Listen Live Graphics (Indy)
PraiseIndy Featured Video

According to an  article on

A rash of suicides and suicide attempts has some Baptists in the Carolinas doing some soul searching.

Hickory Pastor David Treadway, 42, is the latest clergyman to kill himself in his parked car leaving his family and members of his church family at Sandy Ridge Baptist to ask why.

Although Treadway had told his congregation he was in treatment several months before his suicide, parishioners said it still came as a shock.

In addition to Treadway, two others in North Carolina attempted suicide, and three in South Carolina succeeded, all in the last four years.

A recent USA Today article said Christian culture, especially Southern evangelicalism, creates the perfect environment for depression. Counselors say pastors suffer in silence, unwilling or unable to seek help or even talk about it. Sometimes they leave the ministry. Occasionally they end it all. Being a pastor — a high-profile, high-stress job with nearly impossible expectations for success — can send one down the road to depression, according to pastoral counselors.

“We set the bar so high that most pastors can’t achieve that,” H.B. London told USA Today. London is vice president for pastoral ministries at Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, Colo. “And because most pastors are people-pleasers, they get frustrated and feel they can’t live up to that.”

Besides the recession’s strain on church budgets, depressed pastors increasingly report frustration over their congregations’ resistance to cultural change. Most depression does not lead to suicide, but almost all suicides begin with depression. Depression causes two-thirds of the 30,000 suicides reported each year, the AMA says. Nearly two out of three depressed people don’t seek treatment, according to studies by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Also On AM 1310: The Light:
Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We’ve Lost In 2021
33 photos