The youngest son of Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose-Driven Life,” has committed suicide, the Pastor said in a statement released on Saturday.
According to the statement by Warren and his wife, Kay, 27-year-old Matthew took his life following a lifelong battle with mental illness.
“No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now,” the statement said.
In the statement, Rick Warren said his son 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,” he wrote. “Today, after a fund evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his own life.”
As a pioneer of the megachurch movement, Warren looked to translate traditional evangelical messages for a wider audience.
Rick Warren is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States.
He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, “The Purpose Driven Church”, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism.
He is perhaps best known for the subsequent devotional “The Purpose Driven Life” which has sold over 30 million copies, making Warren a New York Times bestselling author.