Pastor Darrin Patrick's death officially ruled a suicide

Darrin Patrick

The death of a pastor from a gunshot wound in May has officially been ruled a suicide. 

Pastor Darrin Patrick, 49, was founder of The Journey megachurch in Missouri and was serving as a teaching pastor at the Seacoast Church in South Carolina at the time of his death. 

He died on 7 May during target practice with a friend near St Louis.

No foul play was suspected but his death was not immediately ruled a suicide at the time because police were unsure as to whether the gunshot was intentional. 

But the St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported Friday that the autopsy report confirmed the cause of death as suicide. 

Sheriff Steven Pelton said police would now "be closing the case," the newspaper reports. 

Patrick is survived by his wife Amie and four children. 

At the time of his death, Seacoast Church paid tribute to him as a "loved member" of the team with 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," it said. 

"His influence and impact cannot be measured. We are surrounding the Patrick family with our prayers and support during this time."