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Monday, 8 April 2013

Son of Pastor Rick Warren commits suicide, family says




 Matthew Warren, son of pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.




Son of Pastor Rick Warren commits suicide, family says


By the CNN Wire staff

(CNN) –After a lifelong battle with mental illness, the youngest son of Pastor Rick Warren has committed suicide, his family said.

Matthew Warren, 27, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday, said Deputy Daniel Aikin, with the Orange County Coroner's Office.

The family shared news of his death in an e-mail to church staff.

Rick Warren and his wife founded Saddleback Valley Community Church, a megachurch in Southern California.

"No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now," the pastor wrote in the note, a copy of which was sent to CNN.

"You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. 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.

"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."

According to Aikin, Matthew Warren's body was found at his home in Mission Viejo, California, late Friday afternoon. He put the estimated time of death at around 10 a.m. that day.

The coroner's office is investigating the death. An autopsy will be conducted early next week, Aikin told CNN on Saturday.

According to a spokesman for Rick Warren, Matthew Warren worked in the Saddleback Resources Warehouse, which distributes books and DVDs.

As a pioneer of the megachurch movement, Rick Warren looked to translate traditional evangelical messages to a wider audience.

The pastor gave the invocation at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and penned "The Purpose-Driven Life," a Christian self-help guide that became a mainstream best-seller.

"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?' but he kept going for another decade," Rick Warren wrote in the e-mail.

In a separate statement, his church asked for prayers and that "God's comfort and peace" be with the Warren family.

A spokesman for Warren provided a copy of a letter Warren sent to members of his staff:

Subject: Needing your prayers

To my dear staff,

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.

No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today.

You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. 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.

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. Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.

Kay and I often marveled at his courage to keep moving in spite of relentless pain. 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?” but he kept going for another decade.

Thank you for your love and prayers. We love you back.

Pastor Rick

CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.


Rick Warren's Son Dies: Matthew Warren's Death Sparks Outpouring of Prayers From Christians, Leaders


By Gracie Lee , Christian Post Contributor

April 6, 2013|7:51 pm

News of the death of Rick Warren's son, Matthew Warren, has generated a massive outpouring of sympathy and tributes from Christian leaders as well as thousands of others on social media sites Facebook and Twitter, with many offering their prayers for the Saddleback Church pastor and his family.

The 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren is said to have taken his life after a lifelong battle with mental illness. The news of the tragic death was broken by an announcement from Lake Forest, California-based Saddleback Church early on Saturday morning.

The statement from Rick Warren read: "No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today."

News quickly spread across the nation and globe, and sparked an immediate outpouring of prayers from Pastor Warren's Christian colleagues.

Fellow pastor, Greg Laurie, posted to his Twitter account: "Join me in prayer for @RickWarren and @KayWarren1. Their son Matthew has gone to be with the Lord."

Laurie, whose own son, Christopher, was killed in a car accident nearly five years ago also posted on his blog: "I too have had a son die, so I have a sense of the pain Rick and Kay are facing. But their circumstances are different and my heart goes out to them. At times like these, there really are no words, but there is the Word. There is no manual, but there is Emmanuel. God is with us. I know the Lord will be there for all of the Warren family and Saddleback Church as they grieve together. Looking forward to that day when God will 'Restore all things.' (Acts 3:21)"

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

http://global.christianpost.com/news/rick-warrens-son-takes-own-life-after-lifelong-battle-with-mental-illness-93388/  

 

By Alex Murashko , Christian Post Reporter


April 6, 2013|2:50 pm

The 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren has taken his own life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. The internationally known Christian leader at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., made the announcement about his son early Saturday morning in an email sent to his staff.


"No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today," wrote Warren.

"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," began the staff email from him.

Warren described Matthew as "an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man," as those who grew up with him would also say.

"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," he continued. "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. Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life."

Warren said that he and his wife often marveled at Matthew's courage "to keep moving in spite of relentless pain."

"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?' but he kept going for another decade," he wrote.

Evangelist Greg Laurie, whose son, Christopher, was killed in a car accident at the age of 33 nearly five years ago, upon hearing the news, posted in his blog: "I too have had a son die, so I have a sense of the pain Rick and Kay are facing. But their circumstances are different and my heart goes out to them. At times like these, there really are no words, but there is the Word. There is no manual, but there is Emmanuel. God is with us. I know the Lord will be there for all of the Warren family and Saddleback Church as they grieve together. Looking forward to that day when God will 'Restore all things.' (Acts 3:21)"

In a statement from Saddleback, the church asks 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."

READ MORE: CHRISTIAN LEADERS REACT TO TRAGIC NEWS OF THE DEATH OF PASTOR RICK WARREN'S SON

Pastor Warren, 59, author of the Purpose Driven Life, which is the best-selling hardback non-fiction book in history and the second most-translated book in the world, after the Bible, has two other adult children, Amy and Josh, and five grandchildren.