Church officials reported Jarrid Wilson suicide attempt on 9th September 2019 on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day. His death was confirmed by Senior Pastor Greg Laurie.
Jarrid Wilson was only 30 when he committed suicide and had two sons. He was working in Harvest Christian Fellowship Church of 15,000 members before 18 months of his death. Together with his wife Juli, Jarrid Wilson launched a program called “Anthem of Hope” to help people cope with depression.
According to the CDC, suicide, these days have become one of the leading concerns and second cause of death among people aging between 10 and 34. It was in 2017 when the suicide rate increased to such a level that one life was wasted at every 11 minutes.
His wife describes the event as if Jarrid’s death has “completely ripped my heart out of my chest.” She expresses her grief by saying, “I need you, jare, but you needed Jesus to hold you and I have to be okay with that.”
Was Jarrid open about his depression with the public?
Greg Laurie, senior pastor at the church in Southern California wrote on Harvest Christian Fellowship site, “Jarrid is survived by his wife, Juli, his two sons, Finch and Denham, his mother, father, and siblings.
He explains how Jerrid always looked on the positive side of the world. “Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart. He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others.”
However, later he writes that “Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles.” Jarrid began his journey by helping people who had suicidal thoughts. But life pushed him to such point that he took his own life.
Other pastors like Jason Powell also praise Jarrid and his work. He tweeted, “Jarrid was not just a brother in the Lord but a dear and trusted a friend.”
Just before his death, he talked on twitter about attending the funeral of a woman who took her life. She was a God-loving woman like Jarrid who committed suicide.
For this, he posted on his twitter account, “Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression. But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that.”
Jarrid in an interview with Faithwire said that he accepted Christianity because of the sermons delivered by Laurie at Harvest Crusade. Wilson on several occasions challenged those people who think that suicide ultimately leads a person to hell.
Jarrid Wilson following Andrew’s Stoecklein’s death
Wilson’s death followed Andrew Stoecklein’s death. Andrew was a lead pastor at the Chino megachurch Inland Hills Church. He committed suicide at the age of 30 last August after sharing his experience of struggles and depression.
Jaddir Wilson tweeted: “So sad to hear about the passing of pastor @Andrew_Steck from @InlandHills! My heart goes out to the staff, church, and Andrew’s family.”
A few years earlier, Stoecklein had tweeted a quote by Wilson: “A true leader is not measured by how many times they’ve succeeded, but failed and decided [to] get back up again.”
The young deaths of pastors have badly shaken the Christian leaders. Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois admits that Jaddir has many times talked with him about mental health advocacy.
He explains how pastors try to hide their depression just because of their people. They fear that people won’t listen to them if they start with their struggles.
“Pastors are supposed to provide help, not need help. Pastors are supposed to speak of life, not despair. But that’s not reality,” Stetzer said.
Jarid and Andrew both hold a respectable position in the community. He clarifies that depression is a disease and cannot alone be controlled by the Bible and praying.