Dr. Ergun Caner, president of Brewton-Parker College, stepped down from his position on Tuesday, citing overwhelming grief from the death of his 15 year old son, Braxton, who took his own life last July.
"I was back to work a week later because, frankly, that's all I knew to do. The subsequent result was my hospitalization in November," Dr. Caner told the school's trustee board in a statement. "A heart catheterization, the removal of seven pints of fluid and all the tests in the world can't resolve this one issue."
The 50 year old speaker and author wrote that he is not yet able to get over his son's death, and believes he must resign for the health of both his family and the school.
"Brewton-Parker College cannot become a healthy, growing and stable college under the leadership of a man who is broken. And I am admitting to you that I am broken," Caner said in a prepared statement.
"I can't get over his death, and I am not sure I want to. I do know that I cannot muster the fight needed to be the leader of our college. My family and my heart need healing, and you deserve better."
The day after his son's death last July, Dr. Caner expressed his devastation through social media.
"No words. No sermon. No funny quotes. No answers. No note. Nothing but excruciating pain & the assurance that I'll see him in glory," he tweeted at the time.
Later, he posted a Bible verses found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 which read:
"But I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will bring God with him."
In his resignation statement, Dr. Caner went on to explain that he is leaving his position as president of Brewton-Parker "so I can go back to Texas and heal with my wife and ten-year-old son, Drake. It is one thing to lead a college through a crisis, but this position demands a person's full attention and full strength. At the moment, I have neither. When Braxton died, a part of me died as well."
Although he will fulfill whatever obligations are necessary in the upcoming year, Dr. Caner emphasized that he will put his family first.
"I want to personally thank you for calling me as president, and allowing me to see the greatest victories I've ever experienced in my entire 30-year professional life," he concluded. "I believe God has an incredible future in store for Brewton-Parker College. I shall be cheering you on."
According to the Baptist Press, Dr. Caner came to Brewton-Parker from the position of provost and academic dean at Arlington Baptist College in Texas. Previously he served as dean at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va.
Brewton-Parker College reported more than 100 confessions of faith from students during the last year under Dr. Caner's leadership.