Rick Warren's Saddleback megachurch is grappling with the aftermath of his son Matthew's apparent suicide, with the pastor taking to Twitter and Facebook to thank followers for their support, the AP reports. Wife "Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words," he posted. Reports conflict on the manner of Matthew's death: Coroners apparently said he'd shot himself Friday morning, per CNN, but a deputy coroner said he couldn't confirm the report, the Los Angeles Times notes.
"I'll never forget how, many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said, 'Dad, I know I'm going to heaven. Why can't I just die and end this pain?' But he kept going for another decade," Rick Warren wrote in a message to the congregation. The pastor didn't attend services yesterday; his brother-in-law Tom Holladay took over, telling the congregation it would face the tragedy "as a church family." Warren had asked Holladay to handle this weekend's services before his son's death because the pastor was suffering from pneumonia, said a rep.