UPDATE: At 5:58 EDT, Seacoast disclosed that Darrin Patrick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The church said Patrick was target shooting with a friend at the time of death and no foul play is suspected. Also, an earlier version said Patrick was 50, instead of 49.
“Restored” pastor, author, and former vice-president of the Acts 29 church planting network, Darrin Patrick, has died unexpectedly. He was 49 years old.
Seacoast Church, where Patrick served as a teaching pastor, confirmed Patrick’s passing in a statement today but offered no details. Hours before the statement, Wikipedia updated Patrick’s page to say he died yesterday.
“Darrin was a loved member of the Seacoast family, the teaching team, and pastoral staff and we are mourning his loss,” Seacoast said. “Darrin had a gift for teaching the Word and a heart for encouraging other pastors. God allowed Seacoast to be a part of Darrin’s story in a time when he needed a family. He was a gift to us and we are thankful for the time the Lord gave him to us.”
Patrick was the founding pastor of The Journey, a megachurch in St. Louis with five campuses. He also served on the council of The Gospel Coalition and with Acts 29, and was the author of several popular books, including The Dude’s Guide to Manhood and Church Planter. For a time, he also served as the chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals.
However, four years ago, Patrick was fired from The Journey, a megachurch in St. Louis, for a pattern of sinful behaviors, including an emotional affair and “a history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms.”
Patrick reportedly submitted to a 26-month restoration plan that included 200 hours of professional counseling and regular meetings with several pastors. In a 2019 interview with Ed Stetzer in Christianity Today, Patrick said he also met with leaders whom he had hurt “and apologized specifically for things I had done to cause them pain.”
Bob Oesch, a member of Journey Church, told Religion News Service today that despite his failings, Patrick had been a great help to him. “He was good at recognizing leaders and freeing people to lead out of their own strength.”
In the midst of Patrick’s restoration plan—16 months after being fired from Journey—Patrick preached his first sermon at the multi-site Seacoast Church, which has campuses in both Charleston, South Carolina, and St. Louis. Seacoast hired Patrick at that time as a “preacher-at-large.”
In Patrick’s interview with Stetzer, Patrick said that Seacoast Founding Pastor Greg Surratt led him through 12 months of “supervised ministry,” which concluded in May 2018. Patrick also launched a podcast with Pastor Surratt called The Pastors Collective.
Friends of Patrick expressed shock over his passing. Patrick was scheduled to preach next weekend at Long Hollow Baptist, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, according to Long Hollow Pastor Robby Gallaty. “I just talked to him Tuesday and Wednesday,” Gallaty said.
Patrick is survived by his wife, Amie, and four children.