UPDATED July 30, 3:35 p.m.
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP) — Braxton Caner, 15-year-old son of Ergun and Jill Caner, committed suicide July 29, according to various reports on social media.
Ergun Caner is president of Brewton-Parker College, a Baptist-affiliated college in Mount Vernon, Ga.
The college posted a statement July 30, titled “Brewton-Parker College grieves with its President,” which reads in full:
“Our hearts are filled with great sorrow as the entire Brewton-Parker College family grieves with its beloved President, Dr. Ergun Caner, his wife Jill, and Drake, their youngest son, over the tragic death of their oldest son and big brother, Braxton Paige Caner. Braxton was born March 8, 1999 in Denver, Colorado. He came to faith in Christ at the tender age of six and was baptized by his dad at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.
“Braxton would later reaffirm his commitment to Christ at a youth camp under the preaching of evangelist Tony Nolan. Consequently, he began travelling with his dad and sharing his faith on mission trips, evangelistic meetings, Bible conferences, and youth camps in forty-one states as well as foreign countries including Kenya, Israel, Wales, and the Bahamas. He was a member of the Willow Park Baptist Church in Aledo, Texas.
“Braxton Caner was energetic and outgoing. In football, he held a starting guard position for the Aledo High School Bearcats and was to enter his sophomore year next month.
“The Caner family and Brewton-Parker College community covet your prayers as we walk through this painful time together.
“All expressions of sympathy may be addressed to The Caner Family in care of Brewton-Parker College P.O. Box 197 Mount Vernon, GA 30445.
“Or, if you prefer, you may send a digital expression of support via email to [email protected]. Memorial services are to be announced. You may call (912)-583-3144 for updates.”
A memorial service has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2, at 2 p.m. at New River Fellowship Church in Hudson Oaks, Texas.
Frank S. Page, SBC Executive Committee president and a former SBC president, spoke with Caner July 30 to offer condolences.
Caner, who became Brewton-Parker’s president last December, also has been provost and academic dean at Arlington Baptist College in Texas; a pastor in the Denver area; and a conference speaker throughout the nation.
Caner’s brother Emir is president of Truett-McConnell College, another Baptist-affiliated college in Cleveland, Ga.
Art Toalston is editor of Baptist Press.