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TX Baptist Pastor Resigns After Arrest for DUI with Child in Car

By Josh Shepherd
travis avenue erickson
Andrew Erickson has resigned as lead teaching pastor of Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, after being arrested on two charges. (Photo: Tarrant County Sheriff's Office)

The lead pastor of a prominent Southern Baptist church in north Texas has resigned after being arrested and charged Friday with unlawfully carrying a weapon and driving while intoxicated with a child under age 15. 

Andrew Erickson, 40, has been lead teaching pastor of Travis Avenue Baptist Church (TABC) in Fort Worth since 2019. Police records show Erickson was arrested Friday on the two charges. He bonded out of Tarrant County Jail early Saturday, paying $2,250 in fees.

On Tuesday, the church’s elder board emailed a brief statement to members which noted Erickson had resigned “effective immediately.” They added: “We assure you that Drew was not fired and that no improprieties have occurred at TABC.” 

The email included a resignation letter dated Sunday. Erickson wrote in part: “Over the last twelve months and more recently, it has become clear that there are things I need to work on personally, and I believe causes me to need a season of rest from the responsibilities of ministry.” 

Last Sunday, two church elders filled the pulpit at TABC. Jim Smith delivered the sermon at the traditional service and Larry Thompson in the contemporary service. Neither service referenced Erickson or his impending resignation.

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Travis Avenue Baptist Church
Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo via social media)

TABC has scheduled “A Night of Guided Prayer” tonight, though its relation to the sudden resignation is unknown. 

The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to the church for comment but did not receive a response. 

Founded in 1911, Travis Avenue Baptist Church has had a prominent role in the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Joel Gregory, TABC’s lead pastor from 1985 to 1990, was appointed to two terms as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and also served in the past as an SBC vice president. 

TABC has strong ties to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), located only two miles away. Robert Naylor, SWBTS president for two decades starting in 1958, came to that role following his TABC pastorate. Many staff members, faculty, and staff of SWBTS currently attend the church, including former SWBTS president Adam Greenway. 

Erickson and Greenway had traded pulpits, with Erickson preaching at chapel services for SWBTS and Greenway delivering multiple Sunday sermons at TABC. Greenway resigned from the seminary last year, reportedly due to declining enrollment and financial pressures.

In 2008 Erickson earned his Masters of Divinity at SWBTS, and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. He also taught an undergraduate English class in 2013 as a teaching assistant, a SWBTS spokesman told TRR. (An archived church bio stated that Erickson had been an adjunct professor of preaching at SWBTS.) Erickson had previously been a student minister at Travis Avenue Baptist Church. 

The church’s emailed statement noted that the elder board “will begin the process of finding a new Lead Teaching Pastor.” 

Correction: This article has been updated with clarification of Erickson’s past role at SWBTS, according to a statement from the seminary.

Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.



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18 Responses

  1. Good Lord why are pastors drinking alcohol to begin with! Be above reproach. The Bible has very little good to say about booze, and admonitions against it are plentiful. Lead by example.

    1. Yep! We have Wolves in the pulpit for one reason!

      There is no testing of the spirits and the consequence is an over taking of the entire flock of blind biblically illiterate sheep

      Paul said in Roman’s! I grieve when I die RAVENOUS WOLVES will come and OVERTAKE THE FLOCK!


    2. Drinking a beer is what grabbed your attention in that story? Not, why are you in a car alone with a minor who is not your kid. Or, is the kid okay.

  2. Sounds like this pastor would benefit from our prayers for his recovery, restoration and health. And for his family, too. May they all experience God’s mercy and help in this their time of need.

    1. This is so needed. I am angry with some thieves who took advantage of my physical weakness. But I am supposed to be about sharing the grace of God with them, not about righting my own injustices.

      My mama was an alcoholic. When I hear people refuse to have mercy on alcoholics, it cuts me deeply. The fact that preachers are so worldly, now, sets them up for this kind of fall.. Obviously, a born of the spirit preacher is going to have a different attitude than one who took the job to be an influential man in the community. but he’s in deep trouble, either way. May he experience the grace of God, who does not want him or his family to be destroyed.

    2. Gal 6:1-2  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.  (2)  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

    3. Hello Dawn, it’s great to see a gracious response to this situation – I’ve been serving in participating/leader in Regeneration ministry over the past 4 years and wish the program was required for every Seminary student. We all need the healing and freedom Christ provides.

      1. So good to see you, Mark & to hear about participation in Regeneration! It’s a fantastic ministry – bless you, Mark????

  3. An older friend who has been going to Travis Avenue for 20 years. Was very encouraged how the pastor was preaching more from the word and less seeker friendly. He was looking forward to keep working with the young pastors ministry.

  4. Seems like story after story about alcohol (or alcohol mixed with meds). The encroaching philosophy of “freedom in Jesus” (to do our own thing!) has had poor results.
    All things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial.____The Apostle Paul

  5. Just another pastor out groomin’ another child. At least he was stopped before it was too late. Hopefully, anyway.

    1. Tim, I don’t see anywhere that this child was identified. Just stated as a minor. My first read was that it was his child and I haven’t seen anything to rebut that. I may have missed it. But to accuse someone of grooming if it was his child is “bearing false witness” which is also a sin. Again, if it is not his child, there needs to be evidence of that.

  6. As I read the story and the comments, I guess I’ve come to see it differently than perhaps others who’ve expressed their views. I’m a former state president for the SBC and I’ve been in ministry for a long time. I am sure of something that we seem to not want to face-pastors have hidden hurts and habits, which managing our image doesn’t seem to allow them/us to be healed from. I’ve talked to more pastors who’ve revealed more private sins to me than I will ever mention. Instead of hurrying to help and to heal, so many hurried to condemn. Even the statement of the Elder Board is very telling: there’s no mention of helping the pastor or even allowing the congregation to grieve and heal, just, ‘we’ll begin the search for a new pastor immediately.’ Wow! As I pray for this congregation, I will also be praying for this brother who fell. Don’t bother with all of the Scriptures that would condemn this brother unless you’re also willing to include those that point toward helping a brother to heal and be restored. I hate that we always start with judgment rather than fact-finding, love and restoration.

    1. Are you saying that Ericson should be allowed to stay on as pastor after this incident? Just trying to make sure I understand your position.

  7. This is my former church, and the church my elderly mother still claims membership in. This incident is just a symptom of the world encroaching into even Christian lives and lifestyles. I find it horrific that drinking (to the point of drunkenness) is not just winked at these days in Baptist circles, but completely excused, as long as it’s done in private at home or in another private setting. This would never have been tolerated even one generation ago, if known. And I’m quite certain that many people surrounding Ericson knew. How could you not?

    This is flying over the heads of most reading this story, but the actually drinking of alcohol isn’t the issue. The underlying reasons for drinking alcohol are the core issues.

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