Another tragic case of suicide in the body of Christ.
(UPDATED) Two Orlando-area megachurches ask for prayers for grieving family; Kay Warren, who recently lost her own son to suicide, reacts.
Isaac Hunter, the middle son of Joel Hunter, an Orlando-area megachurch pastor and spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama, has reportedly committed suicide. News spread via an email sent to members of Summit Church, which Isaac founded in 2002. The Orlando Sentinel has the fuller story.
The email, sent today, read:
We found out today that Isaac took his life. . . . We are obviously deeply deeply devastated and saddened beyond words by this news. The tears keep coming and coming as we mourn. We are praying for his family and this congregation as we walk through this together.
We love this family and are so grateful for the impact they have had on each of our lives. I [Pastor Vernon Rainwater] have loved Isaac since he was a child, and I know this … Isaac loved Jesus. And we are assured of his continuing relationship with Christ now in heaven (Romans 8:38-39).
Last November, Isaac Hunter, 36, stepped away from Summit after admitting to leaders that he had an affair with another staff member. He filed for divorce from his wife of 13 years, Rhonda Hunter, on October 4, according to court documents reviewed by the Sentinel.
This April, megachurch pastor Rick Warren and wife Kay lost their 27-year-old son, Matthew, to suicide after he purchased a gun online. The Warrens and other church leaders have since spoken out about mental health and gun rights.
Today, Kay Warren wrote on Twitter: “My heart is broken for the Joel Hunter family in the loss of their beloved Isaac. No words, just tears.”
Joshua DuBois, also a spiritual adviser to President Obama alongside Joel Hunter,tweeted: “Praying hard for my dear friends Joel and Becky Hunter. Please join me in lifting them, and all who loved Isaac, up.”
The suicide of a Georgia pastor recently drew headlines…
*(complete article at Christianity Today can be read here)
As one author I read recently wrote,
“…no one can truly understand the depth of someone else’s suffering, or the reasons that could drive a soul to such desperation. Only God knows what is in a person’s heart (Psalm 139:1-2). Only he knows the extent of pain which might bring a person to the point of suicide”