Jarrid Wilson, popular pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside, California, died by apparent suicide on Monday, September 9, reports the New York Post. Wilson, 30, was known to give sermons on mental health issues, and had struggled with depression himself. He, along with wife Juli, founded Anthem of Hope in 2016, a mental health non-profit aimed at providing resources for those struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction, and suicide.
“Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles. He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts. Tragically, Jarrid took his own life,” senior pastor Greg Laurie wrote in a blog post on the church’s website on Tuesday. “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.”
Prior to moving to Southern California, Wilson had pastored at Nashville’s Home Church, and it was there that he met Adam Busby of TLC’s OutDaughtered. Viewers had watched Busby struggle with his mental health in 2017, and he eventually sought the advice of Wilson. Busby credits Wilson with giving him the push he needed to seek help (via USA Today).
An emotional Busby shared a tribute to Wilson days after his death, saying, in part, “My heart is so broken… In one of the darkest and most confusing times of my life, Jarrid Wilson sought me out. When I pushed him away and ignored his persistent attempts to help, he stayed right there and wouldn’t be defeated. […] You have sung that #anthemofhope for countless people in their darkest times; all while fighting that same battle in the trenches of your own mind. You were the one who encouraged me to go public with my struggle with depression, because you knew how God would use my story to help so many and i have read countless stories of how it has and still is working in peoples lives.”
The Busby family considered the Wilsons “lifelong friends” and cherished the time they spent together, calling them “inspirational and helpful.”
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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