Megachurch pastor Darrin Patrick has reportedly died in an apparent suicide. Patrick, 49, had founded The Journey megachurch in Missouri and was serving as a teaching pastor at the Seacoast Church in South Carolina.
The Seacoast Church announced the tragic death in a statement:
"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."
The church added, "His influence and impact cannot be measured. We are surrounding the Patrick family with our prayers and support during this time."
In a further statement, the church announced:
"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."
According to church officials, no foul play is suspected.
Patrick founded The Journey Church in St. Louis in 2002. However, he was fired from the church in 2016, for what it described as "deep historical patterns of sin".
In a letter in which elders of the church shared with members, Patrick "did violate the high standard for elders in marriage through inappropriate meetings, conversations, and phone calls with two women."
Tributes poured in upon the shocking news of Patrick's sudden death.
Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, said that Patrick was scheduled to speak at his church next weekend. "I just talked to him Tuesday and Wednesday. This is the second close friend I have lost in a year."
Patrick is survived by his wife Amie and four children.
Funeral and memorial plans will be announced as plans are formalised, according to Seacoast Church.
An online fundraiser has also been started to support Patrick's family. The site describes:
"On May 8, 2020, Pastor Darrin Patrick passed away suddenly, leaving behind his wife and four children.
"Darrin was a remarkable man who touched thousands upon thousands of lives, and we are so grateful for the time that God gave us with him. He had a true gift for teaching the Word and a heart for encouraging other pastors.
"His influence and impact cannot be measured. We are surrounding the Patrick family with our prayers and support during this time.
"As we process our grief and heartache, we want to provide a way for others to give assistance to the Patrick family, and show their deep love and appreciation for what Darrin meant to them.
"We are committed to being the Church during this time by comforting the hurting and helping meet their needs."
An earlier version of this article published on May 8 said Pastor Darrin Patrick died of an apparent suicide. A correction was made on May 9. Police are still investigating and it's not yet known whether the self-inflicted gunshot wound was "intentional or unintentional," a representative from the church reported.