The youngest son of Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life," has committed suicide, the evangelical pastor said in a letter to members of his church on Saturday.
Matthew Warren, the youngest son of Warren and his wife Kay, died after a long struggle with mental illness, according to the statement from Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif. The church asked for "everyone to join us in praying for the entire Warren family" on Saturday.
"At 27 years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many," Saddleback Church said in the statement.
"Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts." On his Facebook page on Sunday, Rick Warren, said, "Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words."
Matthew Warren was found dead of what appeared to be suicide by
gunshot in his home in Mission Viejo, Calif., said
Supervising Deputy Dan Aikin of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner's Department. The estimated time of death was 10 a.m. on Friday morning.
The sheriff's department was called to the home at about 5:15 p.m., An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
"No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now," Warren wrote in the letter. "He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He'd then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them."
"In spite of America's best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided,"
Warren wrote to church members. "Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life."
Warren, the head pastor of the 8th largest church in the U.S, He is also the author of numerous Christian books, including "The Purpose Driven Life," which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Pastor Warren schedules on updating the book "The Purpose Driven Life" for 2013.
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