Son of Megachurch Pastor Rick Warren has Committed Suicide

Matthew Warren, son of prominent evangelical pastor Rick Warren, killed himself Friday night in his home in Mission Viejo, CA. His family said in a statement that Mathew Warren had struggled with depression and mental illness his entire life.

Rick Warren is the founder of Saddleback Church, the eighth-largest church in the United States, and controversially spoke at President Obama's 2008 inauguration. Warren said in an email to church staff that he had been enjoying a pleasant Friday evening with his wife and son, when Matthew returned home to kill himself during "a momentary wave of despair."

He added in the email:

"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?'"

The church released a statement of its own yesterday saying, "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."

Matthew was the youngest of Warren's three children. Another pastor was already scheduled to preach in front of the Saddleback Church on Sunday even before Matthew Warren killed himself.