Funeral arrangements set for Smiths Station Mayor

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2023 at 6:09 PM EST
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EAST ALABAMA (WTVM) - F.L. Bubba Copeland’s funeral arrangements have been set for Thursday, November 9 at 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Phenix City Alabama.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 8, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Vance Brooks Funeral Home in Phenix City.

Nov. 3, 4:45 p.m. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones confirms Smiths Station Mayor F.L. Bubba Copeland is dead following controversy from posted online photos.

According to the sheriff’s office, around 4:15 p.m. CT, deputies received information regarding the mayor needing a possible welfare check. Deputies found Copeland in the Beulah community area, where a slow pursuit began.

Officials say the mayor turned onto Lee Road 275 north of Yarbroughs Crossroads and pulled over. When he exited his vehicle, he produced a handgun and used it to take his own life.

Prior to his death, News Leader 9 spoke with the 1819 News Reporter Craig Monger, who originally published an article showing several photos of Copeland dressed in women’s clothing. He says all the quotes in his story were from Phenix City Reverend and Smiths Station Mayor.

The article also included pictures of the pastor wearing women’s underwear that he posted on Instagram and Reddit.

News Leader 9 also spoke with some people in the community who said they were saddened by the news in so many ways.

“Things that were obviously private came out publicly and quite frankly unexpectedly. I can’t imagine, again, what that must be like for the mayor, his family and for anyone who’s been affected by this,” said Kris Patton. “Probably the most heart-wrenching thing about it is the effect that it is going to be on the community.”

“What he did in his personal life... his business, you know,” said Jennifer Schmitt.

Copeland was a pastor at First Baptist Church of Phenic City.

Alabama Baptist state leadership responded to allegations against Copeland after the controversial photos from the article surfaced to the public, saying

Copland addressed the matter Wednesday night during a worship service. SEE VIDEO STATEMENT BELOW:

“I’d like to say at least for me and my family... we’ll certainly mention him in our prayers this weekend,” said Dan Robertson.

As of now, the sheriff’s office says the death investigation is still ongoing.