New Orleans pastor takes own life after being exposed as an Ashley Madison user

John Gibson (second from left) poses with his wife Christi (second from right) and their two children in this photo posted by Christi Gibson on her Facebook page.(Facebook/Christi Rogers Gibson)

The Ashley Madison hacking has just claimed another life.

Pastor John Gibson, 56, a father of two and teacher at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, committed suicide last Aug. 24 allegedly because of the fear, shame and humiliation caused by the inclusion of his name as one of the exposed users of the extramarital dating website when the latter was hacked last month, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.

His wife Christi found his body inside their home in New Orleans together with a suicide note.

In his message, Gibson wrote that he was worried he would lose his job in the seminary as a consequence of what he did, for which he said he was "very sorry."

Gibson's name was one of some 32 million others exposed last month by the hackers of Ashley Madison. One of the more prominent names released by the hackers was Josh Duggar from the cancelled Christian TV reality show "19 Kids and Counting."

Christi said her husband's death was a tragedy beyond compare. "It was a moment that life doesn't prepare you for. I had to call my kids. How do you tell your kids that their dad is gone and that he took his own life?" she told CNN Money.

Christi said an affair is indeed horrible and really destroys families, but it's not something that they wouldn't have been able to conquer. "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," she said.

The uncovering of his involvement in the cheating website might have been too much for Gibson to handle, according to his wife, who revealed that her husband was already suffering from depression and addiction even before he took his own life.

Christi hopes that other individuals who have been exposed as a result of the Ashley Madison hacking would be brave enough to face the consequences of their lies and infidelity.

"Don't underestimate the power of love," she said. "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."

Meanwhile, Chuck Kelley, the president of the seminary where Gibson taught, wrote a tribute to the pastor in the school's website. "John was a popular member of our Leavell College faculty. He was particularly known for his acts of kindness to the seminary family. John was the quintessential good neighbour," Kelley said.

He praised Gibson for always finding time to provide free car repairs for seminary students. Gibson even purchases the needed car parts using money from his own pocket, and would adamantly refuse every time students offered to pay him back.

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."

Strong said all members of the Leavell College family dearly miss Gibson. They consider their lives blessed and enriched because of their encounters with Gibson, he added.