Darrin Patrick, a teaching pastor at the Seacoast megachurch in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, has died at the age of 49. The Seacoast Church issued a statement on May 8 about the pastor’s death, which it said was sudden. The original statement reads in part:
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.
He is survived by his wife, Amie Patrick, and their four children: Glory, Grace, Drew and Delainey. According to his website biography, Patrick enjoyed “reading, writing and coaching his kid’s sports teams.”
Update May 9: The Seacoast Church has provided an update on Patrick’s cause of death. It posted: “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.”
Patrick’s wife Amie posted on his Twitter account and wrote in part: “we will never be able to say thank you enough for the outpouring of support my family is receiving during this devastating time. We are heartbroken beyond belief, terribly confused and missing Darrin in ways that feel unbearable.”
Patrick Was a Pastor, An Author & the Founder and Host of the Pastors Collective Podcast
In addition to being a teaching pastor at Seacoast Church, Patrick was also the founding pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis. He was a founding member of the Pastors Collective podcast and wrote multiple books, including The Dude’s Guide to Marriage. According to his biography, Patrick was the former chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Pastors Collective is a podcast founded by Patrick and fellow pastor Greg Surratt. In every episode, the two hosts spoke to other pastors across the country about the “real and difficult work of planting, pastoring, and leading churches.” On May 5, Patrick posted an episode of the podcast titled “Pastors Need Friends Too” on Twitter:
The caption reads: “Isolation is the enemy of healthy living. Pastors need friendship, and in this episode, [Greg Surratt] and [Darrin Patrick] discuss strategies for cultivating friendship.”
Patrick Was Removed From His Ministry in 2016 for Misconduct Before Seeking Counseling & Returning to the Ministry
Patrick was a successful pastor who founded The Journey Church and grew it from a small group to a megachurch. He was also the vice president of the Acts 29 planting church network. However, in 2016, he was fired from the church for misconduct, described by church officials as “inappropriate meetings, conversations, and phone calls with two women,” as well as sinful conduct such as lack of self-control, lying and abuse of power.
Patrick admitted to his faults and underwent a restoration process and counseling, which he shared with Christianity Today in 2019. He said the process took 26 months and over 200 hours of counseling. He shared that the most important part was meeting “leaders whom I had hurt or wounded during my ministry. I listened to them and apologized to them specifically for things I had done to cause them pain.”
Patrick returned to the ministry but as a preacher instead of his previous role as senior pastor. Robby Gallaty, the pastor of Long Hollow Baptist in Hendersonville, Tennessee, told Religion News that Patrick’s return to the ministry was unique, and “You generally don’t see guys bounce back.” He said Patrick was “passionate about the Lord” and helping others.
Patrick’s Friends Have Expressed Shock & Grief at His Sudden Passing
Gallaty told Religion News about his shock at Patrick’s sudden passing. He said that Patrick was supposed to speak at his church next weekend: “I just talked to him Tuesday and Wednesday.” He told the outlet that while pastors will often help others, they themselves can struggle to deal with their own problems. Gallaty said, “We don’t feel like we can ask for help.”
Chris Surratt, a ministry consultant in Nashville and the brother of Patrick’s podcast co-host Greg Surratt, shared his reaction to receiving a text about Patrick’s death from his brother: “My answer was, ‘oh, no.’ He was one of those guys I could reach out to when I need someone to talk to. He was just a good guy.”
A member of Patrick’s The Journey Church, Bob Oesch, told Religion News that Patrick “was good at recognizing leaders and freeing people to lead out of their own strengths.”