Jarrid Wilson, a well-known pastor who became a mental health advocate and co-founded an organization dedicated to suicide prevention, took his own life Monday night.
Wilson was an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, an author of multiple books and the co-founder of Anthem of Hope, a faith-centered organization dedicated to helping those battling depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction and suicide. He also was a popular speaker.
Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, broke the news of Wilson’s suicide.
“It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that Jarrid Wilson went to be with the Lord last night,” Laurie wrote Tuesday evening. “At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn.’ This is certainly that time.”
Wilson, 30, is survived by his wife, Juli, his two young sons, Finch and Denham, and his mother, father, and siblings.
“Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart,” Laurie wrote. “He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others. Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles. He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts. Tragically, Jarrid took his own life.”
Wilson joined Harvest Christian Fellowship 18 months earlier and “had spoken out many times on this very issue of mental health,” Laurie wrote.
“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. At the end of the day, pastors are just people who need to reach out to God for His help and strength, each and every day.”
People often “speak out about what they struggle with the most,” Laurie wrote.
“One dark moment in a Christian’s life cannot undo what Christ did for us on the cross. Romans reminds us that ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:39).” Laurie continued, “At times like this, we must remember that as Christians, we do not live on explanations but on promises. We fall back on what we do know, not on what we don’t know. We do know that Jarrid put his faith in Jesus Christ and we also know that he is in Heaven now.”
The day he took his own life, Wilson tweeted about suicide prevention.
“Tomorrow is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, and @anthemofhope wants you to know that #YourLifeMatters!” he wrote on Monday. “800,000 people [loose] their life to suicide each year, and we want to do something about it.”
Tomorrow is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, and @anthemofhope wants you to know that #YourLifeMatters!— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019
800,000 people love their life to suicide each year, and we want to do something about it.
The Movement: https://t.co/009o18QNbq
On Monday he also wrote, “Officiating a funeral for a Jesus-loving woman who took her own life today. Your prayers are greatly appreciated for the family.”
One of his final tweets, written late in the afternoon Monday, read, “Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety. But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that.”
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.
Laurie ended by writing, “If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help.” He included the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
A GoFundMe campaign was set up for Wilson’s wife and two children. Donate here.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Jarrid Wilson Facebook
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.