Claims to fame: Pastor, Thorington Road Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama (1991-2007); graduate, Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University; later, employee of Falwell’s; husband; family man; winner of the Conservative Babylon Award for Kinkiest and Most Embarrassing Sex-Related Death of All Time
Moral apex: Discovered dead in his home June 25, 2007, of “‘accidental mechanical asphyxia’ … found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, according to an autopsy report. Investigators determined that Rev. Gary Aldridge’s death was not caused by foul play and that the 51-year-old pastor of Montgomery’s Thorington Road Baptist Church was alone in his home at the time he died (while apparently in the midst of some autoerotic undertaking). While the Montgomery Advertiser, which first obtained the autopsy records, reported on Aldridge’s two wet suits, the family newspaper chose not to mention what police discovered inside the minister’s rubber briefs.” [The Smoking Gun]
How did he…? Why did he…? For the likely answers to all your questions, the lengthy, highly informative (and endlessly entertaining) discussion of the incident at Sadly, No! should satisfy… your curiosity, that is.
Criminal behavior: While we don’t know what the Yellowhammer State dictates regarding autoerotic asphyxiation, we do know one thing: If Rev. Aldridge acquired his dildo (oh, didn’t we mention that little detail?) within the state, he broke the law; sex toys are illegal in Alabama. (The ban has been upheld several times since the law went into effect in 2003.)
High irony: Prior to Rev. Aldridge’s unfortunate demise, the church announced a “new Bible Study that is a lead up to our Men’s Retreat in October” — “Hazards of Being a Man,” featuring the leather-daddy graphic seen here.
Our Creator filled Bro. Gary with a zeal for life and ministry. He passionately pursued God daily as he walked through his days loving his wife, his church and the Great Commission of our faith.
As our leadership sorts through this difficult time, our church asks the media and community to be respectful to the facts of the event. At this point, there is very little information. Please refrain from speculation until the authorities handling the case reveal the facts.
— “Our Church Grieves“
Thorington Road Baptist Church press release
June 25, 2007
“It’s easy to get into that which is understandable but I believe God is still in control.”
— “Dear friend” Steve Campbell
Snowdoun Baptist Church
August 28, 2007
“It is unfortunate that liberals forced this man into these activities by pressuring the U.S. to legalize gay marriage.”
— El Cid
Suggested Bible reading for Rev. Aldridge:
He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.
And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;
Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
— Job 36:7-9
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