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Warren 'overwhelmed' by response to son's death

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm •  Published: April 7, 2013
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"Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many," the email said. "Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts."

Allison O'Neal, a supervising deputy coroner for Orange County, declined to release the cause and manner of death pending an autopsy planned for Tuesday.

The elder Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980, according to his biography on the church website, and watched it grow to 20,000 members and several campuses beyond its home base of Lake Forest.

Already well-known among evangelical Christians, he became a national celebrity in 2002 with the publication of the multimillion-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life," whose popularity reached far beyond the usual religious readers.

He later delivered the opening prayer at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2008.