Congregants and staff from Inland Hills Church in Chino, California, have launched a campaign to raise half a million dollars for the family of senior pastor Andrew Stoecklein, who died over the weekend of suicide.
Andrew Stoecklein, who had battled anxiety and depression for years, died Saturday at just 30 years old after attempting suicide the night before.
The description featured on the GoFundMe campaign’s landing page reads, in part, “Andrew bravely confronted the topic of mental health in his last days, shedding light on illnesses that aren’t widely discussed in public or in the worldwide church.”
“Kayla is committed to continuing his story by honoring the man he was, while calling for greater support for pastors in the burdens they carry,” it continues. “It is by their example that we can praise God and provide for their family in the midst of grief.”
In a blog post published earlier this week, Stoecklein’s wife, Kayla, opened up about her grief following her late husband’s suicide. She admitted in her writing that she “didn’t understand” the depths of Andrew Stoecklein’s suffering.
“You were right all along. I truly didn’t understand the depths of your depression and anxiety,” Kayla Stoecklein wrote. “I didn’t understand how real and how relentless the spiritual attacks were. The pain, the fear, and the turmoil you must have been dealing with every single day is unimaginable.”
She vowed to raise their three young boys “to be men of God, just like you were.”
In the two weeks before his death, Andrew Stoecklein was preaching a series titled “Hot Mess,” in which he was teaching on the importance of being transparent when it comes to anxiety and depression.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, or you just need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are looking for a counselor in your area, consult the Christian Counselors Network.