Matthew Warren, the son of Pastor Rick and Kay Warren, has committed suicide, aged 27. Rick Warren is most notably known as the author of the Purpose Driven Life series and proclaimed Pastor at Saddleback Church, the eighth largest in the U.S. He also tried to bring Christians and Muslims together by stating he believed Allah and God were the same. His son was a part of the church from the time of his birth. According to a letter e-mailed by Pastor Rick, Matthew suffered from mental illness from the time he was a baby and never found his way out of the “relentless pain”.
Part of Warren’s e-mail stated:
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.
The Saddleback Church’s Facebook page has an outpouring for the pastor and his family during this tragic time.