The 27-year-old son of popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren has committed suicide at his Southern California home, Warren’s church said in a statement on Saturday.
Matthew Warren struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life. Saddleback Valley Community Church spokeswoman Kristin Cole said he died Friday night.
‘‘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,’’ the church statement said.
Rick Warren, the author of the multimillion-selling book ‘‘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 their son then returned home to take his life in ‘‘a momentary wave of despair.’’
Over the years, Matthew Warren had been treated by America’s best doctors, had received counseling and medication and been the recipient of numerous prayers from others, his father said.