Church mourns death of pastor in Menasha

MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - As we reported Tuesday night Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha announced its Senior Pastor Bill Lenz died by suicide on Monday.

Pastor Lenz was a Christian minister in the Fox Cities for 35 years. His death opens the conversation about depression even among those known for helping others through dark times.

“This is a shock to us all, we were all very close to bill, and were walking through this difficult time with him, and thought we knew everything that he was going through,” said Pastor Curt Drexler from Christ the Rock Community Church.

Pastor Curt Drexler was friends with Pastor Bill Lenz for more than three decades.

“Bill was one of the most compassionate men that I knew, he like his mother before him had radar for when people were in trouble and when they were struggling and it was the joy of his life to be able to come alongside someone at a dark time in their life to help them find light and life again,” said Pastor Drexler.

Pastor Bill was open about his struggle with depression over the last several months. Experts said even people who help others need their own shoulder to lean on.

“I think sometimes people have in the role as we have as caregivers, in whatever role, it is a lot of times, people lean to us, to look for answers, but you know what we are still human,” said Barb Bigalke, Executive Director for the Center for Suicide Prevention.

The Center for Suicide Awareness wants to remind people about its free help services including the text line. The HOPELINE text number is 741741.

Meanwhile, Pastor Drexler remembers his longtime friend's kind heart.

“He just had that kind of love for the people around him, it wasn't just the congregation it was wherever he went, he traveled around this country and around this world, and he has friends everywhere, and he has friends because he invested in their lives,” said Pastor Drexler.