North Carolina pastor's death believed to be self-inflicted

HICKORY, N.C. (ABP) -- Baptists in North Carolina reacted with shock to the apparent suicide of a well-liked pastor active in denominational life Sept. 27.

HICKORY, N.C. (ABP) -- Baptists in North Carolina reacted with shock to the apparent suicide of a well-liked pastor active in denominational life Sept. 27.

Sandy Ridge Baptist Church leaders said Pastor David Treadway, a member of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina board of directors, "succumbed to the disease of depression."

David Treadway, 42, pastor of the fast-growing Sandy Ridge Baptist Church in Hickory, N.C., was found dead in his car by his wife as she was leaving for church that morning.

According to the North Carolina Baptist newspaper Biblical Recorder, police were investigating the death, but a note recovered at the scene indicated that Treadway died by his own hand.

The newspaper said that Treadway, who had been pastor at the nearly 900-member church since October 2004, told the congregation several months ago that he was being treated for depression. Church leaders issued a statement saying their pastor "succumbed to the disease of depression."

According to the Hickory Daily Record, Hickory police were called to the Treadway home Sunday at 8:47 a.m. The car was in the garage. Treadway's body was sent to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem for an autopsy.

Treadway was a member of the board of directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, a 100-member body that acts for the convention between annual sessions. He was chairman of its business-services committee.

Comments on the Biblical Recorder website remembered Treadway as someone who went out of his way to be friendly and supportive of other ministers.

Funeral services are scheduled 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29, at the church.

A posting on the Sandy Ridge website thanked readers for "continued prayer and support during the loss of our pastor." It urged continued prayers for Treadway's widow, Melissa, their two children and his father.

In the most recent church newsletter, Treadway wrote of his excitement about "what God is doing" at the church, including establishing Reflection Church, a contemporary-worship congregation that launched as a church plant Sept. 1.

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