“Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people,” the church's senior pastor wrote.
Sept. 11, 2019, 7:52 AM EDT
By Ben Kesslen
A megachurch pastor in Southern California known for his mental health advocacy died by suicide on Monday, church officials said in a statement.
Open about his battle with depression, Wilson spoke often of his struggles online and in his work as a pastor.
“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts,” Wilson wrote on Twitter shortly before his death. “But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.”
On social media, family and colleagues mourned Wilson’s death.
“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,” Wilson’s wife, Juli, wrote on Instagram. “Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it.”
In addition to his wife, Wilson is survived by two sons, Finch and Denham.
Greg Laurie, senior pastor at the Harvest megachurch, described Wilson in a statement as a “vibrant” person, “always serving and helping others.”
“Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people,” Laurie wrote. “We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.”
Sunday marked the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week, a weeklong campaign meant to bring awareness to the warning signs of suicide and teach people about the resources available for people in crisis.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.