Jarrid Wilson, 30, of Riverside, California, and pastor at the megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship took his life the evening of Sept. 9, hours after leading a funeral service for a woman who committed suicide, senior pastor Greg Laurie confirmed in a statement.
At about 2 p.m. that day he posted on Twitter: “Officiating a funeral for a Jesus-loving woman who took her own life today. Your prayers are greatly appreciated for the family.”
Wilson, who had joined the Harvest Fellowship in 2018 as a pastor was very outspoken about his mental issues and encouraged other people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts to reach out and speak about it.
“He struggled publicly with mental health, and his willingness to break the silence on this often taboo issue gave many the courage they needed to survive the dark nights of their soul, said a GoFundMe page dedicated in support of his wife and their two sons, Finch and Denham.
He co-founded the outreach group Anthem of Hope together with his wife, Juli, to support people with self-destructive thoughts to come out and seek help. However, he apparently could not keep his own thoughts in check, which led him to take this most drastic decision.
“At a time like this, there are just no words,” Pastor Greg Laurie, the head of the church, said in a statement. “The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn.’ This is certainly that time.”
He added that “he was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others…He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts.”
“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,” Laurie continued.
Home Church Nashville, where he used to be a pastor, posted a message on Facebook in the wake of his death.
“Right now, I’m really sad that I didn’t get to show up for him in his low place. Jarrid, I love you and already miss you. You brought light even in the midst of your own darkness and hope even when you couldn’t feel it for yourself. You were good, and you were kind, and you were a gift to me,” it said.
Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report