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Mon., April 8, 2013, 8:45 a.m.

Purpose Driven Life author’s son commits suicide


Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of the best-selling Christian book of 2004
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of the best-selling Christian book of 2004 "The Purpose-Driven Life," poses recently at his church in Lake Forest, Calif. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of the best-selling Christian book of 2004 "The Purpose-Driven Life"

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – The 27-year-old son of popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren has committed suicide at his Southern California home, Warren’s church said in a statement on Saturday.

Matthew Warren struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life. Saddleback Valley Community Church spokeswoman Kristin Cole said he died Friday night.

“Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life,” the church statement said.

Rick Warren, the author of the multimillion-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life,” said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun Friday evening with their son. But their son then returned home to take his life in “a momentary wave of despair.”

Over the years, Matthew Warren had been treated by America’s best doctors, had received counseling and medication and been the recipient of numerous prayers from others, his father said. More here.

I cannot imagine the heartache of losing a child this way. As a parent, my heart goes out to Rick Warren. Have you ever lost a loved one to suicide?




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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.