State Baptist leadership has responded to Smiths Station Mayor and local pastor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, who for years has operated social media under the alternate identity of “curvy transgender” named Brittini Blaire Summerlin.
On Wednesday, 1819 News reported how Copeland, as his alter ego, posted transgender pornography, graphic memes and explicit photos of himself in women’s clothes.
In addition to being the mayor, Copeland is also the pastor at First Baptist Church of Phenix City.
Copeland’s social media accounts included several explicit pictures and other media, including a link to his now-deleted Instagram account, where he encouraged people to contact him to “chat.”
Despite presenting himself as a “transgender curvy girl” and commenting often about his medical transition from male to female, Copeland addressed his congregation on Wednesday evening, stating he had “nothing to be ashamed of.”
Copeland’s church is a part of the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Churches support the work of Alabama CBF financially, either by contributing directly to Alabama CBF or by being members of a cooperating church and contributing to Alabama CBF through the mission gifts of that church.
In a statement provided to 1819 News, the Alabama CBF said it relied on the “autonomy of the local church” to address the issue.
“One of the distinctives of Baptist life is the autonomy of the local church,” The statement read. “While there has been some connectivity between Phenix City First Baptist and Alabama CBF, Mr. Copeland does not serve in any leadership capacities within Alabama CBF. This would appear to be a matter between pastor and church.”
Leaders of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions also provided a statement to the Alabama Baptist.
“We have become aware of the alleged unbiblical behavior related to the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Phenix City,” the statement read. “We are praying for the leaders of the church family as they seek to determine the truth concerning these accusations. As the people of God, we pray for the pastor and his family as well. We are in consultation with the Russell Baptist Association’s leadership as they endeavor to assist the First Baptist family during this critical time of need.”
The signees of the statement are:
Buddy Champion, president, state convention
Morgan Bailey, first vice president, state convention
Jarman Leatherwood, second vice president, state convention
Mel Johnson, chair, State Board of Missions trustees
Jim Graham, vice chair, State Board of Missions trustees
Rick Lance, state missionary and executive director, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions
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