The Bachelorette lead Hannah Brown finally said goodbye on Monday — for the time being — to Luke Parker, the controversial suitor whose tense relationship with his fellow contestants and heated conversations with Brown have established him as the villain of the season.
Parker, 25, drew renewed scrutiny on this week’s episode thanks to a candid argument about sex in which he told Brown he expected her to refrain from being sexually intimate with the remaining contestants.
“I totally have all the trust in the world in you, but at the same time, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page,” he told her. “Like, if you told me you’re going to have sex or you had sex with one or multiple of these guys, I would be wanting to go home, 100 percent.”
His comments angered Brown, who eventually revealed that she’d had sex with one of her contestants in a windmill and gave Parker the boot.
There’s more than to Parker than just reality TV villain, though. Here’s more to know about the star before he comes back with another attempt to win Brown’s heart next week.
1. He found God in the shower.
Parker has been dedicated to his faith since experiencing an awakening of sorts while bathing.
He first revealed his unusual encounter on the Bachelorette premiere, explaining that after spending his time in college being sexually promiscuous, he felt “a whole lot of emptiness.”
“This emptiness overcame me and I had an encounter with God. I was in the shower and God was speaking to me,” he said. “I realized that I wasn’t the man that I wanted to be, and I’ve been working on being the husband that I want to be for my future wife.”
Parker later elaborated on his fateful shower in a conversation with Brown.
“I’m getting in the shower and I just remember feeling this heavy weight on me and I just remember bawling my eyes out,” he said. “I remember feeling a voice telling me, ‘Luke, let go.’ I remember looking at the ceiling, I remember I could see a glimpse of heaven. And I remember thinking to myself, this is what I need to look forward to.”
2. He’s been celibate for four years.
As part of his spiritual awakening, Parker said he felt a renewed sense of commitment to his future wife, whoever she may be — and is now saving himself for marriage.
“Sex is an incredible thing and it’s a beautiful thing. Only when it’s within the guidelines of marriage,” he told Brown in a speech that led into their most recent argument. “I’ve been abstaining myself from sex for like 3 ½ to 4. Years now and I know that regardless of what I’ve done in the past, I am saving myself for marriage and I am very confident that we’re on the same page with our morals.”
3. He was a college athlete.
Parker explained in his introductory segment that sports have always been a “huge” part of his life.
His biggest passion seems to be baseball, as he played at a college level at three different universities.
He later went on to play as a senior at Faulkner University in Alabama.
4. He’s a huge CrossFit fan.
While Parker bills himself as an entrepreneur on his LinkedIn page, he also said he worked part-time at CrossFit, an intense fitness studio that includes interval training, Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting.
He revealed in June he’s been training in order to achieve his goal of qualifying for the CrossFit Games.
“For those of you not familiar, the CrossFit Games is an athletic competition that crowns the winner as the ‘fittest on earth’. Its an Ambitious BIG dream but when it’s all said and done I just want to know I gave it my all regardless of the outcome,” he wrote on Instagram. “I have already made incredible friendships and learned a lot about life through fitness and discipline.”
Parker said he’d been doing CrossFit for just over a year and remained committed to putting in the hard work to achieve his goal.
5. He’s a family man.
Parker appears to be a doting uncle to niece Kennedy, who was born to his brother Mike and sister-in-law Hannah in January.
Little Kennedy even made an appearance in Parker’s introductory segment, as she sat beside him while he contemplated what to pack before he left for filming.
It was sister-in-law Hannah who signed him up for the show, unbeknownst to Parker.
“This time last year, he went through a bad break up,” she told the Gainesville Times in May. “I watch the show, so my husband and I were just sitting there and I was like, ‘I’m going to apply Luke for the show and just see what happens,’ thinking he had no chance of getting on the show.”