WHEATON, Ill. (RNS) — The day pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson died was the day organizers began planning a one-day evangelical Christian summit about pastors and mental health.
Wilson, a pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, spent his life advocating for mental health through his nonprofit, Anthem of Hope. He shared openly about his depression, offering words of hope on social media and calling on the church to better understand mental health.
He died by suicide in September.
Organizers of Friday’s gathering of pastors and other Christian leaders said they were continuing Wilson’s work.
“Today, we join a conversation already in progress, often in the mental health community, but less so — and sometimes tragically so — the conversation has not yet made it into many of our churches,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center.
About 400 ministry leaders filled a sold-out auditorium at the Billy Graham Center for GC2: Facing Hard Truths and Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, focused on the topics of leadership, burnout and mental health. Another 77 churches around the world live-streamed the event, according to Stetzer.
The event is the fourth annual GC2 summit organized by the Billy Graham Center and Wheaton College School of Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy on the evangelical Christian school’s campus…
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