Fred “Bubba” Copeland is the mayor of Smiths Station, a 7,000-person town, while also serving as pastor of FBC Phenix City. Through reporting, a conservative Alabama digital outlet, 1819 News released a series of exposes on the mayor and pastor of a small town whereby they revealed that Copeland was digitally moonlighting as a transvestite under the persona “Brittini Blaire Summerlin.”
1819 News detailed the profile of Copeland as mayor, showing his legitimate side with pictures with Donald Trump following a regional tornado before delving into the scandal underneath the surface. Copeland’s behavior included pictures of himself donning a wig and women’s clothing, even attempting to pass off his man boobs as female cleavage.
In a sermonette after the initial article’s publication, Copeland told his congregation that “he had taken pictures with his wife in the privacy of their home in attempt of humor” to downplay his perverse activities as marital roleplay that he has “nothing to be ashamed of.” This is before reading Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd.” FBC Phenix City is not an SBC Church, but an affiliate of the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which is egalitarian.
However, the revelations of 1819 News go beyond marital roleplaying, detailing that Copeland had an entire internet personality dedicated to his transvestite persona. There were Instagram, Reddit accounts, and even a retrieved copy of an erotic fiction entitled, Brooke just like Taylor “The Bimbo Twins,” a daring tale about “a young man obsessed with bigger women is forced to become one, not just any girl but his girlfriend’s twin.” The tale features medical transition. Prior to its deletion, the Instagram account contained racy pictures in women’s clothing. There were also posts that detailed extremely homosexual acts, one example being “Take the shots, get implants, become the whore.”
1819 News even had on the record correspondence from Bubba Copeland. Copeland would preemptively attempt to scrub the online profile by deleting posts, but the captured evidence is disgusting. Copeland largely downplayed his secrets as a hobby to “relieve stress.” In one comment, Copeland stated, “What I do in private life has nothing to do with what I do in my holy life.”
It should be noted that on the record, Copeland did not desire his secret sin to be plastered all over the internet. The first article was published on November 1st. On November 3rd, Copeland would take his life. Per AL.com, Copeland led police on a slow pursuit during a welfare check and eventually pulled over and shot himself in front of police.
Naturally, because a transvestite committed suicide, the world will then seek to blame the church and those who “shamed” him into committing suicide. Larry DiChiara, the school superintendent for Phenix City, which gives an indication to the depravity of Alabama public schools, stated the following on Instagram/Facebook:
Please bare with me while I vent. I am so angry right now and heartbroken. I witnessed a good man be publicly ridiculed and crucified over the last few days…to the point that he just took his own life today. I knew he was suffering so I reached out to him yesterday and offered him support and encouragement. He was appreciative and acknowledged that he had been going through some “dark days” over the last few days. I just want to ask you people who thought it humorous to publicly ridicule him, “Are you happy now?” What crime did he commit? Some of you people make me sick. I hope you are really proud. For our brother, F.L. Bubba Copeland, May God bless your soul and forgive those who took pleasure in your suffering. They should all be ashamed!
The reality is that the Reddit account was dated back to 2014, so this was almost a decade of his life involved in this internet persona. Nor is the truth about his private life being revealed anywhere near a “crucifixion.” Truth being revealed is never a bad thing. And it was the guilt from being exposed that drove him to suicide, not Craig Monger’s journalism.
How Should Christians React?
Naturally, anytime a homosexual or transvestite commits suicide, the world will immediately blame the church, as is happening here. But his behavior warranted harsh judgment from the community. His behavior should receive disdain and be publicly shamed. He even lied through omission to his congregation regarding the revelations. A congregation was betrayed by a wicked pastor who deceived them, and rather than disavow this man, FBC Phenix City has taken a mournful approach on their Facebook Page, even setting up a memorial cross on their lawn.
James writes, “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:15). Being “a being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,” Bubba Copeland died because his years of sin gave forth death. He disgraced himself, his family, and his church after his years of habitual sexual sin. By his admission, his wife was complicit in his behavior, and it was her clothing he wore in the various pictures. Those who assume the pulpit will receive a stricter judgment (James 3:1). Not even in his last recording did he show contrition for his sins, but rather continued playing the victim.
John instructs believers not to pray for those whose sins lead to death, which can best be interpreted as a literal, physical death (1 John 5:16). Even in death, his disgusting behavior should not be mourned but scorned.