Pastor Andrew Stoecklein passed away after trying to take his own life.
Pastor Andrew Stoecklein of Inland Hills Church in Chino, California, was rushed to the hospital after he tried to kill himself on Friday, August 25, 2018.
The next morning, his church issued a statement asking for prayers for their lead pastor who had been placed on life support. The church also held a prayer vigil in his honor later that day.
Sadly, Stoecklein passed away that same day according to his wife, Kayla, who shared the sad news on Instagram.
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Last night, the love of my life, the father of my children and the pastor of our incredible church took his last breath and went to be with Jesus. It wasn#emo#4oCZ##t the miracle I was hoping for but he is now in heaven with his dad, free of pain, free of depression and anxiety. #emo#4oCi## He was an amazing husband, he truly made me better, made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, and he loved me so deeply. We fit so well together, we were one. He was an amazing daddy, his three boys are going to miss him so much. He had such a unique and special relationship with each of them. He was an incredibly gifted teacher, communicator, and pastor. He was special, one of a kind and will be missed by thousands of people all around the world. #emo#4oCi## Please pray for me and the boys. I don#emo#4oCZ##t know how I am going to face this, I am completely heartbroken, lost, and empty. Never in a million years would I have imagined this would be the end of his story. #emo#4oCi## If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions, please tell someone. Please make sure you#emo#4oCZ##re not alone, and please call a friend or family member before you make that irreversible decision. You are loved and valued more than you know! #godsgotthis
The church also shared an update: "Inland Hills Church grieves with heavy hearts as our Lead Pastor Andrew Stoecklein was welcomed into Heaven on Saturday night after battling depression and anxiety. It's not the outcome we hoped and prayed for, and today we grieve as a church family. In his time leading Inland Hills, Andrew reached so many with his warm wit, passionate heart for God, and teaching that always, always pointed others to Jesus. The loving husband, father, son, and friend that he was will continue to inspire us in leading others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ."
The Inland Hills Church concluded by encouraging anyone battling with suicidal thoughts get help.
"And in this tragedy, we encourage anyone who is hurting emotionally to ask for help. If you or anyone else is struggling, the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800–273-Talk (8255) is a potentially life-saving resource. May we be a beacon of hope for the community, to rescue the hurting and honor the God that Andrew served so well. Andrew, we love you. And we always will. #godsgotthis #inlandhills," the post read.
He leaves behind his wife, three young sons and his church.
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Y'all PRAY for this family! This story is so heartbreaking my heart!! This young pastor took his life this weekend. After a long fight through anxiety and depression. This is happening to often. He leaves behind a beautiful wife, 3 young sons and a church that#emo#4oCZ##s hurting. I hear all the time about #emo#4oCc##church Hurt#emo#4oCd## we as pastors suffer it as well... we just don#emo#4oCZ##t have the option to publicly bleed. We go through seasons of anxiety, breakdowns also and have to preach through it. He was fighting...... I love what Pastor Dewey @edeweysmith said.... Pastor Andrew's AUGUST 2018 (THIS MONTH) Sermon Series was entitled: "Hot Mess"! He was ministering about depression, anxiety, mental health & pressure. He was trying to "preach himself through it"! Often these words are true, "as we minister to others we're really trying to minister to ourselves". Where does the tow-truck go when it has a breakdown? Always pray for your Pastors.... we're incurably human! This is terribly sad.... yet I know acutely how it feels to have to preach with a broken heart. Today let's love each other more! More mercy & less judgment. Check on those whom you love! If you're losing the depression battle, call the National Suicide Hotline, 1-800-237-8255. Pray for Pastor Drew's wife, children, family & @inlandhills! #DepressionIsReal #YoureNotAlone #InlandHills #realtalkkim
Before attempting suicide, Stoecklein had battled with anxiety and depression for a long time. He talked about it in his August 2018 Sermon Series titled: "Hot Mess!"
His wife, Kayla, also opened up about his struggles in the video below. On August 13, 2018, she talked the importance of the four-month sabbatical he recently took. "He didn't want to stop. He would have kept on going and going and going and it probably would have cost him his life," she said.
Unfortunately, Stoecklein is not the only religious leader dealing with suicidal thoughts or depression. There are a lot of our pastors, priests and clerics who are suffering from these conditions. This is why it is so important that the church stops being so critical and become more prayerful/helpful instead. Remember, religious leaders are just like us, they are issues too.