California megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson died by suicide on Monday night, according to a statement released by Harvest Christian Fellowship Church. He was 30 years old.
“It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that Jarrid Wilson went to be with the Lord last night,” senior pastor Greg Laurie wrote. “At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn.’ This is certainly that time.”
Laurie went on to share how important Wilson was to the congregation:
Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart. He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others. Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles. He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts.
Wilson cofounded the Christian mental health nonprofit called Anthem of Hope, an organization dedicated to supporting those facing depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction and suicide.
Wilson is not the only pastor to have struggled with suicidal thoughts. In January, megachurch pastor Jim Howard ended his life. It’s common for people to believe pastors or other authority figures “don’t struggle” or “have it all together,” but it’s important to remember pastors are real people with real struggles too.⠀
Since news broke, Wilson’s fans and loved ones have expressed their condolences and offered prayers and support for his family on social media.
Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.
It's World Suicide Prevention Day and if you are struggling, don't struggle alone.
— Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) September 10, 2019
i just found out about the passing of @JarridWilson, who took his own life.
As someone who battles anxiety and depression, his posts always encouraged me and i enjoyed chatting with him and his audience on Twitter.
Please join me in praying for his wife and family.
— Jamie Grace (@jamiegraceh) September 10, 2019
So incredibly sad to learn about the death of @JarridWilson. Part of me is in shock. Jarrid was a great advocate for mental health. He was always so encouraging and kind. He told me he loved me on here just yesterday.
i hate suicide. Jarrid hated suicide. No. No. No.
— Jamie Tworkowski (@jamietworkowski) September 10, 2019
Some years things like Suicide Prevention Week feel like they’re at arms length. This year isn’t one of them.
I’m heartbroken at the death of @JarridWilson. Jarrid believed the church could lead the way on mental health, something we desperately need more people to believe.
— 『 Robert Vore 』 (@RobertVore) September 10, 2019
Absolutely grieved by the loss of my friend @JarridWilson. Pray for his wife and children. Jarrid was a champion for the vulnerable. Loved the gospel. And a relentless advocate pushing the church to take mental illness seriously.
— Daniel Darling (@dandarling) September 10, 2019
It doesn’t matter who you are — anyone can struggle with their mental health. If you are a pastor or Christian struggling with suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone, and your struggles don’t make you less of a Christian. If you are struggling, please reach out to a trusted loved one, and check out our list of suicide prevention resources. Recovery is possible, and help is available.
If this news is hard for you, especially on World Suicide Prevention Day, know you are not alone. If you need support or want to connect with people who have been there, post a Thought or Question on The Mighty with the hashtag, #CheckInWithMe. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.