The Southern California church headed by popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren said his 27-year-old son committed suicide today. Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church near Los Angeles said in a statement that Matthew Warren had struggled with mental illness and deep depression. "Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many," the church's statement said.
"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." Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling The Purpose Driven Life, said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun evening yesterday with their son. But Matthew Warren took his life today after "a momentary wave of despair at his home." Over the years, Matthew Warren had been treated by America's best doctors, medication, counselors, and prayers for healing, Warren said.