Darrin Patrick, R.I.P. (Updated with Seacoast Church Statement)

I have sad news to report: Pastor Darrin Patrick died yesterday. Multiple sources have provided conflicting reports about the cause of death.

Patrick currently was a teaching pastor at Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC. He founded megachurch The Journey in St. Louis, MO and was former Vice President of the Acts 29 Network. He leaves a wife and four children.

In 2016, Patrick was removed as pastor from The Journey for pastoral misconduct and recently was the subject of an article by Ed Stetzer in Christianity Today regarding his restoration to pastoral ministry.

His last Facebook entries dealt with the emotions and difficulties of being a pastor.

Seacoast Church just released this statement on their website:


Charleston, S.C. and St. Louis, M.O. – May 8, 2020 – Seacoast Church today issued the following statement: “We are saddened to announce the sudden passing of Pastor Darrin Patrick. Darrin was a loved member of the Seacoast family, the teaching team, and pastoral staff and we are mourning his loss. 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. His influence and impact cannot be measured. We are surrounding the Patrick family with our prayers and support during this time.”

Darrin Patrick served as a teaching pastor at Seacoast Church, and was also the founding pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis, MO. He is a founding member of the Pastor’s Collective and the author of multiple books including the Dude’s Guide to Marriage.

Additional information on memorial services will be shared on seacoast.org as plans are formalized.

Updated at 5:58pm

Darrin was target shooting with a friend at the time of his death. An official cause of death has not been released but it appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No foul play is suspected. On behalf of the family we would ask that their privacy be respected during this time, and that all media requests be directed to Margaret Little.

This statement appears to leave some question about whether Rev. Patrick took his own life or suffered an accident. All sources I have spoken to about the situation believe he took his own life.

Image: Creative Commons via Wikipedia, Author: Justin Brackett


12 thoughts on “Darrin Patrick, R.I.P. (Updated with Seacoast Church Statement)”

  1. This is surely a failure of some sort, but whose? Why would one die by one’s own hand so deep into the restoration process, with much ado in CT about how well it was going? Were there signs he was sucidal? Did he leave a note? We’ll probably never know.

  2. Rather this was an accident or intentional suicide one thing is clear: Death is the end here for all of us. I would not want to be a man who has chosen to use God’s power and His Word in order to leverage myself into a place of power over human beings. Jesus did not die so that certain men could become more equal than the rest of us. He did not die so that any third party should become the center of attention of other human beings. That is just having a leader turn himself into an idol that others stumble over. Jesus did not die so that others could make themselves rich and famous selling a lot of books or make a career for themselves traveling around collecting very large honorariums.

    I have seen a cell in hell reserved for those who think that they are Christians, but are not. It was the most real place I have ever experienced. I do not want anyone to go there myself, but these do exist because some, actually too many, do go there. Jesus warned us about this in multiple places including Matt. 23:33 while addressing the hypocritical religious leaders of His day. II Corin. 13:5, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” How tragic it is for any man to fail to obey these instructions from Paul and then suddenly meet his end. Heaven and hell are real places and when someone else dies it is always an opportunity to make sure we are going to graduate up instead of down when our time comes. Time to put aside our own personal cares of this world and go look in the mirror in a healthy way.

    This made me think about Jesus words directed at his very own brothers as He talked about His own future death: John 7:6 “Jesus replied, ‘Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime.'” So what is more disturbing? The fact that someone else died, or that whenever we hear of someone else dying it reminds us of our own mortality?

  3. I’d be very interested in Warren’s take on the “Christian counseling” provided to Darrin Patrick. It looks to me like the church had its backside covered in “restoring” Darrin to a position of ministry, but did nothing to address his underlying problems.

    Here’s Greg Surratt, Darrin’s “spiritual mentor:”

    “I have been part of several restorations and I have seen many pastors who are confronted about their sin not understand the root of it. We asked Darrin to come clean, to really meditate on and figure out, with counselor’s help, what had happened in this situation.”

    “Beyond that, my role has been to encourage him that while his sin is bad, he is not, and that God loves him and that God has a future that is good. It’s been two parts to the process. First, let’s acknowledge it. Second, let’s acknowledge God’s grace in the middle of it as the repentance continues.”


    1. It is too soon to comment much on this. However, you and Mickey are asking some of the right questions.

  4. It is always a tragedy when someone takes their own life, even if the internal torment that helped to drive them to it was to some extent ‘of their own making’.

    Pastors and priests, be they ‘good’ or be they otherwise, are frail human beings, just like the rest of us. The correct (because it is charitable) thing to do is to pray for the repose of Darrin Patrick’s soul.

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