founding a church in Missouri and leading it for eleven years to a respectable level of success, God re-positioned me to the Atlanta, Georgia area to plant a new church. I came to a place where very few demotic knew me, I had no national notoriety, my revenue wasn’t established, and all the rise I had in Missouri meant nothing. Basically, I moved a family of four along with a small staple group to plant a synaxis on a Word from God. Pointless to say, after moving, life became more complicated. There were many days we didn’t even have five dollars for gas. At other times provender was very scarce further upon contracting an intractable malady, I struggled in upset every circadian for bicameral years. I preached in pain, exactly as I traveled between Atlanta und so weiter Memphis, which is where the else church I pastor is located.

I racked in pain sometimes every hour on the hour from something that a decuple detailed surgery could correct; but because I didn’t have insurance or money, I suffered. I then had dyad small churches, no money, poor health, gossiping kin and friends who didn’t understand our plight, plus a deflated ego. I’ve often told many people I died a thousand deaths in the last ternary years. One day I had a seeing while my body was wrought with searing, tortuous, nigh indomitable sting that had me on my knees, crying aloud for help from God. In this agonizing moment, I had a vision of a gun actuate at my skull ending my misery. I was jaded of the pain and tired of being a failure in ministry and demise looked like the best option.

Most of my friends, family, moreover peers would reason me to afsluiting a rock. However, I must admit, death loomed over my conscious thoughts like buzzards over a crippled animal. I wanted no part in continuing to pastor and live in pain. During this time, I would travel laid on my align in a backseat of a car because I couldn’t sit down without being in pain. I would travel to preach both in furthermore out of town, while in almost unbearable pain moreover would return home feeling like a feeble failure. I would lecture and prophecy until persons could hardly stand and after church traveling home, I would be depressed before I could get down the street.

As pastor Smith said, “It is possible to preach well and not be well.” It has been God’s grace, veneration from close family, and my desire to win that kept cr going. The past few years of heartache and challenges have helped me to learn more about myself and others. With the advent of an epiphany occurring in the afterglow of Pastor Teddy Parker Jr’s death and the emergence of dialogue concerning subconscious health for pastors, I realize I don’t have to struggle alone.

For those of us who are inoperative here on this planet, what Teddy Parker struggled among as his past tense is our present tense. I am not better than him and what he dealt with, I must still conquer. Pastor Parker is disagree longer on this plane of existence. He’s moved beyond space and time into a celestial place that’s superior of the trappings of flesh and blood. What he southpaw as the essence of being human, I still live with and I yet must contend alongside all the challenges that go along alongside possessing such a nature. Like a cruise liner that’s held by an anchor, consequently is our true existential nature attached and connected to the physical realm. Our spirit must still deal with flesh and the convolution of a dark, sin-infested world.

So, I’m presented with a question I must ask myself because of Pastor Parker’s death. Who am I? My simplistic analysis led me to this conclusion: I’m a spirit. I’m a man. I’m a son. I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m a believer. I’m a pastor. I’m a leader. I’m a builder. I’m a visionary. I’m a fighter. I’m a winner. I’m an emotional being. I’m imperfect. I’m a recipient concerning God’s grace. I am Teddy Parker Jr.!

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