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Rick Warren returns to pulpit this weekend after son's death

July 27, 2013|By Jeff Gottlieb
  • Rick Warren leads Christmas Eve services at Saddleback Church in 2008.
Rick Warren leads Christmas Eve services at Saddleback Church in 2008. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

After taking 16 weeks off following the suicide of his son, Pastor Rick Warren plans to return to the pulpit at Orange County’s huge Saddleback Church this weekend.

Warren, author of the bestselling book “The Purpose Driven Life,” was scheduled to preach Saturday at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9 and 11:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., said Kristin Cole, a spokeswoman for the church.

Saddleback announced Warren’s return on its website with a simple, “HE’S BACK!”

The sermon will be part of a new series, “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through,” according to the website, and Warren’s wife, Kay Warren, will join him for a portion of each service.

Warren’s son, Matthew, who fought with mental illness all his life, committed suicide in April. He was 27.

On his Facebook page, Warren wrote that in his 43 years as a minister this was the longest he had gone without preaching. He said three TV networks were sending trucks to the church, “so I need your prayers.“ The sermons, he wrote, will be streamed online.

Warren has been on the cover of Time magazine and gave the invocation at President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. He founded the church, located in Lake Forest, in 1980. About 20,000 people attend weekend services.

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jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com

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