Bill Lenz, a founder and longtime senior pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church in Harrison, died Monday, the church said in a statement.
“Bill had been suffering from depression for the last three months,” the church said in a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday evening. “He was seeing a counselor and doctor, and reaching out to friends for help in walking through this, but depression eventually claimed his life on earth.”
The church said he was someone with an “immense heart for the lost and the hurting, who loved God and lived to serve Him and others.”
Lenz was in ministry for more than 35 years and reached thousands.
“In light of those truths about Pastor Bill, it is unbearably difficult to comprehend how he could lose sight of hope himself,” the church’s statement read. “We are left with many questions and deep sorrow for our dear pastor, leader, brother and friend.”
The church asked for prayers for his family and for the church community.
Christ the Rock, a non-denominational church founded more than 30 years ago, has grown into one of the Fox Valley’s largest and most active faith communities. Lenz was a founder of the church, which first began its Fox Cities ministry in Menasha before the current church was built along U.S. 10 in Harrison.
Numerous posts on the Christ the Rock Facebook page Tuesday applauded the church for addressing Lenz’ depression.
“Thank you, CTR, for your courageous decision to post what happened,” one post read. “I’m sure that was not easy. Please know our Community of Believers hurts with you and we are standing in the gap through prayer and comforting one another.”
Others praised Lenz for pulling them through dark days.
“Wow! I almost forgot how to breathe!” read one post. “How could this be? Bill? How many times you encouraged me. I was so messed up and God used you to keep me going.”
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