Kayla Koslosky | ChristianHeadlines.com Editor | Tuesday, January 29, 2019 A California megachurch pastor was found in his home on Wednesday, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to the Christian Post, Jim Howard of the 6,000-member Real Life Church took his life on Wednesday, ending his long-time battle with mental illness. Rusty George, another lead pastor at Real Life Church, released a statement on Facebook on behalf of the church announcing the heartbreaking news. George wrote, “It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm we suffered a tragic loss on our church staff this week. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Jim Howard — a beloved pastor here at RLC — took his own life.” George continued, “Sadly, Jim suffered in private with mental health challenges — some of which he bravely discussed in public — and was wrestling with some personal issues in recent months. This week he made the tragic decision to end his pain. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, the RLC family and all those who were blessed to know him.” According to The Signal, paramedics were dispatched to Howard’s home around 3:40 pm after receiving reports of a gunshot wound to the head. Homicide detectives evaluated the scene. On Thursday, Sergeant Tim O’Quinn of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau said that he could not confirm the cause of death but he could only confirm that it was “not a criminal incident.” The Real Life Church confirmed later that day that Howard had committed suicide. In the post by Real Life Church, Howard was described as a “tornado of energy” and a “wonderful man with a deep love for Jesus and a passion for sharing the grace of God with anyone he met.” Comments on the Real Life Church post echoed these sentiments. Several Facebook users recalled the joyous time spent in college with Howard, while others personally identified with the pastor’s struggle and offered prayers to his friends and family. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness, consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 _____________________________________ Keep prayers up for pastors, church leaders and their families...highlighting a few Saturday August 26, 2018 Pastor Andrew Stoecklein of Inland Hills Church in Chino, California, attempted to take his own life on Friday, August 25, 2018. Despite being rushed to the hospital and placed on life support, Stoecklein passed away the next day. ************** December 4, 2017 Bill Lenz, 60, senior pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha, WI, took his own life after struggle with depression. *************** Sunday May 31, 2015 Phil Lineberger, 69, pastor of Sugar Land Baptist Church near Houston, committed suicide. Lineberger is known to have suffered with depression for a long time. ********************* Friday Apri 5, 2013 Matthew Warren, 27, the youngest son of Saddleback Valley Community Church Pastor Rick and Kay Warren died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Mission Viejo, Calif., home. Sunday Nov 10, 2013 Pastor Teddy Parker, 42, of Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, died of a "self-inflicted gunshot wound" while his congregation waited for him to arrive for service. Tuesday Dec 10, 2013 Isaac Hunter, 36, the son of megachurch pastor and Obama spiritual counselor Joel Hunter, was found dead by gunshot wound at his Florida home.