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Wife “completely heartbroken” after Pastor commits Suicide

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Wife "completely heartbroken" after Pastor Andrew Stoecklein commits Suicide | BellaNaija

Kayla Stoecklein says she has been left “completely heartbroken” after her husband, pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino, California, Andrew Stoecklein committed suicide.

Stoecklein was taken to the hospital after attempting to take his life. He was on life support for days before passing on Saturday.

Andrew had been battling depression and anxiety, the church shared on Facebook, and passed on Saturday.

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.

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

Kayla, with whom he had three kids, shared on her Instagram that she’s been left lost and empty by his death and asked that people pray for her.

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’t the miracle I was hoping for but he is now in heaven with his dad, free of pain, free of depression and anxiety.

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.

Please pray for me and the boys. I don’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.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions, please tell someone. Please make sure you’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

Photo Credit: kaylasteck

30 Comments

  1. VIKY

    August 29, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    dis is really sad* my heart goes out to d family

  2. didi

    August 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Dont be discouraged if you are battling with depression or anything, the word of God still works. The stories of people here is not the same with yours, because it didnt work for a hristian you know doesnt mean God fails, he never those. Do well to share your struggles with a good christian counsellor who will dedicate time to you for counsel on how to overcome your challenges, no form JOHNNY BRAVO, show God how weak you are let his strength come upon you. Remember to pray about everything and meditate on the word of God to dissipate the power of darkness. Join a church like winners or christ embassy, read books on who you are in hrist jesus go on youtube download JOYCE MEYER’S, PASTOR CHRIS OR OYEDEPOs messages on that issue you are dealing with. Help is on the way. Stay beautiful and triumphant, you are loved.

  3. seriously

    August 29, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Not trying to nitpick but *welcome into heaven * is a deception trap. Suicide is not godly. That part should have been omitted. It’s a misleading message to christians, that suicide is acceptable. Kill yourself and you can still go to heaven.

    This is a pivotal moment for true followers of Christ to sit up and practice truly God’s word not just be a benchwarmer. I’m sure, people around him were aware that he was a bit off but they probably ignored it bcos he’s a « pastor ». It’s okay to step down. True deliverance, healing needs to be incorporated back into churches. Don’t just act saved and think it’s all good then start a church.
    Body of christ pray for your pastor dilligently, they need your help just as you go to them for help and. even idolize them.

    • Cocoa

      August 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Im just glad someone spoke the TRUTH and it didnt have to be me for once.
      Thank you for your HONESTY.
      This is my experience of MOST Christians. We need to stop misleading ourselves…tolerating what God hates and trying to console ourselves with delusions.

      Did he go to heaven? NO ONE ON EARTH WILL KNOW. He might have repented right as he was dying..he might have not. We pray he did.

      BUT SUICIDE IS A SIN. The only thing that can be worse than whatever you think your worst on earth is….is an eternity in hell!!!!!

      IT IS TIME TO START READING YOUR BIBLE PEOPLE!! I wont recommend a pastor to anyone. PICK UP THE WORD OF GOD and LET THE HOLY SPIRIT LEAD YOU INTO ALL TRUTH.

      When God found me i wasnt going to any church..i was SEEKING THE MEANING TO LIFE ( iwas empty,broken , anxious, depressed…you name it) ….and GOD SO MERCIFUL…PICKED ME UP RIGHT HERE IN MY LIVING ROOM..then i started connecting to sermons on youtube…then was finallty led by the HOLY SPIRIT into becoming an ACTIVE MEMEBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.

      Dont take my word for it. Taste and see that indeed the LORD IS GOOD. He doesnt promise to take away all your prolblems. in fact He tells you there will be trouble…but that HE IS WITH YOU. ..AND IF YOU HOLD ON TO HIM…..YOU WILL NOT DROWN. TRUST HIM. TALK TO HIM. HE IS WAITING FOR YOU.

    • Elle

      August 29, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Cocoa, the issue is not with speaking the truth, the issue is the manner you go about it. Humility goes a long way even when speaking the truth. And compassion, empathy, love. The truth remains the truth, that will never change.

    • Cocoa

      September 1, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Hi Elle,
      The TRUTH in itself is offensive to many. I dont see anything wrong in that. We ALL need a WAKE UP CALL, Christian is not synonymous with NICE.

      Jesus wasnt always nice…He was TRUTH.

      I dont leave comments here to be “liked”. Im here for ONE PURPOSE. …spread the TRUTH of my FATHER.

      If im rough around the edges….God knows how to smoothen me out. As long as my intent is aligned with His Will…

      I apologise for my future comments. I wont be sugar coating anything …but perhaps i will reduce the doses. 🙂

    • Whitney Nobiling

      August 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      This man had a close and personal relationship with the Lord and he served him daily. He brought hundreds or others to the Lord. The devil knew what Andrew was doing and wanted to stop him. Depression is an illness. You can no more cure yourself of it than you can cancer. Some people can learn to manage it, but some can’t. I am sure he prayed and begged and tried, but the devil won. The Lord was waiting for Andrew with a place at the table, that I am sure of. Because I am a Christian and I believe with all my heart that my Lord forgives those who ask for it and who commit their heart to a relationship with him. I am sure Andrew asked for forgiveness, but some times the Devil wins. Shame on you for posting this where his broken family and congregation could read it and be subject to even more pain and anguish.

    • Cocoa

      August 29, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      Whitney,
      Im sorry if my comment seemed harsh considering many im sure are grieving. Remember that this is not a message sent to his wife, nor is it for his wife and church…my comment is for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and those yet to come to Christ.

      I was careful to make it very clear that NONE OF US can judge rightly if anyone went to Heaven or not.

      I just want we in Christ to be CAREFUL……ITS NOT ABOUT WHAT SOUNDS NICE….IT IS ABOUT WHAT IS BIBLICAL.

      I was concerned that the statement released might be misunderstood by others thinking of suicide as to mean “you can end your hardship on earth now and go to heaven if you want” that was really my concern.

      I know its a sensitive topic..but how else are we going to have these discussions. We need to talk openly about these things. Sometimes it will hurt, though unintended.

      I have no prior knowldge of this Pastor..but i believe as the Bible says that we are “saved by GRACE through FAITH” and in this i know one thing ….THE DEVIL DID NOT WIN.

    • seriously

      August 29, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      I’m still learning more about Christ and the Bible. my understanding is, What christians, unbelievers everyone have to be reminded of is, there’s NOTHING on this earth that you can’t have victory and overcome through the power of Jesus. This is the sole reason there’s a God who is bigger than our capabilities and what Christ died for right. What God chooses to do or not do is not up to me to say. Neither am I here to give steps and process on how to be delievered and healed. It’s a personal relationship.
      But what I can say is, Satan is out here playing his games HARD, turning truth into lies, vice versa. He goes harder at people who have chosen Christ. And the best way is our mind. I’ve gone through depression, was on antidepressants, anti anxiety and suicidal thoughts. No words can describe such pain but I overcame that’s all I can say.

      I can’t say if this pastor went to heaven or not but I believe it’s unnecessary to make such statement on something that’s morally wrong, from all angles.
      He might have repented before he did the act. I know heaven will be full of surprises.

      But while we are on earth, let’s be mindful of deception and misleading ourselves

    • tee hi

      August 29, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      I was actually thinking along the line of the “welcome to heaven “being a bit off…but then I thought after a while…what if??while I agree very much that people should seek help…regardless of how spiritual you or others think you are….I stopped for a while to think of the what if…I mean as regards the heaven aspect…Its a sin to take anyone’s life(yours inclusive)…but if we as mere humans allow a different judgement for people who murder at the instance of insanity….how much more God who is merciful….considering that this particular suicide was committed due to a mental health issue over which the individual might not have had control over….so I just pondered on this for a while and concluded…we never really would be able to tell…by and by…we shall understand!

    • Sakura

      August 29, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      I wish I could like a thousand times. We’re quick to assume God’s judgement is punishment, the one thing we do know is God is love eternally and if we as humans can show mercy and compassion how much more He who chooses mercy over judgement time and time again.

    • Cocoa

      August 29, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      ” We are quick to assume that God’s judgement is punishment”
      I’m assuming this statement is referring to those who are saved but lost their life in sin. Because we know from the Bible that the judgement for the wicked is indeed punishment.

      But it is certainly food for thought….. when it comes to those who are saved. since we know from the Word of God that we are ” saved by Grace though Faith ” and not good works.

      Its certainly food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

    • Slice

      August 29, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      There is no hell. The Bible doesn’t talk about a literal hell so stop worrying about loved ones going there. There’s no such place

    • Cocoa

      September 1, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Please go back and re read yppour Bible. Please dont be mislead. Study to show yourself approved.

      What your are typing is FALSE DOCTRINE.

    • Oto

      August 29, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      I know my reply is really late… but what if he awoke at some point and repented of his sin of attempted suicide in the hospital before he eventually died. Be empathetic. I’m a former sufferer of depression who was too “cowardly” to end it all. Kindly judge not, rather look at your life and thank God for the strength He has given you to carry on. Peace.

      P.S. I’m a born again Christian who never fails to thank God every single day for saving me from the clutches of depression and suicidal thoughts. You never know till you’re lost in abysmal darkness. I’ve been there.

    • seriously

      August 31, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      @Oto
      Empathy and compassion shouldn’t dismiss the truth. It’s healthy to know what’s wrong and right. That’s what should compel one to speak the truth and help others not to self destruct themselves. I’ve been depressed before, had suicidal thoughts, so I understand. My point is not whether he went to heaven or hell but the public declaration of « welcome to heaven » is unnecessary especially as a leader of a church. It can easily be misleading. Just like how some muslims believe if they fight for their religion kill and die, they will be welcomed into heaven.

    • Pat

      August 29, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      “True deliverance needs to be incorporated in churches…..” Gbam!

    • Christine Stoxen

      September 1, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      Depression is an illness. Yes suicide is terrible, having been affected personally by it I know. But no one says that cancer is a sin or any other illness. Depression, and great depression that this pastor experienced is no more or less than those kinds of illnesses. When it gets that bad, he just couldn’t see a way out. I personally can’t imagine life being that dark, and my heart goes out to all affected. The God that I know understands that kind of illness, that kind of pain and we cannot blame mental illness on the one who has experienced it. My prayers are for peace and greater understanding for a devastated family

  4. seriously

    August 29, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    To clarify, not idolize them. My point is, people rely on them for help and even idolize them. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. We are to pray and also correct them biblically. At the end of the day, they are human like everyone else.

  5. Beauty

    August 29, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I just knew someone would disagree with this statement ‘welcome into heaven’.

    Depression is an illness and not all suicides is an ungodly act. Just pray you or your loved ones never get diagnosed with any Mental illness.

    Most of these people were not in the right frame of mind.

    I had this mind set that they were selfish and that it was an ungodly act. But we are the selfish ones for not truly understanding the hell and the battle that goes on in their heads.

  6. Modupe

    August 29, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Nigerians Christians and their gods of brimstones, fire, revenge, anger and punishment. Nigerian Christians with their harsh, hateful and judgemental words. Even in the face of grief and profound sadness, Nigerian Christians always find a way to warn, rebuke or say hateful words. Horrible people all of them. Leave the man and his God. Did he tell you he worships the Nigerian God of revenge and punishment ? Do you know his Chi better than him? Someone says her husband is in heaven, you in the dark corner of Nigeria with no electricity and stricken with poverty and poor leadership is saying he went to hell. Is it your hell or heaven? Why do you lay claim to where and what you have not experienced yourself? Did anyone receive any revelation from god on whether the man is in heaven or hell?

    • Jade edo babe

      August 30, 2018 at 2:15 am

      @modupe you sef dey add fire. Abeg, read am well. . From my understanding, the commenters didn’t say he went to hell. when I first read it, i was confused. what about leave it neutral.
      @seeiously i agree wit you sha, your head correct.
      I hope people suffering out dere will find remedy to their pain. suicide, drugs, other things is not the solution

  7. Corrected version Anna

    August 29, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    May his soul rest in peace. As someone who has battled with depression, and who is overcoming it on a daily basis without medication, I will share a few tips:

    1. Cut back on work, yes! I have a tendency to push myself so hard and it was messing up my mind. I began to say no to stressful work, no matter the pay, and I started feeling better. As a Christian, I trust God to provide for me and I only work as hard as I should. There is no competition in this world.

    2. Exercise outdoors. Get oxygen inside your brain. If I do not go for a walk outdoors in three days, that dark cloud starts hovering over my mind. And NO, the gym cannot do this, take a walk outdoors.

    3. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. That emptiness of depression falls on me if I miss out on a good night’s rest a couple of times. For me it is 6 hours, please listen to your body to know yours.

    4. Get rid of toxic relationships. Find loving relationships and surround yourself with that. But first, please be a loving and forgiving person.

    5. Pray. No worries or anxiety. Nothing is worth that dark cloud.

    6. Find purpose and meaning in everyday routine. Cleaning your house, being there for someone etc

    7. Always maintain a feeling of gratitude for who you are and where you are.

    8. Avoid reading or watching negative news or bad news about death, destruction, sorrow etc. Flee. Do not click and read it.

    9. Do thingsys you like as much as possible. As long as they are positive.

    10. Your diet matters. Avoid sugar, white carbs such as flour and rice. Also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and try to eat before 7:00 p.m. ever night.

    I pray you receive as much healing as I have received, and I am receiving by constantly putting the above in practice. It works. I believe Anthony Bourdain would still be here if he practiced the above. And also this pastor. The word of God works if you practise it. Rest is a principle in God’s word (sabbath), contentment is a principle, gratitude is a principle. It does not matter whether you are a pastor or not. If you break principles, it breaks you.

    I am not ruling out the possibility of chemical imbalance being the cause of one’s depression, but I think that today’s highly competitive, lack of deep social connection lifestyle has a lot to do with the increasing incidence of suicides. May God help us, in Jesus name, Amen.

  8. Ajala & Foodie

    August 29, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Like Beauty, I used to think that ALL suicides were wrong and yes a sin and just extremely selfish. I used to believe that all these individuals had to think about was their loved ones and they should be able to stop.

    But then I had to understand abnormal psychology and i asked myself when a schizophrenic jumps in front of a moving vehicle or train and he/she is killed, or drinks some kind of chemical. We are not so quick to condemn them to hell now, are we?

    The truth is what makes a schizophrenic different from someone suffering from depression or someone who is bipolar? All these are psychological disorders i.e they are all not in the right frame of mind when “they jump or overdose or whatever “. So while they are different from those that commit suicide to evade going to jail or poverty. I think we should be careful about categorically saying or insinuating that these individuals are hell bound. While murder is a sin, when a train or car hits and kills someone on the train tracks or highway, do we consider them murderers???

  9. Ajala & Foodie

    August 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    We should learn to pray for our spiritual leaders. Unlike us they usually are unable to freely discuss their struggles. It is easy for members to go to Pastor when we are struggling, some of us will even take offense if Pastor is busy taking care of his own mess and unable to see us when we want them to pray for us, forgetting these people are humans too with ups and downs, struggles and issues just like us too. That they are Pastors does not exclude them from life struggles.

    A few years back the senior pastor of our church lost his wife to cancer after years of battling with this deadly disease. The truth is we were pretty new in the church by pretty new i mean like a year, but we (hubby and I) never knew and i always wondered why there were not more activities especially for women (It is a way of meeting people and making friends for me). Two Sundays before her passing the pastor still preached and then had to fly to another city where his wife was undergoing experimental treatment right after. All this I did not find out until she passed. My point is here i was thinking of myself and wanting to meet people and make friends and the wife was fighting for her life, the Pastor was juggling being there for his wife in her dying days and still leading the Church. I have always said I can’t be a Pastor or a Pastor’s wife but this here, slayed me!!! Yes, for like a month my hubby and I prayed every day for him and his family. So please pray, pray pray for this people, when i read this man’s story this week on social media, it was a reminder for me to pray for my own Pastor.

  10. Papacy

    August 29, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    What struck me was even in her grief she still reached out to those suffering from similar problems. Very selfless and by no means an easy thing to do. May his soul rest in peace.

  11. Brotherrobin

    August 30, 2018 at 5:37 am

    In most cases, I believe, suicide is a sin. But if the person who commits suicide has truly accepted Christ as his savior and is a member of the body of Christ, all of his sins, past and future, have been forgiven. If a person were able to lose his salvation by dying with unconfessed sins, the devil would have a way to snatch Christians from God’s hand. He doesn’t. As far as the existence of hell is concerned, Jesus warned that some were in danger of it. If Jesus says hell is real, His word is the final authority on the matter, as He does not lie and knows all.

  12. Bobosteke

    August 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    @Cocoa…
    It would also help if you wrote less in Caps. It seems like you are screaming and forcIMG your version of truth down, regardless of how people feel about it.

    Thank you.

    • Bobosteke

      August 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      *forcing

    • Cocoa

      September 1, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Sorry, i cant help with your request. My CAPS are certainly not SHOUTS but EMPHASIS.

      When words are in writing, we assign a TONE to it. Im not responsible for the tone YOU assign to my words,
      P.s: There is only ONE TRUTH. GOD’S.

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