Pastor Jarrid Wilson had tweeted about suicide before he tragically took his own life on Monday evening.
On September 9, Pastor Wilson sent out a number of tweets, one which touched on the topic of suicide:
Loving Jesus doesn't always cure suicidal thoughts.
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.
He had then followed up with another tweet:
"Love one another." What's simple isn't always easy; what's easy doesn't always last.
According to another previous tweet that day, he had also asked his followers to pray for the family of a Jesus-loving woman who took her own life whom he officiated a funeral for.
Following the tweets, Pastor Wilson took his own life just a day before the World Suicide Prevention Day. He was an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, and cofounder of Anthem of Hope, an organisation which provides resources to those who struggle with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
The news of Wilson's passing was announced by Pastor Greg Laurie on his Facebook and Instagram page.
"It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that @jarridwilson went to be with the Lord last night," wrote Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. " At a time like this, there are just no words."
Laurie continued: "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 was only 30 years old. He is survived by his wife, Juli, and their two young sons, Finch and Denham. A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to help cover the funderal and support his family during this time of grief.