Isaac Hunter, former pastor at Summit Church in Orlando, Fla., has died, reports Northland, A Church Distributed. Hunter is the son of Northland Senior Pastor Joel Hunter. Pastor Vernon Rainwater wrote the following message in a blog entry and a post on the Northland’s Facebook page Tuesday:
“By now you may have heard that Pastor Joel and Becky's son Isaac Hunter died today. All of us are grieving for the Hunter family, and we will deeply miss Isaac. Words cannot express the sorrow we’re feeling.
“We love this family and are so grateful for the impact they have had on each of our lives. I have loved Isaac since he was a child, and I know this ... Isaac loved Jesus. And we are assured of his continuing relationship with Christ now in heaven (Romans 8:38-39).
“I know we all want to reach out to the Hunter family, but the way we can love them best at this time is to pray for them and respect their privacy. Right now, would you please pray for them? We will have opportunities in the future to fully express our love and sympathies. Memorial service information will be posted on Northland's website as soon as it’s available.”
Isaac and Rhonda Hunter have three children together. He has two brothers, Joshua and Joel. It is not yet known how Hunter, 36, died or any details surrounding his death. At press time, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s office was closed and not able to comment.
Hunter founded Summit Church in 2002. It has since become one of the fastest-growing churches in Central Florida with five locations and an estimated 5,000 worshippers. The church grew out of a ministry the younger Hunter started at his father’s megachurch.
Hunter made headlines last year when he resigned after admitting to an affair with a former staffer.
According to court documents from 2012, his family also found an undated suicide note on his computer with instructions to Summit Church on what should be done “If I die,” written before his 35th birthday on April 26, 2012.
“I would very much like to be remembered as a person who loved his children, his parents, his brothers, and his best friends—well, while I could,” Hunter wrote. “I fear I will love them better in my absence. As I have become what I never wished to be, a burden on those I love the most.”