How tragic. The son of the megachurch pioneer and best-selling writer committed suicide on Apr. 6, according to a statement released by the Warren family. Matthew Warren was 27 years old.
Rick Warren’s Son Commits Suicide
In a statement released by Saddleback Valley Community Church — Rick’s church that averages over 20,000 people in attendance — it was confirmed that Matthew took his own life in his home in Mission Viejo, Calif.
The church’s statement went on to explain that Matthew struggled with deep depression for most of his life: “Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life,” the church said.
Rick, who has also sold millions of copies of his motivational book The Purpose Driven Life, tragically recalled, “I’ll never forget how, many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said, ‘Dad, I know I’m going to heaven. Why can’t I just die and end this pain?'”
Matthew Warren Was ‘Incredibly Kind, Gentle, & Compassionate’
The grieving father also managed to remember the good things about his son: “You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man,” the pastor wrote. “He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them.”
Another pastor will fill in for Rick on Sunday, Apr. 7, as he spends time with his family. Our thoughts go out to the Warrens, their family and friends.
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– Andrew Gruttadaro