Ashley Madison: Baptist minister commits suicide after adultery website leak

Rev John Gibson with his wife and two children©facebook/christirogersgibson

A Baptist minister has committed suicide after his name was revealed on the Ashley Madison site.

Rev John Gibson, who taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, was found dead by his wife on August 24, days after his name was released during the adultery website's hacking.

"It was a moment life doesn't prepare you for," Christi Gibson told CNNMoney. "I had to call my kids. How do you tell your kids that their dad is gone and that he took his own life?"

In his suicide note John wrote how sorry he was and mentioned struggles with mental health.

"He talked about depression. He talked about having his name on there, and he said he was just very, very sorry," Christi said.

"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."

His wife and two children shared that his actions were not beyond forgiveness.

"It wasn't so bad that we wouldn't have forgiven it, and so many people have said that to us, but for John, it carried such a shame," Christi said.

John Gibson was a teacher at Leavell College, part of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

"John was a popular member of our Leavell College faculty," said Seminary President Chuck Kelley on their website. "He was particularly known for his acts of kindness to the seminary family. John was the quintessential good neighbour."

Thomas Strong, Dean of Leavell College said, "As a colleague, he was known as one to express care and compassion in a tangible way both to our students and to our faculty.

"John was loved by the students because of his love for the ministry and for them; he was always a favourite.

"Our hearts are saddened as we miss greatly a significant part of our Leavell College family – a colleague – a friend. We are better because of John and the way God used him in our lives."

32 million people were exposed when the site's database was leaked and Toronto authorities have said they are investigating other suicides in connection to it. Hackers have also sent extortion emails to users of the site.

Christi Gibson added a message for those affected by the leak:

"These were real people with real families, real pain and real loss," she says. But "don't underestimate the power of love. Nothing is worth the loss of a father and a husband and a friend. It just didn't merit it. It didn't merit it at all."