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Rick Warren's Son Matthew, 27, Commits Suicide

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Warren's youngest son battled with mental illness for many years.

NBC News reported that Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., wrote in a letter to his congregation on Saturday that his youngest son had committed suicide the day before. Matthew Warren, 27, suffered a lifelong battle with mental illness including depression and suicidal thoughts. Matthew took his own life at his home in Mission Viejo Friday morning.

Warren wrote in letter to his church that his son was “an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man.”

“No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now,” Warren wrote. “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.”

The Washington Post wrote Matthew told his father years ago that “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?’”

“In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided,” Warren continued in his letter to church members. “Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.”

Please join with the staff of ChurchLeaders in prayer for God’s strength and mercy for the Warren family.

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