The recent data hack of the Ashley Madison website forced a Baptist Pastor, Dr John Gibson, to commit suicide, according to his family.
His wife, Christi, told CNN Money that on Aug 24, six days after the infidelity website was hacked, she found the body of her husband in their house with a suicide note which referred to the recent breach of the Ashley Madison site.
Christi found her husband at their house within the seminary campus, when she returned from work on Aug 24, at about 5.30PM. Finding him unresponsive, she notified the emergency medical services immediately. The EMS workers were not able to revive Dr Gibson and he was declared dead at the scene.
Dr Gibson, 56, was taught at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Leavell College and was a priest with the First Southern Baptist Church in Pearlington, Mississippi. His wife said, ‘He talked about depression. He talked about having his name there and he said he was just very, very sorry’. She added, ‘What we know about him is that he poured his life into other people and he offered grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone else, but somehow he couldn’t extend that to himself’.
Dr John Gibson came from a family of Baptist theologians in Louisiana. He earned the doctor of theology and master of divinity degrees from a New Orleans seminary and he had been teaching undergraduate students in his alma mater from 1998. On learning of his death, the seminary cancelled the morning classes and held a memorial service in his name on Aug 28.
According to Louisiana Baptist Message, Trey Gibson, son of the late pastor, claimed that ‘his father’s death came at his own hand’. During the memorial service held on September 8, Trey said that his dad was a great man struggling with many battles and he had reached such a low point of despair and hopelessness that drove him to take his own life. President of NOBTS, Dr Chuck Kelley, said he was unable to comment on the cause of death till such time he got the coroner’s report.
Dr Gibson was remembered for his contribution in helping the community at Gulf Coast congregation rebuild itself after the Katrina hurricane havoc ten years ago. In the campus, he was known to help his students with free car repairs and was the ‘quintessential good neighbor’, Dr Kelley posted on the school’s blog. The college Dean, Thomas Strong referred to him as a favorite among the students and that he will be missed greatly.
The Ashley Madison website was breached in July by a hacker group called ‘The Impact Team’. The hacked data, including personal details of registered users was posted for public viewing in August.