Jarrid Wilson: Megachurch Pastor Who Ran Suicide Outreach Group Kills Himself
Jarrid Wilson, 30, founded the advocacy group, Anthem of Hope, with his wife to help people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
The associate pastor at the Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California took his own life on Monday, said Greg Laurie, senior pastor of the 15,000-member church.
“At a time like this, there are just no words,” Mr Laurie wrote on his blog on Tuesday. “The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn.’ This is certainly that time.”
Wilson is survived by his wife, Juli, and their two young sons. Mrs Wilson said her “loving, giving, kind-hearted” husband’s death had completely ripped the heart out of her chest.
She wrote on Instagram.
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No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle. You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re by his side right this very second .
I love you forever, Thomas jarrid Wilson, but I have to say that you being gone has completely ripped my heart out of my chest. You loved me and our boys relentlessly and I am forever grateful that i had YOU as a husband and a father to our boys .
Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said “Hope Gets the last word. Jesus gets the last word”. Your life’s work has lead thousands to the feet of Jesus and your boldness to tell other about your struggle with anxiety and depression has helped so many other people feel like they weren’t alone.
to everyone, baby, and I’ll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath . I need you, jare, but you needed Jesus to hold you and I have to be okay with that. You are everything to me. Since the day we met. J & J. Love you more .
The couple founded their outreach group in 2016 and sought to end the stigma of mental illness and connect people to resources including a 24-hour crisis line.
Jarrid Wilson had spoken openly about his struggle with depression. Hours before his death, he tweeted that “loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts”. He died a day before World Suicide Prevention Day, which he had also posted about on Twitter.
Mr Laurie said Wilson’s death was a reminder that spiritual leaders also struggle. “Sometimes people may think that as spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people,” he wrote. “We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.” He urged anyone in need to seek help.
Wilson had been a pastor at the Harvest Christian Fellowship for 18 months. The church, founded in Riverside in 1973, now has campuses in southern California and Hawaii. They host large-scale evangelistic events.
One person dies every 40 seconds by suicide, WHO reports.