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Church: Pastor Rick Warren's Son Commits Suicide

By: AP
By: AP

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (AP) -- Members of Rick Warren's Southern California church began Sunday services with a prayer for the popular evangelical pastor, as he and his family coped with the apparent suicide of his 27-year-old son.

Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church in Orange County, opened the 9 a.m. worship service by saying the congregation would face the tragedy together, "as a church family."

Holladay led a prayer for Warren and his wife, Kay, and their two other children.

The lead pastor was not in attendance Sunday, the day after the church announced that Matthew Warren took his own life at his Mission Viejo home.

The church said the younger Warren struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life.

He was the youngest Rick Warren's three children.

Warren is the author of "The Purpose Driven Life." In 2008, his church sponsored a presidential forum with Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney had been invited to a similar forum last fall, but Warren canceled it, saying the campaign had become too uncivil.

Saddleback's website says that about 20,000 people attend weekend services at the church near Los Angeles.


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