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Megachurch Pastor Darrin Patrick Dies in Possible Suicide at 49

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Update: The cause of Patrick’s death is currently under investigation, with initial reports suggesting his death appeared to be a suicide. No foul play is suspected. (The Mighty follows guidelines for responsible reporting on suicide which is why we are not sharing the method of his death.)

Megachurch pastor Darrin Patrick died at age 49 on Friday, according to a statement released by Seacoast Church. Patrick was a teaching pastor at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, as well as the founding pastor of Journey Church in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lived.

“We are saddened to announce the sudden passing of Pastor Darrin Patrick,” the church’s statement said. “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.”

The statement explains that while no official cause of death has been released, his death appears to have been self-inflicted. You can read the church’s full statement here.

In 2016, Patrick was removed from church leadership at Journey and from his role as vice-president of the Acts 29 church planting network for a “historical pattern of sin” and an emotional affair. After stepping back from his leadership roles, Patrick began a 26-month long restoration period before returning to ministry. In an interview with Christianity Today, he described the experience:

“The process was 26 months long and involved over 200 hours of professional counseling,” he said in the interview. “Perhaps most importantly, I met 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. There was also tons of reading, reflection, and journaling as a part of the process.”

Though Patrick’s death has not yet been confirmed as suicide, he is not the only pastor to have died by suicide. In September of last year, megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson ended his life. It’s common to think pastors and other authority figures don’t struggle, but it’s important to remember pastors are real people with real struggles too.

Since news broke, Patrick’s fans and loved ones have expressed their condolences and offered prayers and support for his family on social media.

It doesn’t matter who you are — anyone can struggle with their mental health. If you are a pastor or Christian struggling with suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone, and your struggles don’t make you less of a Christian. If you are struggling, please reach out to a trusted loved one, and check out our list of suicide prevention resources. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone. If you need support or want to connect with people who have been there, post a Thought or Question on The Mighty with the hashtag, #CheckInWithMe. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Header image via Seacoast Church

Originally published: May 11, 2020
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