Megachurch Pastor Isaac Hunter Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

This week, former megachurch pastor Isaac Hunter was found dead, after police say the 36-year-old committed suicide at his home in Florida. He was the son of Joel Hunter, also an influential pastor and a spiritual advisor to President Obama. Just over a year ago, Hunter resigned from the 5,000-member church he founded in Orlando, Fla., after becoming embroiled in a scandal and revelations about deep, personal struggles became public. In an email to church volunteers, a Summit Church staffer said, “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.”

This story hits close to home for the RELEVANT staff. Many of the staff members, including founder Cameron Strang, are members of Summit Church, and knew Isaac as their pastor. In a Facebook post, Cameron said, “Isaac loved Jesus and was a talented and dedicated pastor for more than a decade. But he had some significant struggles. The unfathomable news today is devastating for many. Please pray for his family. Please pray for our church. Pray for his kids. Please pray that somehow, some way, someday, good will ultimately come of this. That this tragic story can be used to reach and rescue others who are silently battling the same demons Isaac did.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, nearly a million people attempt suicide, and every 17 minutes, one of them succeeds. Earlier this year, RELEVANT looked at the growing epidemic of suicide among young adults. In this story, along with looking at the growing numbers (suicide is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of 25 and 34), we also identified free resources for those contemplating suicide, and ways to recognize risk factors and signs of severe depression …

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