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Rick Warren's Son Takes Own Life After Lifelong Battle With Mental Illness

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Apr 07
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The 27-year-old son of Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren has taken his own life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness, the Christian Post reports. Warren made the announcement about his son in an email sent to his staff early Saturday morning. "No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now," Warren wrote. "Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today. Over the past 33 years we've been together through every kind of crisis. Kay and I've been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss, stand with you at gravesides, and prayed for you when ill. Today, we need your prayer for us." Warren described Matthew as "an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate man" but "only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America's best doctors, meds, counselors and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided." Warren went on: "Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life." In a statement from Saddleback, the church asked that everyone "join us in praying for the entire Warren family and that God's comfort and peace will be with them as they deal with this difficult situation."