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.
“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, Juli, posted an emotional tribute to her late husband on Instagram Tuesday evening:
Just one night before, 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.”
“But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort,” he added. “He ALWAYS does that.”
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.”
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 grants visitors 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 and 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 would like to help Jarrid’s young family financially, click here.