Another Pastor Commits Suicide

Pastor of Community Bible Church committed suicide in his homeA North Carolina pastor, Robert McKeehan, was found hanging inside his home in what is the latest tragedy surrounding church leaders. Currently there are no solid clues as to why this 42-year-old pastor would take his own life. He left a wife, two children and his Community Bible Church family in a state of confusion and grief.

High Point Police Department reported McKeehan was found hanging by his neck and unresponsive. The report stated after multiple attempts by paramedics to revive the pastor, he was pronounced dead at 8:43 p.m. from the apparent self-manipulated hanging.

Chairman of the church’s elder board, Richard Curtis, said of course the church is sad and there is a lot of numbness and grief; Community Bible Church will be poorer for the loss. The congregation struggled with the news of losing their leader during an emotional Sunday service which left many questioning why McKeehan would do such a thing. Curtis went on to say they are trying to help people understand that even though this is not the path they would have chosen for their leader they know God is sovereign and they are still going to praise and worship him.

Curtis realizes the reason McKeehan took his own life will always be one of those secret things. Although he cannot explain it, he says he does know that God has given them the promise of Romans 8:28 which reads, “God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love him.” The chairman said this has been proven in times past and there is no doubt that God will once again prove this to be true as the church moves past the question of why.

The reality, explained Curtis, is they will never understand exactly why that occurred. He said pastors are just like those they lead; they are human and subject to the same struggles, trials and emotions. Their call to lead or pastor people does not exempt them from the pain everyday life.

According to many counselors, the Christian culture is the perfect breeding place for depression. Within these confounds most pastors are either unwilling or unable to get the help they need and feel forced to suffer in silence. Frustration without the proper outlet can lead to feelings of failure and despair. It is these times of personal crisis that suicides are born due to the lack of support that pastors need.

The job of a pastor is extremely stressful and can be a high-profiled job. When the stress is not managed properly it becomes easier to understand how this can send a person down the road to depression. Too often the bar is set so high for these clergy men and women, they tend to get frustrated and feel as if they cannot and will not ever be able to live up to the standards associated with leading others in ministry.

An article from 2010 in the New York Times states 57 percent of pastors said they would be happy to take another job if they were qualified; 45 percent said they have been depressed to the point of needing time off but could not afford to take off or could not express the need for it; 33 percent said within the first five years they felt a sense of burnout and 25 percent have reported they did not know where to go for help when they were dealing with personal conflicts.

McKeehan’s wife, Elizabeth, posted a request for prayers on his public Facebook page. She wrote their hearts were sad for their earthly loss while joyful for heaven’s gain. She continued by informing his “Facebook friends” that Robert McKeehan had finished his race and entered into God’s presence on Friday night. In her conclusion Elizabeth said she and their children, John and Scarlett, along with their families desire prayers for peace and comfort in the days, weeks and months ahead.” This post attracted more than 200 messages of support from church members, friends and acquaintances, all in shock.

Robert McKeehan from High Point, North Carolina was found hanging inside his home in what is the latest tragedy surrounding church leaders. This 42-year-old pastor leaves a wife, two children, family, friends and his Community Bible Church family in a state of confusion and grief. Pastor McKeehan’s celebration of life service was held on Wednesday, April 16 at First Wesleyan Church located at Providence Place in High Point.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

Sources:

All Christian News
Guardian Liberty Voice
Christian Post

22 Responses to "Another Pastor Commits Suicide"

  1. Arron Abboud   March 16, 2019 at 12:08 pm

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    Reply
  2. Maks Kashung   September 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    This really is a sad thing. My condolences to the wife and children. May God heal their pain, and give them strength to go on. Only God will be able to tell us exactly why the Pastor took his own life.
    I remember these lines by Dr. Grover Tyner (The Then President of Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Philippines) in 1980, who in his presidential report, wrote ” “Every member of the seminary is here because they have sensed a personal call of God. Not any of us is looking for glory or wealth; we are not thrill-seekers or power-hungry. There is no one of this faculty who could not be more profitably engaged, if worldly rewards were our goals. Too often; however, we labor under undue and often unkind frustrations because we not have a body of selected supporter whom we feel guide us, stand with us in our struggles, defend us when we are not present, believe the best of us when others speak the worst, and who it appears even work against us.”
    I just completed my three years of ministry as a full time staff at my church, and within this short period I have realized that Pastors/Ministers/Any full time church staffs can go through a lot of stress, loneliness, frustration, disappointment, depression, etc…And one of the main reasons I think is because most of the churches fail to realize that Pastors and Ministers need support, love, and care too. It is not becoming for a Church to let such a time come when the Pastor start asking or pleading for love and care. The duty of a Pastor is to love and to take care of his congregation. And the duty of the church is to take such good care of the Pastor that even when he walks through the valley of challenges, he can still be strong because he is able to say “my church is with me.”
    The issue of God being our “everything we need” I think is being used by some out of context here. Because if we followed that same line of thought, we would not be needing each other in this world. But we need each other, and Christ taught us to love another, and the Bible tells us we are one body. One part suffers, and the whole body suffers!
    So today is not a day for us to question the late Pastor’s integrity, or his action, BUT rather it is that time when the church should ask “what could we have done to help him come out of his difficult situation?!”

    Reply
  3. Pastor Michael D McDuffie   September 5, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Mary wrotton…very wise…
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    Call in tomorrow?

    Reply
  4. Thomas Healy   September 5, 2014 at 2:18 am

    This is the second Pastor that has taken his life this year. This is hard for the family and the Baptist Family to deal with. Our prayers and thoughts go to the wife and the 2 children. This will a great lose for them, the children need a father a Spiritual Leader in the family. This is why it is so important to support a good Pastor and Love him. Satan is pressing on us all and gives us the feelings of hopelessness. My God I just finished my Theology Degree and I already feel the pressure from others that are non supporting even in the Christian Family. We suffer many sorrows and pains in life and the mind is an organ and can become sick and over whelmed. We need to learn to recognize and help one another. Dear God Help this family thru this time giving the joy only you can give.AMEN

    Reply
  5. revgloria96   September 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Condolences to his wife and children. There are professional organizations available to Pastors to help prevent this type of tragedy. As quiet as it’s kept, being Pastor can be a very lonely occupation, which is why these organizations exist to provide professional and confidential support for Pastors, their staffs and their families. If you or anyone who know is in need of Pastoral support, please contact me at [email protected] for additional information.

    Reply

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