Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha, Wisconsin, has announced that its founding pastor, Bill Lenz, took his own life on Monday — a tragic event that follows a months-long battle with depression.
“With heavy hearts, we must share some devastating news. Our beloved Senior Pastor, Bill Lenz, passed away on the afternoon of December 4,” the church said on its Facebook page. “Bill had been suffering from depression for the last three months.”
Christ the Rock Community Church said that Lenz was seeing a doctor and counselor and talking with friends, but that “depression eventually claimed his life on Earth.”
With heavy hearts, we must share some devastating news. Our beloved Senior Pastor, Bill Lenz, passed away on the…
The church went on to remember the preacher for a much different legacy, though — as a man who had a big heart for others and who served God well during his 35 years as a pastor.
“In light of those truths about Pastor Bill, it is unbearably difficult to comprehend how he could lose sight of hope himself.” the statement continued. “We are left with many questions and deep sorrow for our dear pastor, leader, brother and friend.”
The church asked for prayer for Lenz’s family as well as the church congregation.
Christ the Rock is reportedly one of the largest and most vibrant churches in the Menasha area, according to the Post-Crescent.
Commenters on the church’s Facebook page thanked the house of worship for its honesty, while some also expressed shock. One person whom Lenz had helped seemed particularly shaken.
“Wow! I almost forgot how to breathe!” the individual’s post read. “How could this be? Bill? How many times you encouraged me. I was so messed up and God used you to keep me going.”
The church plans to hold a gathering on Wednesday evening to help anyone who might be struggling in the wake of the pastor’s death.