A megachurch pastor in Southern California known for his mental health advocacy died by suicide on Monday, church officials said in a statement.
Jarrid Wilson had been a pastor with Harvest Christian Fellowship Church for about 18 months. In 2016, he founded Anthem of Hope, a Christian organization meant to “amplify hope” for those struggling with mental health and substance use issues.
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Open about his battle with depression, Wilson spoke often of his struggles online and in his work as a pastor.
“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts,” Wilson wrote on Twitter shortly before his death. “But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.”
On social media, family and colleagues mourned Wilson’s death.
“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,” Wilson’s wife, Juli, wrote on Instagram. “Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it.”
In addition to his wife, Wilson is survived by two sons, Finch and Denham.
Greg Laurie, senior pastor at the Harvest megachurch, described Wilson in a statement as a “vibrant” person, “always serving and helping others.”
It’s with the deepest sadness of heart that I found out that my good friend @jarridwilson went home to be with the Lord last night.Jarrid was not just a brother in the Lord but a dear and trusted friend.
“Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people,” Laurie wrote. “We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.”
Sunday marked the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week, a weeklong campaign meant to bring awareness to the warning signs of suicide and teach people about the resources available for people in crisis.