Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, released a statement to the church, saying his 27-year-old son Matthew took his own life after a battle with depression.
The statement said that the suicide followed an evening spent with Warren and his wife, Kay.
“Kay and I’ve been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss,” the statement said. “Today we need your prayers for us.”
Orange County sheriff’s officials say Matthew Warren died Friday evening of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In Rick Warren’s statement, he mentioned Matthew had a long history of battling “mental illness,” “dark holes of depression,” and “suicidal thoughts.”
News of Matthew’s death hit the church by the time it held a service Saturday night, where they only mentioned the tragedy briefly.
“Matthew is in a place where he is completely healed,” said Sandra Maddox, a Saddleback parishioner who says she was aware of his fight with depression.