Beth Moore urges church leaders to be transparent after the sudden death of Pastor Jarrid Wilson, calling these days “tumultuous times”.
The tragic death by suicide of Jarrid Wilson has left the Church heartbroken. Another life lost to depression. Another family grieving. Jarrid Wilson, an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, under Pastor Greg Laurie, was just 30 years old. He was open about his struggles with depression and addressed mental health from the pulpit and through the organization he co-founded, Anthem of Hope. He is survived by wife, Julianne, and two sons, Finch and Denham.
Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, Greg Laurie shared his grief in a memoriam to Jarrid.
“At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, ‘There is a time to mourn.’ This is certainly that time.”
“Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart,” Pastor Laurie continued. “He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others…He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts.”
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It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that @jarridwilson went to be with the Lord last night. At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, “There is a time to mourn.” This is certainly that time. Jarrid is survived by his wife, @itsjuliwilson his two sons, Finch and Denham, his mother, father, and siblings. Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart. He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others. 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. Jarrid joined us as an associate pastor at Harvest 18 months ago and had spoken out many times on this very issue of mental health. Jarrid and his wife, Juli, founded an outreach to help people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts called “Anthem of Hope.” 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. Over the years, I have found that people speak out about what they struggle with the most. One dark moment in a Christian’s life cannot undo what Christ did for us on the cross. Romans reminds us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39). At times like this, we must remember that as Christians, we do not live on explanations but on promises. We fall back on what we do know, not on what we don’t know. We do know that Jarrid put his faith in Jesus Christ and we also know that he is in Heaven now. We stand on the promise of Revelation 21:4 that reminds us that in Heaven there is no more sorrow, suffering, or death. Please keep Juli and Jarrid’s family in prayer. The Harvest family has lost a bright light. Pray for us as we grieve together. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help.
In the hours after learning of Jarrid’s death, Beth Moore tweeted, imploring church leaders to be authentic about their own struggles in order to de-stigmatize depression.
“Fellow leaders, I cannot stress enough how vital it is in these tumultuous days that we drop all the BS and trade our self promotion & protection for serving authentically from our real live journeys with Christ. People are dying to know we’ve been where they are. They need hope.”
There are millions struggling with depression today and many of them love Jesus, have families, and serve the church. Jarrid wrote recently on this subject calling on the Church and her leaders to be the frontrunners of mental health.
“We NEED the church to step up in its efforts to be more vocal in regards to mental illness. Whether that be through a sermon series, free resources, supporting other non-profits or even a cultivating a designated yearlong ministry,” he wrote. “Regardless, the church should be at the frontlines of this battle. People need a safe place where they can be honest and transparent with what they are going through.”
We lift up Jarrid’s family and loved ones today and ask that the peace of the Lord be with them. As Pastor Laurie said, there are no words; just mourning. Lord, we need Your comfort.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at tel:1-800-273-TALK (8255).