Bubba Copeland, bivocational pastor of First Baptist Church Phenix City, is disputing an article released online this morning (Nov. 1) by 1819 News related to photos of him dressed as a woman and allegedly posted on private social media sites. Copeland also serves as mayor of Smiths Station and owns and operates The Country Market in Salem.
The 1819 News outlet, found at 1819news.com, stands by its story and told The Alabama Baptist that Copeland did not deny the allegations during their interview. Efforts to reach Copeland and other leaders at the church were unsuccessful today, but Copeland shared a prepared statement during tonight’s Wednesday night church service, which was live streamed.
“I’ve been an object of an internet attack in an article that was written [regarding] my capacity as a mayor and my capacity as a pastor,” he said. “The article is not who or what I am. Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt at humor because I know I’m not a handsome man or a beautiful woman either.
“I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private and personal life that has become public. This will not cause my life to change. This will not waver my devotion to my family, serving my city, serving my church,” Copeland said.
“I’m thankful for the grace of God and willingness to forgive. I have nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of things that were said were taken out of context.
“I love my family. They are number one,” he said. “I’m sorry for what my actions have caused. I’m thankful for the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out to me today in love.”
The 1819 News story, which describes Copeland’s alleged “secret life,” can be found at this link but do be aware the article features explicit content.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Update Nov. 4, 2023 — In light of the tragic news regarding the Nov. 3 death of Bubba Copeland, a link to the latest news report is available here.