"California megachurch pastor Jim Howard committed suicide last week after a long battle with mental illness.
Howard was the lead pastor of the Valencia campus of the 7,000-member Real Life Church. Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were dispatched to Howard's home after a report of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
'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,' RLC Pastor Rusty George wrote in a Facebook post.
Howard isn't the first megachurch pastor in California to commit suicide in recent months.
Last year, Inland Hills Lead Pastor Andrew Stoecklein took his life, leaving behind his wife and three young children...
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States' suicide rate went up by 33 percent between 1999 and 2017. Americans are killing themselves so much, suicide is contributing to the overall decline in US life expectancy.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America and some call it a national health crisis."
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