Tragically, last week we all learned that Jarrid Wilson, associate pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside, California, had committed suicide. He was a husband and the father of two. He was only 30 years old.
Jarrid had founded a ministry called “Anthem of Hope,” in order to minister to people with depression and suicidal ideations. He ended his life on the same day he officiated the funeral of a Christian who had ended hers.
About a year ago, Andrew Stoecklin, another 30-year-old pastor from California, also committed suicide. Like Wilson, he shared openly about his own battles with depression and anxiety.
About a year before that, Wisconsin Pastor Bill Lenz took his life after bouts of depression and anxiety. Like Wilson, he had ministered extensively to many with depression and suicidal ideation, and had created a suicide-prevention ministry.
In the fog of questions and grief, one thing is clear: Neither Christians nor Christian pastors are immune from the suicide epidemic that’s sweeping our country.
My friend Ed Stetzer wrote, in response to Wilson’s death, that while all suicides are shocking, stories of pastors and other Christian leaders who take their own lives “cause questions to arise,” questions that are unique.
Among them must be, why is there still such a lack of awareness about the emotional, psychological, and spiritual struggles pastors face?
And also, where can pastors turn for help?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivers