This slideshow requires JavaScript.

OrlandoSentinnel

After sending a text to his brother in which he mentioned suicide, former pastor Isaac Hunter shot himself to death at his apartment Tuesday morning, according to Altamonte Springs police. Officers responded to the Vineridge Run apartment complex, located just off State Road 434, at about 10:45 a.m. after Hunter’s brother, alarmed by the text, called police. They found Hunter dead of “what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said Officer Rob Pelton, a department spokesman. “It’s being investigated as a suicide.” Pelton said Hunter’s brother “alerted our agency about the existence of a text speaking of suicide.”

Further details, such as the exact contents of the text, were unavailable because the investigation remains active. Hunter, 36, stepped down from his role as lead pastor of Orlando’s Summit Church in November 2012 after admitting to an affair with a church secretary. He had founded the megachurch with two high-school friends a decade earlier. The trio attended Lyman High in Longwood. The nondenominational church, which has its main location on Herndon Avenue not far from downtown, eventually grew to five locations and a congregation of about 5,000. Many of the congregants are younger people drawn by Hunter’s preaching, which blended wit and humor.

He filed for divorce from his wife, Rhonda, in October of this year. The couple wed in 1999. She had previously filed a domestic-violence petition against him. His wife, Rhonda, accused him of being abusive, of having drug and alcohol problems. She also said he kept firearms in the family home. In his divorce filing, Hunter sought shared custody of the couple’s three children, but his wife objected.

The couple’s divorce had not become official at the time of Hunter’s death. Also according to filings in the divorce case, after leaving Summit Hunter had been working as a sales rep for Norweco, a wastewater-treatment company. Hunter is the son of Pastor Joel Hunter of Longwood megachurch Northland, a Church Distributed. The elder Hunter has served as a spiritual adviser to President Obama. On Facebook Wednesday, members of both Summit and Northland offered their condolences, recalling Hunter as a powerful speaker and gifted teacher.

Exodus 20:13KJV Thou shalt not kill. This is becoming an epedimic among pastors here lately, and we pray for this family.

Advertisements