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Beloved Pastor, Mental Health Advocate Tragically Takes His Own Life

09-10-2019
Jarrid Wilson. (Image credit: Greg Laurie/Harvest Christian Fellowship/Facebook)
Jarrid Wilson. (Image credit: Greg Laurie/Harvest Christian Fellowship/Facebook)

Jarrid Wilson, author, pastor, and founder of Anthem of Hope, tragically took his life Monday night, on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day.

Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor Greg Laurie announced news of Wilson’s passing on his Facebook page Tuesday evening.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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.

A post shared by Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) on

“Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart,” Laurie wrote. “He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others.”

Jarrid’s wife, Julianne Wilson, posted this tribute on Instagram:

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious, give the shirt of his back husband went to be with Jesus late last night . No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle. You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re by his side right this very second . 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. You loved me and our boys relentlessly and we are forever grateful that i had YOU as a husband and a father to my boys . You are my forever and I will continue to let other people know of the hope in Jesus you found and spoke so boldly about . Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said “Hope Gets the last word. Jesus does”. Your life’s work has lead thousands to the feet of Jesus and your boldness to tell other about your struggle with anxiety and depression has helped so many other people feel like they weren’t alone. YOU WERE an anthem of hope to everyone, baby, and I’ll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath . I need you, jare. But you needed Jesus to hold you and I have to be okay with that. You are everything to me. Since the day we met. J & J. Love you more . These are photos of him in his happy place - fishing the day away . I’ll teach our boys all your tricks, babe. Promise. You are my #anthemofhope

A post shared by Julianne Wilson (@itsjuliwilson) on

On Monday evening, Wilson, who struggled with suicidal ideation and clinical depression in his own life, penned a tweet in which he wrote: “Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.”

Wilson was an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, the church founded in 1973 by Laurie, who played a pivotal role in Wilson’s own salvation experience.

Last year, Wilson explained to Faithwire that he went to hear Laurie preach during his annual Harvest Crusade in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, in the summer of 2002. That sermon, he recalled, was the first time he “truly heard the message of the Gospel” in a way that made sense to him.

It was that encounter at the Harvest Crusade that resulted in Wilson ultimately becoming a Christian in 2007.

“I was sitting in my car, as I’ve shared many times before, Googling painless ways to commit suicide, and this flood of emotions and wisdom and guidance and God’s presence just began to infiltrate my life,” he recalled. “And I started remembering the things I’d heard from the crusades and the passages of Scripture I had memorized, the Bible studies I had been to, devotionals I had read and the conversations I had with my family.”

LATEST: ‘I’m Watching This Over and Over Again’: Jarrid Wilson’s Wife Posts Gut-Wrenching Video Taken Just Hours Before His Death

Serving as a pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship just a handful of years later, Wilson added, was a “humbling” experience.

The husband and father-of-two recently garnered national attention for his #GreatJoys movement, encouraging those who chose life for their children instead of abortion to share photos of their kids on social media.

His campaign was a response to a statement from actor and activist Alyssa Milano, who claimed her life would be “lacking all its great joys” if she hadn’t terminated two of her pregnancies in her early 20s.

The young pastor was also the co-founder of Anthem of Hope, which he established alongside his wife in 2016. The non-profit organization is centered on offering “hope for those battling brokenness, depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction, and suicide.”

In addition to offering an online chat feature, Anthem of Hope features access to free, downloadable e-books regarding mental health, and can assist in helping connect people to qualified faith-based counselors in their areas.

Wilson, who was only 30 years old, leaves behind his wife, Juli, as well as their two young sons, Finch and Denham.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or you just need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re looking for counseling services in your area, consult the Christian Counselors Network.

If you’d like to help Jarrid’s wife Julianne financially, you can do so HERE.

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