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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: April 6, 2013.

The 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren and wife Kay, died today. Their youngest son took his own life after tragically losing a lifelong battle with mental illness and depression.

Shortly after lunch today, Pastor Greg Laurie posted on his Facebook “I too have had a son die, so I have a sense of the pain Rick and Kay are facing. But their circumstances are different and my heart goes out to them. At times like these, there really are no words, but there is the Word.

There is no manual, but there is Emmanuel.God is with us.

I know the Lord will be there for all of the Warren family and Saddleback Church as they grieve together. Looking forward to that day when God will “Restore all things”.(Acts 3:21)”

Earlier today Pastor Warren reached out for intercessory prayer from his church staff and distributed the following email to his church ~


Matthew Warren, Son of Pastor Rick and Kay Warren

To my dear Saddleback Family,

Over the past 33 years we’ve been together through every kind of crisis. Kay and I’ve been priviledged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss, stand with you at your gravesides, and prayed for you when ill. Today we need your prayer for us.

No words can expres the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today.

You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was in pain or most uncomfrortable in a room. He’s then make a beeline to that person to engage and encourage them.

But only those closest knew tht he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided. Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.

Kay and I often marveled at his courage to keep moving in spite of relentless pain. 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.

Thank y ou for your love and prayers. We love you back.

Pastor Rick


Pastor Rick Warren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Pastor Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest in 1980 with one other family. Today, it is one of America’s most influential churches, and offers more than 200 community ministries and support groups. He is the author of The Purpose Driven Life, the bestselling hardback in American history, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide.


We ask that you would join us in lifting up Pastor Rick, his wife Kay and their entire family in prayer during this time of immeasurable grief and loss.

To learn more about the ministry of Rick Warren please visit Saddleback Church

6 Responses

  1. Maggie Lagos

    While I have not yet known the anguish of losing a son to the finality of death I know the anguish of a Mother watching her son leave God aside and turn his back on all he’s been taught! My heartfelt prayers are with you and your family, siblings, grandparents and your church!
    Satan is “losing this earthly battle, his time is short and he is doing everything possible to discourage the very elect”….draw strength in knowing Him who you serve, cling to Him and to the prayers of all of us in the Christian community reaching out to you! My prayer is that God will wrap His arms around you and pull you ever closer to Him! To whom God has given a lot, God expects a lot! Read JOB and be encouraged!! And remember when we cry HE cries, when we experience loss He KNOWS that loss, and “Soon, VERY SOON, the King is coming back!!
    Hugs & Prayers

  2. Frank

    Very sorry to hear of this young man’s passing. My prayers go out to the family. I know the torture of mental illness/depression

    • Maita A. Santiago

      My deepest sympathy to Pastor Rick and Wife Kay. May the good Lord continue to comfort you. I understand your situation. PLease go on and grief and after that may the good Lord opens your heart to a new beginning. God is with you always.

  3. ruthannjean hadlock

    we ask the Lord Jesus Christ to give you a over whelming peace in you heart ,knowing the your son is home and dancing on the streets of gold and full of love from the Lord.amen

  4. Tracy Spinks

    I’m sorry for the loss. Mental illness is a big challenge.I believe that the system has failed.You’re in our thoughts & prayers.


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