Megachurch pastor Jarrid Wilson dies by suicide after struggling with mental health
Megachurch Pastor Jarrid Wilson, who served as the associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, has died with reports indicating that he committed suicide on Monday night. He passes away aged just 30 following a struggle with mental health issues. The news of the young pastor's death comes on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day.
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship announced the tragic news on his Facebook and Instagram page. His statement read:
"It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that @jarridwilson went to be with the Lord last night. At a time like this, there are just no words.
"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. Tragically, Jarrid took his own life. Jarrid joined us as an associate pastor at Harvest 18 months ago and had spoken out many times on this very issue of mental health.
"Jarrid and his wife, Juli, founded an outreach to help people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts called 'Anthem of Hope.' 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.
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.
"Over the years, I have found that people speak out about what they struggle with the most. One dark moment in a Christian's life cannot undo what Christ did for us on the cross. Romans reminds us that "nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:39). At times like this, we must remember that as Christians, we do not live on explanations but on promises. We fall back on what we do know, not on what we don't know. We do know that Jarrid put his faith in Jesus Christ and we also know that he is in Heaven now. We stand on the promise of Revelation 21:4 that reminds us that in Heaven there is no more sorrow, suffering, or death.
"Please keep Juli and Jarrid's family in prayer. The Harvest family has lost a bright light. Pray for us as we grieve together. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help."
Pastor Wilson had posted a message onto his Twitter account earlier on Monday at 2.01 p.m. stating: "Officiating a funeral for a Jesus-loving woman who took her own life today. Your prayers are greatly appreciated for the family."
Later that same day at 5:01 p.m. he posted a further Tweet stating: "Loving Jesus doesn't always cure suicidal thoughts. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure depression. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure PTSD. Loving Jesus doesn't always cure anxiety. But that doesn't mean Jesus doesn't offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that."
Wilson is survived by his wife, Juli, and their two young sons, Finch and Denham.
Related: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SUICIDE?
For help if you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, please visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) or National Suicide Prevention Alliance (UK).