Jarrid Wilson, a popular pastor known for his work in mental health advocacy at a Southern California megachurch, has died by suicide, Senior Pastor Greg Laurie with Harvest Christian Fellowship Church said in a statement.
Wilson joined the church as an associate pastor last year and has since spoken out many times about the issue of mental health, Laurie said.
Wilson's LinkedIn account said he was previously Next Generations Pastor from January 2015-2017 at Lifepoint Church in Smyrna, TN. He also served as CEO of Cause Roast (May 2014-August 2016) and HYPUR Media (January 2012-August 2016) in Franklin, TN.
Wilson and his wife founded an outreach called "Anthem of Hope" designed to help people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.
"Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles," Laurie said. "He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts."
He is survived by his wife, Juli, and two young sons, according to Laurie's post.
On his verified Twitter page, Wilson had posted several times about September as National Suicide Prevention Month. In a post on Monday, he wrote, "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."
The last activity on his Twitter account was a retweet of the Anthem of Hope page. The original post contains a 24/7 chat feature and reads: "Lonely? Depressed? Need someone to talk to? ... You don't have to do this alone!"
On her unverified Instagram account, Wilson's wife wrote he was a "loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious, give the shirt (off) his back husband."
"No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle," she wrote. "You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you're by his side right this very second."
'Pastors are just people'
In her post, Juli Wilson said that "suicide doesn't get the last word."
"I won't let it," she said. Juli Wilson wrote her husband's work led "thousands to the feet of Jesus" and his willingness to share his struggle with anxiety and depression "has helped so many other people feel like they weren't alone."
"YOU WERE an anthem of hope to everyone, baby, and I'll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath," she wrote.
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My loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious, give the shirt of his back husband went to be with Jesus late last night . No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle. You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re by his side right this very second . I love you forever, Thomas jarrid Wilson, but I have to say that you being gone has completely ripped my heart out of my chest. You loved me and our boys relentlessly and I am forever grateful that i had YOU as a husband and a father to our boys . You are my forever and I will continue to let other people know of the hope in Jesus you found and spoke so boldly about . Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said “Hope Gets the last word. Jesus gets the last word”. Your life’s work has lead thousands to the feet of Jesus and your boldness to tell other about your struggle with anxiety and depression has helped so many other people feel like they weren’t alone. YOU WERE an ANTHEM OF HOPE to everyone, baby, and I’ll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath . I need you, jare, but you needed Jesus to hold you and I have to be okay with that. You are everything to me. Since the day we met. J & J. Love you more . These are photos of him in his happy place - fishing the day away . I’ll teach our boys all your tricks, babe. Promise. You are my #anthemofhope
Laurie, the pastor with Harvest Church, wrote in his post: "Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people. 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," Laurie wrote.