LAKE FOREST, Calif. -- The Southern California church headed by popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren said Saturday his 27-year-old son had committed suicide.
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 . . .," the church's statement said. "Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts."
Warren, the author of "The Purpose Driven Life," said in an email to church staff that he and his wife had enjoyed a fun Friday evening with their son. But Matthew Warren took his life Friday after "a momentary wave of despair at his home."