Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor Jarrid Wilson, who ran a suicide outreach group, has taken his own life after struggles with mental health.
Wilson founded Anthem of Hope with wife Juli in 2016 to help people coping with depression. The outreach group has a 24 hour crisis line and helps people with mental health connect to the resources they need.
Wilson’s church has 15,000 members and has events in Southern California and Hawaii. Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of the church. Laurie wrote on his blog, “At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn’. This is certainly that time.”
He added, “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.”
In August, Wilson wrote on Instagram, “Admitting you struggle with mental health doesn’t make you a bad Christian. I’m a Christian who also struggles with depression. This exists, and it’s ok to admit it.”
Wilson is survived by his wife Juli and their two sons. Juli posted a video of Wilson playing with their son on Instagram after he passed. She wrote, “Can’t sleep, so I’m watching this video over and over again. I took this Monday evening around 7:30 p.m. at our son’s baseball practice. By 11:45 that night, my sweet husband was in the presence of Jesus.”
She continued, “I love you, Jarrid. I miss you beyond what my heart can stand. Thank you for loving our boys and I with the greatest passion and selflessness I’ve ever seen or felt in my entire life. I’d do anything for a hug from you right now. I keep hearing on repeat what you told me all day every single day, ‘Gosh I frieking (how he always spelled it) love you.”
She finished the emotional note by writing, “Longing to be with you, longing to make you proud. The boys and I miss you so much. I frieking love you too. So much more than you could ever know. Wish I could tell you that right now. We all do.”
She also shared pictures of the pastor, writing, “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.”
Pastor Jarrid Wilson took his own life a day before National Suicide Prevention Day. Read his wife Juli’s full emotional post here.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US is 1-800-273-8255.
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