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(RNS) — Jarrid Wilson, a California church leader, author and mental health advocate, died by suicide Monday evening (Sept. 9) at age 30.
Wilson, known as a passionate preacher, most recently was an associate pastor at megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. A co-founder of the mental health nonprofit Anthem of Hope, Wilson was open about his own depression, often posting on his social media accounts about his battles with the mental illness.
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“At a time like this, there are just no words,” said Harvest Administrative Pastor Paul Eaton in a statement.
“Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people. We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not,” Eaton said.
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“At the end of the day, pastors are just people who need to reach out to God for His help and strength, each and every day,” he added.
News of Wilson’s passing followed a series of tweets the young pastor posted throughout the day Monday that dealt with suicide, including a post encouraging followers to remember that even though loving Jesus doesn’t cure illnesses such as depression, PTSD or anxiety, Jesus does offer companionship and comfort.
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Wilson also posted on the same day that he was officiating a funeral for a woman who had died by suicide. Kay Warren — who along with her husband, Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, lost their son to suicide in 2013 — responded to Wilson’s tweet with encouragement. “Praying, Jarrid. Her devastated family needs so much tenderness and compassion right now. Grateful for your willingness to be the arms of Jesus to them,” Warren wrote.
The news of Wilson’s death comes on Suicide Awareness Day (Sept. 10) and follows a number of high profile suicides among pastors and the...
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